Peoria County Land Use and Infrastructure Committee met April 24.
Peoria County Land Use and Infrastructure Committee met April 24.
Here is the minutes provided by the Committee:
Members Present: James Dillon - Chairperson, Thomas O'Neill, Brad Harding, Barry Robinson, Sharon Williams, Paul Rosenbohm
Members Absent: Brian Elsasser, Rachael Parker
Others Present: Larry Evans - State's Attorney's Office; Scott Sorrel, Shauna Musselman, Angela Loftus - County Administration; Kathi Urban, Andrew Braun - Planning & Zoning; Mark Little - IT; Eric Dubrowski - Finance; Doug Gaa - County Sheriff; Phil Salzer - County Board Member; Mark & Sheryl Douras, James Kaysing, Steve & Barbara Rump - zoning case petitioners; David Tuttle
Call to Order: Mr. Dillon called the meeting to order at 3:45 p.m.
Mr. Rosenbohm made a motion for Mr. Elsasser to attend via teleconference if he were able to do so, and was seconded by Mr. Harding. Six affirmative votes; (6-0).
Approval of Minutes:
A motion to approve the Land Use Committee minutes from the February 27, 2017 meeting was made by Mr. O'Neill and seconded by Mr. Robinson. A vote was taken on the motion and carried. (6-0) (Mr. Elsasser & Ms. Parker absent.)
Reports/ Other Minutes/Updates: Tri-County Regional Planning Commission Minutes: No questions or comments.
No questions or comments.
Mr. Dillon made a motion to receive and file the reports.
Zoning Cases: 014-17-U, Petition of Mark & Sheryl Douras: Ms. Williams made a motion to approve the special use request and was seconded by Mr. O'Neill.
Ms. Urban summarized the case. The petitioners are requesting a Special Use for Overnight Accommodations in which they would allow guests to stay for the purposes of grievance counseling. These accommodations would be located in the lower level of the Douras's home. Ms. Urban added that the property is zoned Rural Residential and is located on Cedar Hills Drive in Dunlap. There are 16 consents and 4 objections on file, with the objections being from the couples who live on either side of the Dourases. Ms. Urban stated that existing topography, fencing, and trees providing screening from the neighbors. The Dourases plan to allow people to stay for 3 days and 2 nights, with the intent of offering grief counseling services for one family at a time. There were no objections from the Health Department or the Highway Department. The use is consistent with the Peoria County Growth Strategy of generating economic opportunity and stability while managing growth. The proposed use is consistent with the Peoria County adopted Community Health Assessment Improvement Plan to improve mental health through prevention and access to services for residents in the tri-county region. Staff recommended approval with restrictions, which were placed on the Special Use in order to help mitigate concerns from the neighbors. The Zoning Board also recommended approval with a vote of 3-2, and placed an additional restriction on the Special Use. Ms. Urban then read all eight of the restrictions for the record.
Mr. Douras stated that he and his wife would like to host guests in their home who are dealing with grief of loss. Mr. Douras added that typically these people would be coming for counseling during the anniversary of a death or another significant date, and that all guests would need to be referred for the services. Mr. Douras added that he and his wife would only be able to commit to 6 nights a month, maximum, to provide these services. Ms. Douras stated that these would not be random people booking an overnight stay; they would have to be referred to the service.
Mr. Robinson asked who was against the request and why. Ms. Urban responded that a letter from the two adjacent land owning couples was received that outlined their objections. Ms. Urban stated that, in summary, their objections were as follows: that the property would be used as a hostel, that grieving people can be violent or unpredictable, and that there would be increased noise and traffic.
Ms. Urban stated that, in addition to the objection letter, staff had received various consent letters, including one from a local church and one from a local counseling center.
A vote was taken and the Special Use was approved with restrictions; (6-0). (Mr. Elsasser & Ms. Parker absent.)
018-17-V, Petition of James Kaysing: Mr. Rosenbohm made a motion to approve the telecommunications variance request and was seconded by Mr. Robinson.
Ms. Urban summarized the request. A Variance request from Section 20-184.108.40.206 of the Unified Development Ordinance, which requires that the height of a telecommunication facility shall not exceed 200 feet, if located in a non-residential zoning district. The petitioner proposes to construct a telecommunications tower at a height of 255 feet, resulting in a variance request of 55 feet. The need for extended height is for increased cellular and broadband coverage in an area with a gap in coverage. The Trivoli Township Planning Commission did recommend approval; however, they did discuss the fact that there was a private airport in the area and they also noted a concern about the night time lighting. Staff does not make recommendations on variance requests. The Zoning Board did recommend approval with a vote of 4-1, with the added restriction that lighting on the tower must be white during the day and red at night. The petitioner agreed to this restriction. There were 0 consents and 45 objections on file. The main objections were due to the location of the certified, private airport in the vicinity. The owner of the airport did present these objections at the Zoning Board hearing and noted that his main objection was that the tower would be located directly within his flight pattern.
