Peoria County infrastructure committee purchases dispatching software
The Peoria County Land Use and Infrastructure Committee met Sept. 26 to purchase new dispatching software.
Here are the meeting's minutes, as provided by the committee:
Approved 10/24/16 MINUTES LAND USE & INFRASTRUCTURE COMMITTEE SEPTEMBER 26, 2016 @ 3:30 P.M. ROOM 402 MEMBERS PRESENT: James Dillon - Chairperson, Sharon Williams, Carol Trumpe, Paul Rosenbohm, Thomas O'Neill, Rachael Parker, Brian Elsasser (via teleconference) MEMBERS ABSENT: OTHERS PRESENT: Larry Evans - State’s Attorney Office; Scott Sorrel, Mark Rothert, - County Administration; Dan O'Connell - Facilities; Matt Wahl, Kathi Urban - Planning & Zoning; Amy McLaren - County Highway; Eric Dubrowski - Finance; Mark Little - IT; Angel Marinich - MV Transportation; Andy Dwyer - GPMTD; Terry Ruhland, Tom Goodwin, Scott Lewis - Home Builder's Association of Greater Peoria; William and Janet Rosecrans - zoning case petitioner; Bill Passie - zoning case objector Call to Order: Mr. Dillon called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. Mr. Rosenbohm made a motion to allow Mr. Elsasser attend the meeting via teleconference and was seconded by Ms. Trumpe. A vote was taken and the motion carried; (6-0). Approval of Minutes: A motion to approve the Land Use & Infrastructure Committee regular minutes from August 22, 2016 was made by Mr. O'Neill and seconded by Mr. Rosenbohm. A vote was taken on the motion and carried. (7-0) (Mr. Elsasser voted via teleconference.) Reports/ Other Minutes/Updates: Tri-County Regional Planning Commission Minutes: No questions or comments. The Greater Peoria Sanitary and Sewage Disposal District Minutes: No questions or comments. Unsafe Structures: No questions or comments. Rural Peoria County Transportation System: Ms Marinich stated that ridership had increased by approximately 300 riders from July to August and has also increased by about 1000 riders year over year. Ms. Marinich added that the collaboration between urban and rural transport in regards to addressing the "gray" areas has been very positive and that new software was helping the program move toward a coordinated dispatch. Ms. Marinich added that the software did have a few bugs to work out, but otherwise, everything was running smoothly. Mr. Rothert stated that a grant from the State of Illinois that was intended to be used for the purchase of a new radio system and dispatching software, but that it was currently being held up in the Governor's office. Mr. Rothert stated that it was waiting to be signed by the governor and Approved 10/24/16 had been waiting for this signature for several months. Mr. Rothert stated that he did not have an estimate on when the grant would be received. Mr. Rothert then added that staff is working with City Link on bus advertising. Mr. Dwyer stated that Heller Advertising had won the bid for advertising services. Mr. Dwyer added that City Link was in the final stages of having the radios and dispatch software ready for when the grant is received. IDOT has also given their permission to extend the agreement between Peoria County and GPMTD in order to get a good amount of data once services are combined. Mr. Rosenbohm asked how the IDOT testing was progressing and Mr. Rothert responded that very little data had been collected because a full combined dispatch could not be achieved until the grant from the state was received. Mr. Dwyer added that a full 5-6 months of data was needed for discussion. Mr. Dillon moved to receive and file the reports. Zoning Cases: 048-16-U, Petition of Chris Kappes (Peter & Patsy Cahill, The Peter Cahill Trust, & The Patsy Cahill Trust, owners): Ms. Williams made a motion to approve the Special Use request and was seconded by Mr. Rosenbohm. Mr. Wahl summarized the case. Mr. Wahl stated that the petitioner was proposing to divide 5 acres off of a 160 acres tract. The parcel in located in Brimfield Township. The proposed 5 acres will only contain approximately 2 acres of tillable ground. The LESA score was 218/300, which is a medium rating for agricultural protection. The Brimfield Township Road Commission and the Highway Department had no objection to this request. The request is consistent with the Peoria County Comprehensive Land Use Plan to develop new homesteads for farming families. It is also consistent with the Peoria County Growth Strategy to preserve the character of A-1 zoning districts. The property is located within 1.5 miles of the Village of Brimfield and is also consistent with Brimfield's Land Use Map designation of Agriculture. The Zoning Board of Appeals recommended approval unanimously. A vote was taken and the motion was approved; (7-0). 