Brickyard Bank to move from its current location


The Lincolnwood Village Board of Trustees at its meeting April 17 began the process of allowing Brickyard Bank to move from its current location at 6676 N. Lincoln Ave. to a property it owns at 6530 N. Lincoln Ave.

Village community development director Timothy Clarke said that before the bank could move, the zoning code must be amended because both properties are in the business/residential transitional overlay of a B-1 zoning district and the code no longer allows banks in the district. The bank is a nonconforming use at its present location.

The code would be modified to allow existing legal nonconforming banks to move within the district if a special use is approved by the board. New banks still would be prohibited in the B-1 district.

Clarke said that a map amendment is needed because the vacant property is shown on the zoning map to be split between the B-1 district and a light manufacturing district. Clarke said that village staff believes that that is a mapping error and that the entire property was intended to be zoned B-1.

Bank president Mimi Sallis said that she does not know whether the existing building on the property will be rehabbed or demolished. The bank’s request was referred to Plan Commission for a hearing on May 7.

Also at the meeting, the village board lifted a ban on parking on a section of Keystone Avenue following a request by Airoom, 6825 N. Lincoln Ave., that it be allowed to establish employee parking adjacent to its property. The board did not vote to allow parking on Keystone, it rescinded a restriction in a 1995 ordinance that approved a zoning variation which allowed Airoom to build an addition and also prohibited parking on the street or on the village right of way.

The trustees took no action on the proposal at the board’s March 18 meeting after hearing comments from residents who oppose the proposal.

Airoom owner Michael Klein is asking the village to create parking for his employees on Keystone adjacent to his property. The section of Keystone which curves southwest to meet Lincoln Avenue runs along the Airoom property. The street is residential north of that point.
The village Zoning Board of Appeals voted 3-1 to recommend removal of the restriction because the village would be able to use a process for creating parkway parking that was not established when the conditions were imposed. At that time the village did not have rules regulating landscaping requirements and the use of parkways for parking.

Village manager Timothy Wiberg said that since the March 18 meeting he had spoken with some residents who were opposed to the plan and that they are now open to a compromise.

Wiberg said that some residents had proposed that parking should be angled next to Airoom’s building with a landscaping separation from Lincoln Avenue and that traffic flow in the parking lot should be directed to the east.

Trustees Jesal Patel, Renee Sprogis-Marohn and Craig Klatzko voted in favor of lifting the prohibition, and Trustees Ronald Cope, Lawrence Elster and Nicholas Leftakes voted against the motion. Mayor Gerald Turry provided the tie-breaking vote in favor of lifting the ban.
Turry said that the action provides an opportunity a chance for Klein to make a proposal for how to create the parking.

Also at the meeting, the trustees discussed a series of business points for a possible intergovernmental agreement with Lincolnwood School District 74, Niles Township High School District 219 and the Lincolnwood Library regarding a proposed Devon-Lincoln Tax Increment Financing District and other TIF districts in the village.

The board approved a motion at its meeting April 1 directing staff to draw up an agreement on the proposed district with the taxing bodies affected by the district. The taxing bodies oppose the village’s plans for the new district.

When a TIF district is created, the assessed value of properties in the district is frozen for taxing purposes, and any increase in property tax revenue is placed in a fund which is used to subsidize development in the district. That incremental revenue is no longer available to the taxing bodies in the district for the lifetime of the district, which can be up to 23 years.

A study commissioned by the village estimated that the assessed valuation of properties in the district would increase from $33.7 million to $62 million to $63 million during the term of the district.

The district would cover Devon Avenue from McCormick Boulevard west to Proesel Avenue and Lincoln Avenue from Devon to Albion Avenue as well as the stretch of railroad tracks stretching north from Lincoln to Pratt Avenue.

Patel and Elster have met with officials of the taxing bodies to discuss their concerns. The officials suggested that if a Devon-Lincoln TIF district is created, tax revenues should be capped after $20 million is received by the district and that additional revenue should be distributed to the taxing bodies. The also suggested that the lifetime of the district should be reduced from 23 years to 15 years.

For the Northeast Industrial TIF District, the officials suggested that funds from grants reimbursing the purchase of the Union Pacific right of way and the construction of a new bike path should be declared surplus and distributed to the taxing bodies and that 50 percent of the revenue tax paid in 2014 should be distributed to the taxing bodies because the village has already budgeted for that for next year.

For the expansion of the Lincoln-Touhy TIF District, the officials suggested that a portion of the incremental increase be given to the taxing bodies if the development includes a residential component.

During the discussion, the trustees took straw votes on whether they would support the suggestions points. The village attorney will continue to draft a preliminary intergovernmental agreement.

The village board also approved an agreement between the village and the Illinois Department of Transportation to upgrade traffic signals on state highways in the village with LED modules that include countdown pedestrian signals and power supply batteries. The village will pay 10 percent of the cost of the improvements, or $12,002, for work that will be done on Touhy Avenue, McCormick Boulevard, Devon Avenue, Lincoln Avenue and Cicero Avenue.

The board also authorized the mayor to approve agreements for a dedicated left turn lane on Central Avenue at Pratt Avenue. The cost of the project is $740,000, with a federal grant of $592,000 or 80 percent, IDOT paying $98,667 or 13.3 percent, and the local share being $49,333, which will be split evenly between Chicago, Lincolnwood and Skokie.