Mr. Braun then presented some of the slides associated with the petitioner's request. Ms. Williams asked for Mr. Braun to show where the landing strip was in location to the tower, and Mr. Braun showed this on the map. Mr. Braun then showed a video of the property, which is currently vacant. Mr. Braun then showed some slides presented by the objector during the Zoning Board hearing, including a map of the flight pattern in relationship to the proposed tower. Ms. Williams asked if the airport had to follow FAA regulations and Ms. Urban responded that the objector did testify that because it is a certified, private airport, it has different regulations to follow compared to the Peoria County airport. Ms. Urban stated that both the FAA and the IDOT Division of Aeronautics stated they had no jurisdiction to pass judgment on the objection.
Mr. Harding stated that the owner of the airport in the area, Theo Brown, is a pilot who used to serve in the Air Force and currently pilots planes for American Airlines. Mr. Harding stated that the airport has existed in this area for approximately 49 years. Mr. Harding pointed out that the map of the flight pattern showed that the proposed tower would be located directly within the flight path. Mr. Harding added that small aircraft with emergencies can use this airport as an emergency landing area. Mr. Harding stated that his major concern was that a plane could hit the tower and crash into a surrounding home. Mr. Harding stated that, originally, the tower was proposed for a location just north of Route 116, which was still within the airports authority, but was not directly within the flight path. Mr. Harding added that Mr. Brown and the petitioner were not able to come to terms on the agreement for that location.
Mr. Harding stated that among other objectors was Ted Lambasio, who was the former director of the airport in Canton. Additionally, Harry Fulton, a member of the Trivoli Township Planning Commission had stated during the zoning board hearing that although he approved the request at the township meeting, he would not have done so given the current information. Mr. Harding stated that there were a few parcels south of Trivoli which already have towers located on them, and that this tower would be better suited in one of these locations. Mr. Harding stated that a tower was proposed for a similar location in 2000 and that Gordon Brown, Mr. Brown's father, objected to that request. Ms. Urban stated that the case in 2000 was withdrawn. Mr. Harding stated that although IDOT had no comment on record, Mr. Brown had stated that Ms. Schumm had objected to the request off the record.
Mr. Harding stated that his home was approximately one quarter of a mile west of the proposed tower, and that his concerns for safety of the people in the area were great. Mr. Harding submitted that there was a better, safer place for the tower and that the petitioner should work to find it. Mr. Harding stated that he could not deny the need for a cell tower in the location, but would not support it in this location.
Mr. Kaysing, petitioner for the case, stated that a left hand flight pattern is true; however, whether the approach was directly over the tower was questionable. Mr. Kaysing stated that planes would not have to enter the flight pattern in the exact location of the tower. Mr. Kaysing stated that Ms. Schumm, from the IDOT Division of Aeronautics, had no objection to the proposed location in relationship to the airstrip. Mr. Kaysing then read the email correspondence from Ms. Schumm to the Department of Planning and Zoning that stated this. Mr. Kaysing stated that he was willing to follow all guidelines imposed by the FAA, and that if there were a problem from their standpoint, he would be happy to address it. Mr. Kaysing urged the board to let the FAA do their job and make that determination. Mr. Dillon asked Ms. Urban if the FAA had final say in the project, and Ms. Urban stated that the FAA would have to give final approval. Mr. Dillon stated that even if the case was approved, the FAA could determine the location as unsafe and the tower would not be built. Ms. Urban concurred that this was correct.
Mr. Dillon asked if the tower had wires coming off of it, and Ms. Urban responded that it did. Mr. Dillon asked how large the base of the tower would be, including the wires. Mr. Braun pulled up the tower's site plan. Mr. Kaysing pointed the wires out on the site plan. Mr. Kaysing stated that the wires typically begin 2/3 of the way up the height of the tower. Mr. Kaysing added that planes would never be under 300 feet when entering a downwind leg until they entered their final approach. Mr. Harding stated that if a plane was having problems, they may be lower than 300 feet.