050-16-U, Petition of William and Janet Rosecrans: Ms. Parker made a motion to approve the resolution and was seconded by Mr. Rosenbohm. Mr. Wahl summarized the case. Mr. Wahl stated that this property is a 5 acre tract, which the petitioner is proposing to split into two, 2.5 acre parcels. It is located on W. Martin Road. The proposed split would also create one lot that would have an accessory structure before a principal structure. Mr. Wahl stated that this request also included a subdivision waiver regarding public water, which was also on the agenda. The request is inconsistent with the community character which consists of large agriculture lots, being 5 acres or more, all with principal structures. The Jubilee Township Road Commissioner and the County Highway Department had no objection to the request. The majority of the parcel is located in the Environmental Corridor, which is intended for open space, agriculture, and residential conservation design. Mr. Wahl restated that the request is inconsistent with policies for Environmental Corridor sites. The request is inconsistent with the Brimfield Land Use Map designation of Open Space. The Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning and Zoning staff all recommended denial. Mr. Dillon asked Mr. Evans to clarify the wording of the resolution, and Mr. Evans explained that the resolution was written such that an affirmative vote for this case would be voting to uphold the Zoning Board's recommendation of denial. Approved 10/24/16 Mr. Dillon explained to the petitioners that they would have a chance to speak after the committee had discussed the case, but their comments must be limited to testimony given at the Zoning Board hearing. Mr. Rosenbohm stated that he realized the staff report pointed out inconsistencies in regards to policy, but he also thought that the reason Special Uses existed was to ask for special permission when things did not meet the current standards. Mr. Wahl responded that the primary concern was a lot division in an area that was contained within an Environmental Corridor. Mr. Wahl added that the Comprehensive Land Use Plan states that 5 acre lots are required in these areas, and has stated such for quite some time. Mr. Wahl added that this policy was adopted by the County Board. Mr. Wahl stated that, additionally, the division would create a lot with an accessory structure before a principal structure and that there was lot width issues as well. Ms. Trumpe asked if the 12 objections on file were immediate neighbors, and Mr. Wahl stated that, as he understood it, it was surrounding neighbors. Bill Passie stated that, along with others along Martin Road, he was objecting to the request. Janet Rosecrans, petitioner for the case, asked if a request like this had ever been approved. Mr. Dillon responded that the decision is based solely on the facts which were considered at the Zoning Board hearing. Ms. Rosecrans stated that in all the conversations with the Planning and Zoning Department regarding this request, they were never told that the request would be denied. Ms. Rosecrans stated that if they were told the request could be denied, they never would have filed it. Mr. Dillon stated that he could not say for certain that cases of this kind had not been approved in the past, but that every situation had to be assessed based on its unique facts. Mr. Dillon added that he did not believe the Department of Planning and Zoning could have known from the beginning that the case would be approved or denied. Mr. Rosecrans stated that they like the area and would like to keep the lot in order to build in the future. Mr. Rosecrans added that the Road Commissioner and Health Department had no objection, and that he did not understand what the problem with the request was. Mr. Passie stated that he has lived on Martin Road for many years. Mr. Passie stated that all of the lots in the area are 5 acres in size, and that allowing the split would change the character of the area. Mr. Passie stated that all of the neighbors objected to the request. Mr. Dillon reiterated that casting an affirmative vote would be voting to uphold the Zoning Board's recommendation of denial for the case, and that voting nay would be to allow the land split. A vote was taken and the resolution to uphold the Zoning Board's recommendation of denial was approved; (5-2) (Mr. Rosenbohm and Mr. Elsasser voted no.) 053-16-U, Petition of Curtis Hawkins (James Kyle, owner): A motion to approve the request was made by Ms. Williams and seconded by Mr. Rosenbohm. Mr. Wahl summarized the request. Mr. Wahl stated that this was a request for a recreation area in an A-2 zoning district. The parcel is proposed to be used for an airsoft field. Mr. Wahl added that there is an archery field to the north of this property, and that the subject parcel is 111 acres in size. Mr. Wahl stated that there are 2 objections to the request. There was a restriction added to the request by the Zoning Board that required the access drive to be tar and chipped in order to help decrease dust. The Kickapoo Township Road Commissioner had no objection to the request. The request is consistent with the Comprehensive Land Use Plan because it will not Approved 10/24/16 affect the environmental corridor or disrupt any agriculture land. Mr. Wahl stated that the restrictions were to provide handicapped parking, that the area should be limited to an airsoft field only, and that the access drive must be oil and chipped. Mr. Wahl stated that staff has recommended approval, whereas the Zoning Board recommended denial with a vote of 4-3. Ms. Williams asked what airsoft is, and Mr. Rosenbohm responded that it was like paintball, but with plastic pellets. Ms. Trumpe stated that she had concerns with the single lane driveway to access the parcel. Mr. Rosenbohm added that