Lincolnwood Village Board of Trustees meeting Feb. 21
by CYRYL JAKUBOWSKI
The Lincolnwood Village Board of Trustees at its meeting Feb. 21 tabled to the June 20 meeting an ordinance that would change the rules on parking commercial and recreational vehicles on residential streets and driveways after some residents opposed the changes.
More than 40 people attended the board meeting, and spoke against the proposed changes, which have been discussed since 2014.
Village code prohibits parking commercial vehicles that weigh more than 12,000 pounds or that bear commercial markings on streets between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. on weekdays and all day on Sundays. The code also prohibits parking Class 1 commercial vehicles or more than one Class 2 vehicle on a driveway.
The trustees agreed that taxicabs would be allowed as long as they do not have rooftop advertising other than to include the word “taxi,” that commercial vehicles would be allowed to have advertising up to 10 square feet on each side as long as the advertising does not wrap around the vehicle, that trailers could be parked on side or rear yards, and that vehicles with fitted covers would be allowed.
Other revised changes in the ordinance are including ride-sharing companies in the definition of “taxi,” limiting panel vans to one per residential driveway, prohibiting rooftop advertising on any vehicle, and limiting ladder racks to one per commercial vehicle.
Also, vehicles would be required to be parked on an impervious surface and vehicles that are for sale are prohibited from being parked on the street.
Trustee Jesal Patel said that if the board can’t come to a consensus on all the changes, they should approve the changes that they agree on and reconsider the other proposed changes in the future. Trustee Lawrence Elster said that it would be better to vote on the issue as a whole and not make the residents come back to a second meeting.
“We’ve been here so many times regarding this, and every time we punt it,” Elster said.
“We’re talking about aesthetics here,” a resident said. “This is not a condo board. I understand that there are legal precedents that make it possible for this to be done, but just because it’s legally possible doesn’t mean it’s desirable or should be done.”
The resident said that the board was trying to change the rules based on the complaints of a small number of residents.
Another man resident said that the village did not give residents enough notification of the proposed changes. “I got a notice on Thursday, and that wasn’t adequate time,” the man said.
Village manager Timothy Wiberg said that the village sent out notifications to the people whose contact information it had.
Other residents said that they own trucks and vans for work and that the decision would affect their livelihood.
Patel said that that he understands that a lot of people would be affected by the changes, and he suggested holding a workshop with residents to craft revisions to the proposal.
“There have been complaints that there is too much advertising vehicles on private properties and that this has affected their ability to sell their homes,” Patel said. “It’s a detriment to a neighbor’s home to have someone park their commercial vehicles next door.”
Patel said that he has heard of instances in which a van would be parked in a driveway for weeks. “This is the equivalent of a permanent structure,” he said.
The trustees agreed to hold a workshop with residents before the board’s June 20 meeting. Residents who want to sign up for the workshop or to be updated on the proposal can send an e-mail to police chief Robert LaMantia at email@example.com.
Also at the meeting, the board waived competitive bidding to hire a consultant to perform an eligibility study for the re-designation of the Lincoln-Touhy redevelopment. At the Feb. 7 meeting the trustees voted 4-2 in favor of the eligibility study but disagreed about having to pay for the study before there are any developers confirmed in the TIF district.
Kane, McKenna and Associates, which has been a consultant for the village on TIF districts, proposed doing the study for $35,000.
Staff has learned that a bill was introduced in the Illinois House of Representatives that would prohibit villages from designating a new TIF redevelopment project area within a TIF district that has been dissolved for 15 years.
“This is the best that we can do to move this village forward,” Patel said.
The Lincoln-Touhy Tax Increment Financing District was created in 2011 as a means of financing redevelopment on the northwest, southwest and southeast corners of Lincoln and Touhy avenues, and it was amended in 2014 to include the former Purple Hotel site.
TIF districts last for 23 years, and the Lincoln-Touhy district has 17 years remaining. The equalized assessed value of the district has declined by 45 percent since 2011, from $10,622,024 to $5,813,709.
The eligibility study is the first step in dissolving the existing TIF district and establishing a new one. Community development director Steve McNellis said that it would take about 6 months to create a new TIF district.
The village board also amended the village code regarding public way and water and sewer regulations.
New driveways will be required to be constructed a minimum of 1 foot per diameter inch away from an existing parkway tree up to a maximum of 10 feet, trenches must be backfilled with stone and not other materials, and sump pumps or downspouts constructed after May 1 must discharge to either the front yard or the rear yard and not toward any adjacent properties.
Also, developments that disturb an area grater than half an acre are required to obtain a permit from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, and a grading permit must be obtained for activities that alter the flow of existing drainage.
The board also waived competitive bidding and approved a $24,750 contract with the Halogen Supply Company for the design and purchase of two water chemistry controllers at the Proesel Park pool. The controllers monitor water quality, implement chemical feeding in proportion to demand and communicate with filters during daily cleaning cycles.
The trustees also approved an ordinance prohibiting parking from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. in the parking area on the east side of the 6400 block of North Kimball Avenue between Devon and the north alley.