Mr. Dillon asked if the committee could place a restriction on the request that the tower could only be constructed with FAA approval. Ms. Urban stated that she did not believe that was necessary seeing as the FAA would have to give their approval in order for the tower to be constructed, regardless of whether or not there was a restriction. Ms. Urban added that the petitioner testified to this fact, and that this was also included within the Zoning Board's findings. Mr. Harding stated that he still felt that the location was a safety risk.
Mr. Harding asked Ms. Urban to read the finding regarding tree removal, and Ms. Urban did so. Mr. Harding stated that in the video shown, there were logs laying on the property of trees that were removed recently. Mr. Evans stated the statement that these trees were recently cut down would be additional evidence seeing as this was not discussed at the Zoning Board hearing.
Mr. Rosenbohm stated that he has seen two planes crashes in the area near 116, and that although he was unsure of the exact location of the flight pattern, he wanted to err on the side of caution. Mr. Harding asked if the county would assume liability in the case that an airplane struck the tower, and Mr. Evans stated that, at this time, his opinion would be that the county would not assume any liability. Mr. Dillon asked for comment from David Tuttle, and Mr. Tuttle stated that his only concern was the lighting of the tower.
Mr. Dillon wanted to clarify that the FAA would have the final approval on the tower, and Ms. Urban stated that the petitioner had testified to that effect.
A vote was taken and the telecommunications variance was approved with restrictions; (4-2). (Mr. Harding & Mr. Rosenbohm voted no.) (Mr. Elsasser & Ms. Parker absent.)
020-17-Z, Petition of Marci Shoff, Esq. (Steven G. Rump, owner): Ms. Williams made motion to approve the rezoning request and was seconded by Mr. Rosenbohm.
Ms. Urban summarized the request. A Rezoning request from "R-2" Medium Density Residential to "C-2" General Commercial. The petitioner proposes to rezone this parcel in order to combine it with an adjacent parcel to the south. The portion of the parcel to be rezoned is approximately.068 acres in size out of the total parcel size of 0.14 acres. This parcel is located off of Harmon Highway. The parcel has been vacant for many years and is used for parking for an adjacent business. The parcel was originally mapped incorrectly as part of the right of way of Harmon Highway; however, the Supervisor of Assessments discovered this incorrect mapping in 2011 and the property was returned to the remainderman. Since that time, the Rumps went through a court hearing for adverse possession, and received possession of a portion of this property. The Rumps intend to combine this portion of the property, once rezoned, with an adjacent commercially zoned property. Ms. Urban stated that staff had recommended approval, and that the Limestone Township Planning Commission had also recommended approval. The Zoning Board also recommended approval.
A vote was taken and the Rezoning was approved; (6-0). (Mr. Elsasser & Ms. Parker absent.)
Mr. O'Neill made a motion to approve the resolution and was seconded by Mr. Harding.
Mr. Sorrel stated that the Unified Development Ordinance required appointments for a Zoning Administrator, Plat Officer, and Erosion Control Officer as part of the position of director. Mr. Sorrel stated that he had chosen Ms. Urban as the new Director of the Department of Planning and Zoning. Mr. Sorrel stated that the last time these appointments were made was in 1997 when Matt Wahl took the position of Director. Mr. Sorrel added that Ms. Urban currently holds deputy positions for all of these roles currently.
Mr. Rosenbohm asked if there would be other people taking over these deputy positions, and Mr. Sorrel stated that Mr. Braun was a deputy plat officer, along with other staff in the department. Mr. Sorrel added that it was his plan to eliminate the position of Deputy Director from this point forward. Mr. Dillon explained that this was to help address budget concerns. Mr. Dillon also added that a position for an inspector was posted that day, which was a position that was budgeted for.
A vote was taken and the motion passed; (6-0) (Mr. Elsasser & Ms. Parker absent.)
Miscellaneous: Mr. Harding asked what the timeline was for acquiring another inspector, and Ms. Urban stated that the application would remain open until May 8th. Ms. Urban added that, assuming qualified applicants were received, the selection process would begin shortly after May 8th. Mr. Harding asked if two inspectors were enough, and Ms. Urban responded that it was what was budgeted for. Ms. Urban stated that they would be very busy during the building season. Mr. Harding stated that he did not believe that two inspectors was enough to provide the best customer service for the unincorporated areas. Mr. Dillon stated that changes would be coming soon that should helpfully make things work more efficiently. Ms. Urban stated that she had, along with Mr. Braun and Keith Miller, been working on plans to make permit submittal easier on certain small projects.
Adjournment: Mr. Dillon adjourned the meeting at 4:39 p.m.
Organizations in this Story
324 Main St
Peoria, IL - 61602