it might be helpful to add a restriction to require a pull off on the access road. Ms. Trumpe asked who was responsible for maintaining the access road, and Mr. Dillon stated that the petitioner was leasing the property. Mr. Wahl stated that there may be a lease agreement that would specify who maintains the property. Ms. Parker stated that she attended the Zoning Board hearing and was under the impression that the operation would be seasonal and would not operate every day. Mr. O'Neill stated that he agreed with Mr. Rosenbohm regarding the restriction to require a pull off, and added that he also wanted to make sure whoever was supposed to maintain the road would do so. Mr. Dillon asked if it was a private road, and Mr. Wahl confirmed that this was correct. Mr. Wahl added that he was unsure if the committee could make a restriction requiring someone to be responsible for maintenance because it was a private drive and not a dedicated right of way. Mr. Rosenbohm made a motion to amend the request to include a restriction to require a pull off on the access drive, and was seconded by Mr. O'Neill. A vote was taken on the motion and was approved; (7-0). A vote was then taken to approve the case as amended and passed unanimously; (7-0). Subdivision Waiver: W05-16, Petition of William and Janet Rosecrans: Mr. Rosenbohm made a motion to approve the subdivision waiver and was seconded by Ms. Parker. Mr. Wahl stated that the waiver was for public water supply, which the petitioner indicated was approximately 3 miles away from the property. Mr. Wahl added that the test well on the property pumped 4 gallons per minute. Mr. Dillon explained that an affirmative vote for this case would be to approve the waiver request. A vote was taken and the resolution was denied; (3-4) (Mr. Dillon, Ms. Williams, Ms. Trumpe, and Mr. O'Neill voted no.) Resolutions: Federal Agreement with the State of Illinois for the construction of the Trivoli Road Bridge Replacement: Mr. Rosenbohm made a motion to approve the resolution and was seconded by Mr. O'Neill. Ms. McLaren stated that this bridge currently has a sufficiency rating of 25/100. Ms. McLaren added that staff was hoping to have a bid letting in November and doing construction work in 2017. This resolution would allow federal funds to be used for the project. A vote was taken and the resolution was approved; (7-0). Willow Knolls Road County Motor Fuel Tax Appropriation: Approved 10/24/16 Mr. O'Neill made a motion to approve the resolution and was seconded by Mr. Rosenbohm. Ms. McLaren stated that a mill and overlay project was recently completed on Willow Knolls Road. During construction, it was discovered that part of the shoulder of the road was soft and more work needed to be completed than originally anticipated. This request is for additional appropriation to pay for the extra work needed to fix these issues with the shoulder. Mr. Rosenbohm asked what the county would need to do in order to turn this road over to the City of Peoria's jurisdiction. Ms. McLaren responded that a road must be upgraded to urban standards in order to be jurisdictionally transferred. Mr. O'Neill stated that the road looked much better, and thanked the Highway Department for their work on the project. A vote was taken and the resolution was approved; (7-0). Discussion: Amendment to Appendix A, Chapter 12, Building & Property Maintenance Code - Fees: Mr. Dillon explained that this item was for discussion only and would not be voted on. Mr. Dillon also introduced Terry Ruhland, Tom Goodwin, and Scott Lewis from the Home Builders Association, who he had invited to attend and offer input on this item. Mr. Rothert stated that in the early 2000's, the County Board adopted revenue policy #4, which stated that user fees, when feasible, should recover the county's expenses. In 2014, Bellwether, LLC was hired to do a fee study and determined what fees should be increased in order to meet this revenue policy. The fee increase was not instituted at that time. Last year, Matrix did an efficiency study, which also recommended a fee increase for Planning and Zoning, per the Bellwether study. Mr. Rothert stated that the efficiency study collaboration team decided that the recommendation to raise Planning and Zoning fees was an issue that needed to be discussed. Mr. Rothert stated that it was not the staff's intention to push for a fee increase, but simply a discussion to address the County Board's revenue policy #4. Mr. Dillon stated that the issue was brought forth during a Chairman's Cabinet meeting, and Mr. Dillon stated that the issue was brought forth due to the revenue policy and efficiency study recommendations, not because of staff. Mr. Wahl stated that the fee comparison chart included in the committee packet looked at permit costs for a new 3600 square foot home between several area municipalities. Mr. Wahl stated that some of the municipalities had building codes, while others do not. Mr. Wahl explained that new homes were chosen because they are permits for new construction that are issued more than anything else. Terry Ruhland, owner of Plum Creek Builders, introduced himself along with Tom Goodwin and Scott Lewis. Mr. Ruhland stated that all three of them were past Presidents of the Peoria Home Builders