Lincolnwood Village Board of Trustees meeting on Aug. 16




by CYRYL JAKUBOWSKI

The Lincolnwood Village Board of Trustees at its meeting Aug. 16 approved an ordinance lifting a longtime zoning code prohibition to allow fast-food restaurants with drive-through facilities in the B-3 business zoning district.

The zoning code amendments allow the restaurants to operate with a special use and eliminate the requirement that drive-throughs must face the street.

The code did not allow the combination of a fast-food restaurant with a drive-through in the B-3 district, but allows restaurants and other drive-through facilities. The B-3 district, which runs along Lincoln Avenue and Touhy Avenue, was the only commercial zoning district in the village that did not allow fast-food restaurants with a drive-through as either a permitted right or a special use.

Village director of community development Steve McNellis said at the board’s July 19 meeting that the changes were prompted by a proposal to construct a Culver’s restaurant on a vacant property at 4433 W. Touhy Ave.

The proposal is for a 4,080-square-foot "Metro M" style Culver’s restaurant that would be constructed on 23,897 square feet of leased property with an indoor seating capacity of approximately 89. The restaurant also would have a 400-square-foot outdoor patio area with a seating capacity of 16, 40 parking stalls and a drive-through.

"The automobile has been key in the development of Lincolnwood," Economic Development Commission member Patrick Kaniff said at the August meeting. "We need to embrace the automobile culture."

However, Trustee Lawrence Elster said that he is concerned about fast-food restaurants with drive-throughs in the area. Elster said that the prohibition was put into the code because they were considered "inappropriate" for the village.

"We are opening Pandora’s box with this," Elster said. "My guess is that there will be some type of a special use application before the Purple Hotel property gets redeveloped. It’s the tail wagging the dog and it will cause major traffic issues. I think it is premature to put this into an ordinance."

Trustee Jesal Patel said that there is possibility for growth along that corridor and that the village could benefit from new restaurants. "A restaurant is allowed to open there by right and we can’t wait to think about developing one site while waiting for another (to be developed)," he said. Patel said that other municipalities have done great business with fast-food restaurants on Touhy.

Patel, Jennifer Spino and Craig Klatzko, voted for the measure, with Mayor Gerald Turry providing the deciding vote. Barry Bass and Elster voted against it, and Trustee Ronald Cope was absent from the meeting.

Also at the meeting, the board tabled to the Sept. 20 meeting a recommendation by the Plan Commission for a zoning code amendment that would allow solid fences along the rear lot lines of homes adjacent to the Commonwealth Edison and former Union Pacific bicycle and pedestrian paths. Trees and shrubs have been removed as part of the projects, and several residents have complained about a loss of privacy.

The village code does not allow solid fences along the rear lot lines of residential properties, and the maximum fence height permitted in the village is 6 feet. The Plan Commission voted 5-2 in favor of allowing solid fences at a maximum height of 10 feet with all permitted fence types in the village for rear and side residential lot lines adjacent to the bicycle and pedestrian paths.
The trustees tabled the request to allow them to visit the area.

The board also approved a resolution accepting the Park and Recreation Board’s recommendation for the second phase of work on a bicycle and pedestrian overpass at Touhy Avenue on the Commonwealth Edison right of way. The overpass will cross Touhy west of Lincoln Avenue and will connect the Sauganash Trail to the Skokie Valley Trail.

Stanley Consultants presented options for the second phase of work to the park board on July 12, and the board recommended that the size of the letters on the overpass be 24 inches to provide better visibility, that the village identifier would be a tree emblem, that the bricks be tan in color with a pattern and a textured wall, that lighting would be white or multicolored during different seasons and that there should be a significant amount of landscaping.

The cost of the second phase of engineering is $231,000 through a Congestion Mitigation Air Quality grant and a village match of $58,000. The cost of construction is $3,179,000 from the grant and $795,000 from the village.

The trustees also approved a $107,816 contract with Utility Dynamics Corporation for a project to install a fiber optic computer network between the water standpipe and the water pumping facility. The project will resolve connection issues between village buildings and reduce application downtime, according to the village. Fiber optic cable connects the village’s computer network except at the standpipe and the pumping facility, where wireless technology is used.

The board also approved an extension of an agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation that will provide grant money for creating on-street bicycle lanes and pedestrian crosswalk buttons. The grant will provide $171,360 for thermoplastic striping and signs for bike lanes on Pratt Avenue and East Prairie Road next year.

The project will include the replacement of sewer drainage grates designed to be bicycle-friendly, and pedestrian-activated push buttons and countdown signals will be installed at existing traffic signals. The village will provide an estimated $34,272 in matching funds for the project.

The village board also approved a temporary easement agreement with the owner of the Sacred Learning Center, 3900 W. Devon Ave., for the construction of a Muslim mosque and a teaching center on the former Myron and Phil Restaurant site.

Sacred Learning Center plans to construct a two-story building and a parking lot. The site will be used for five daily prayers, classrooms, after-school programs, evening and weekend lectures and office space.

The variations allow the 31-space parking lot to be located in the front of the building, perimeter landscaping less than 8 feet wide and a sign setback less than the required minimum of 10 feet.

The trustees also approved an ordinance waiving competitive bidding to purchase eight replacement in-car video cameras for the Police Department from L3 Mobile Vision for $30,806.49.

The board also approved a recommendation by the Traffic Commission to designate as "No Parking Anytime" both sides of the 7000 block of Ridgeway Avenue from the north curb of Lunt Avenue to 65 feet north and the west side of Ridgeway from 216 feet to 248 feet north of Lunt.

The village received requests from Advanced Plastics Corporation, 3725 W. Lunt Ave., and Chicago Chesed Fund, 7045 N. Ridgeway Ave., to restrict parking to allow semi-tractor truck traffic access to their docks.

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