Association. Mr. Ruhland stated that all three have a business relationship within Peoria County, and also want to see the county prosper. Mr. Ruhland stated that he gets along well with the staff of the Planning and Zoning Department, and appreciates the work they do; however, he added that he is concerned with a fee increase. Mr. Ruhland stated that prices associated with new homes have been rising in all aspects, not just with building permits. Safety upgrades and energy efficiency measures are costly and continue to increase. In addition to this, Mr. Ruhland added that the recent economic factors in the area are also impacting the construction of new homes and resale. Mr. Ruhland stated that it is substantially more expensive to build in Peoria County than the other city and counties listed in the chart. Mr. Ruhland added that builders must stand up for their buyers whenever costs are potentially going to be raised. Approved 10/24/16 Mr. Dillon asked what the difference in fee recovery would be if all the proposed cost increases for fees were approved, except for new home square footage. Mr. Wahl stated that he would have to calculate it in order to get an idea. Mr. Dillon asked when fees were last increased, and Mr. Wahl responded that it was in 2006 when the county adopted a building code. Ms. Trumpe stated that she appreciated Mr. Ruhland's comments, and that she agreed that the square footage fee for a new home to double would be very discouraging to potential customers. Mr. Dillon stated that, regardless, something needed to be done about the fees. Mr. Dillon proposed that there may be a compromise that could be reached, or that a graduated increase over several years might be an option. Mr. Dillon stated that he did not feel that an increase in base fees for mechanical permits would be much of an economic burden. Mr. Ruhland responded that while he understands that prices must go up over time, he did feel it was unfortunate that the issue was not addressed sooner and raised incrementally over time. Mr. Ruhland added that it is unfortunate that this increase was being discussed during a time when the economy in the area was in decline. Mr. Ruhland stated that incremental fee increases could be tolerated, but that doubling the fee would make a big impact. Mr. Ruhland added that it is unfortunate that the burden of cost is passed along to those who do get permits when much of the department's time and money are spent on people who are in non-compliance. Mr. Ruhland added that he does understand that something must be done because having a functioning Planning and Zoning Department is important. Mr. Dillon asked for input from the committee regarding the square footage increase for new homes. Mr. O'Neill proposed raising the new home square footage by 10 cents and accepting all the other increases as proposed. Mr. Dillon stated that the department is currently being subsidized by about $300,000 annually. Mr. Dillon stated that it might be better to do a 10 cent per square foot incremental increase over several years, instead of doubling the fee initially. Mr. Lewis stated that when he looks at where to help save costs in his business costs, he looks within. Mr. Lewis stated that it might be worthwhile to look into what could be cut in the department as the housing market continues to fall. Mr. Dillon stated that the department is already operating with one less inspector than previous years. Mr. Wahl stated that he did not believe the department could function with less building inspectors. Mr. Wahl stated that the inspectors not only do building inspections, but also do code compliance, whereas some other municipalities have different inspectors for each. Ms. Trumpe stated that the proposed increase per square foot for an accessory structure was increasing by more than 100%. Ms. Trumpe stated that she has already heard feedback about how costly accessory structure permits can be. Ms. Trumpe stated that she felt that if the new home square footage increase was increased by less than the proposed amount, the accessory structure square footage increase should be increased by less as well. Mr. Dillon stated that he had no problem keeping the proposed increase of 50 cents per square foot for an accessory structure. Mr. Rosenbohm stated that he gets the most complaints about prices for deck permits and small sheds. Mr. Dillon stated that the issue with small sheds went beyond the price and that there were plans for future meetings to address this issue once a new county board was seated after the November election. Mr. Rosenbohm stated that it is a difficult decision because he is worried that raising prices will deter people from building in Peoria County. Mr. Rosenbohm also added that it is unfortunate that so much time and money are spent on violations when those violations rarely generate any revenue for the department. Mr. Dillon stated that the problem arises with unqualified people Approved 10/24/16 trying to build structures in a way that is not safe. Mr. Dillon added that the dissatisfaction with the Planning and Zoning Department comes from the people who do not like to follow the rules of the ordinance and Building Code. Mr. Dillon stated that the department is necessary and that he has heard nothing but good things from people he has spoken to. Ms. Williams stated that she understood that recovering costs was important, but she was also concerned with the fact that the housing market was in decline. Ms. Williams added that maybe it was not the right time to raise the prices until there was time to evaluate the local economy climate. Mr. Elsasser stated that he would have a hard time supporting fee increases because he felt that it would deter people from building in Peoria County. Mr. Elsasser added that he feels the tax benefit of attracting a new resident would be more substantial than raising prices for permits. Mr. Dillon stated that even if the committee did not come to any conclusions, it was important to discuss what would be done regarding certain fees that were more time sensitive. Mr. Dillon added that the technology fee would have to be added due to the proposed technology upgrade for the next budget year. Mr. Dillon stated that telecommunications permits, stop work order fees, and some other miscellaneous fees should be decided upon. Mr. Rothert stated that the new permitting system was budgeted and scheduled for next year through IT and that it would be somewhat imperative to have a technology fee in place in order to help pay for and upgrade this system. Ms. William asked Mr. Wahl if there was any response from other municipalities to use a universal on-line permitting system, and Mr. Wahl responded that it would not be happening anytime soon, but it may be a possibility for the future. Ms. Williams asked Mr. Ruhland if the HBA was receptive to a universal system, and Mr. Ruhland responded that it was received positively; however, he hoped that someday there would be an option to streamline the whole process among different municipalities from start to finish. Mr. Ruhland stated that he thought Mr. Elsasser had a valid point that attracting new home owners to Peoria County was more important in the long run because of the tax base rather than raising the fees. Mr. Ruhland stated that he felt it would be worthwhile to do an economic impact study to determine how many houses could be lost before it would substantially impact the county as a whole. Mr. Rosenbohm stated that he thought doing an economic impact study might be worthwhile, and added that he thought the committee should take a month to think on the proposal of fee increases. Mr. Rothert asked the builders how much permit costs determine whether or not someone will build in Peoria County, and Mr. Ruhland stated that it was not a primary factor. Mr. Ruhland stated that it is generally the cumulative cost of building a new home that can make or break a sale. Mr. Dillon asked if there was an insurance benefit to having a building code, and Mr. Wahl stated that it is evaluated, but he did not know how it affected insurance for homeowners in Peoria County. Mr. Dillon stated that it might be wise to wait on discussing some of the fee proposals for now, but to concentrate on others that are less controversial. Ms. Williams asked if the committee could evaluate fine amounts for violations, and Mr. Wahl stated that these are set by statute and the board had no authority to set them. Mr. Dillon stated that he would like to accept the fee proposals under miscellaneous, telecommunications and wind energy permits, and technology, and wait to talk about the other fees another time. Mr. Dillon asked if everyone would be agreeable to putting these items on a resolution for next month, and the committee concurred. Miscellaneous: Mr. O'Neill asked when the issue of seasonally having a boat in a driveway would be addressed. Mr. O'Neill stated that, in lake communities like Lake Camelot, he believed that it should be Approved 10/24/16 allowable to store a boat in a driveway during the warmer months. Mr. Wahl added that he agreed that it would be a good idea to look at this issue for lakefront communities. Mr. Wahl added that he would like to talk to the Sheriff first and get his opinion on the issue. Mr. Sorrel added that it would be a proposed change to the ordinance. Ms. McLaren stated that the Lancaster Road Bridge bid letting was recently held, and that the bid came in at $2.8 million. Ms. McLaren stated that it was under estimate, which was good news. Ms. McLaren added that Stark was the contractor and IDOT held the contract, which she was in process of trying to expedite. Ms. McLaren stated that there had been updates on the County Highway webpage, which would continue throughout the project. Mr. O'Neill thanked Ms. McLaren for her department's work on the project. Ms. Marinich thanked Ms. McLaren for the updates on the website because her drivers use them frequently. Mr. Dillon stated that the County Board makes the rules that the Department of Planning and Zoning has to follow, and that sometimes the department is forced to follow these rules that do not make sense. Mr. Dillon added that if any of the committee members had any input regarding fees or Planning and Zoning policies that they could contact him. Mr. Dillon thanked Mr. Ruhland, Mr. Goodwin, and Mr. Lewis for attending the meeting and offering their input. Adjournment: Mr. Dillon adjourned the meeting at 5:15 p.m. Recorded by: Ellen Hanks, ZBA Administrative Assistant