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City of Rockford Code & Regulation Committee met August 12

By Angelica Saylo Pilo | Sep 13, 2019

Meetingroom01

City of Rockford Code & Regulation Committee met Aug. 12.

Here is the minutes provided by the committee:

I. CALL TO ORDER

Attendee Name

 Organization

Title

Status

Ann Thompson-Kelly

City of Rockford

Alderman

Present

Franklin C. Beach

City of Rockford

Alderman

Present

Joseph Chiarelli

City of Rockford

Alderman

Present

Karen Hoffman

City of Rockford

Alderman

Present

Tuffy Quinonez

 City of Rockford

Alderman

Present

II. COMMITTEE REPORTS

1. 2019-194-CR - Committee recommends approval of the Right-of-Way Vacation for 717 John Street and 706 Salem Street. The Legal Director shall prepare the appropriate ordinance.

Request to vacate a narrow grassy strip of land that is platted as right-of-way between 717 John Street and 706 Salem Street. A total of.15 acres or 6,352 square feet. It runs between parcels owned by two separate homeowners to the west and six separate homeowners to the east. All of the homeowners have agreed to the vacation request.

The recommended current market value of the strip of land is $400.00.

Michael Hakanson, Land Transaction Officer explained that the subject property is a narrow grassy strip of land that is platted as right-of-way between 717 John Street and 706 Salem Street. Staff recommends that the alley be vacated.

Ald. Thompson-Kelly commented that the alley has been there since 1947. There are eight (8) residents that are involved and were under the impression that the matter had previously been voted on by City Council years ago. Therefore, they expanded their property, driveways, added fences etc.

Ald. Thompson-Kelly made a motion AMENDING the Staff's recommendation of $1,652 for the final value estimate to $400 ($50 for each resident). The motion was SECONDED by Ald. Quinonez.

Ald. Hervey asked if the price included the recording fee(s) for the deed including the expansion of property. Ald. Thompson-Kelly responded that all of the residents involved are aware that they have to (re)record their deeds. The motion was CARRIED by a vote of 5-0.

RESULT: APPROVED BY COMMITTEE [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER: Karen Hoffman, Alderman

SECONDER: Franklin C. Beach, Alderman

AYES: Thompson-Kelly, Beach, Chiarelli, Hoffman, Quinonez

2. 2019-195-CR - Committee recommends approval for the authority to list the city- owned property located at 413 Ford Street for sale. The Legal Director shall prepare the appropriate ordinance.

Mr. Hakanson explained that this item was previously before the Committee. The request is to put the property up for sale through the bidding process. He further explained that Mary O'Sullivan-Snyder, owner of 417 Ford Street had requested to purchase the property. Research indicates that Ms. O'Sullivan-Snyder owns other properties and is a responsible landlord, and none of her other properties have liens on them. Staff recommends a minimum bid of $5,900.

Ald. Thompson-Kelly asked if Staff had checked for police calls at the properties owned by Ms. O'Sullivan-Snyder, if the landlord's Rental Registry was up to date, the conditions of her properties, and the general history of the landlord. Mr. Hakanson responded that he did not check for this information. Ald. Thompson- Kelly requested that this item layover until this information is received.

Ald. Hervey noted that pictures were provided of Ms. O'Sullivan's-Snyder other properties. She noted that the subject property is in her ward, and it's a quiet area. She asked Ald. Thompson-Kelly to consider withdrawing her motion so that the property can be listed for sale with the provision that all questions have been answered before a final vote is taken.

Ald. Thompson-Kelly WITHDREW her motion.

RESULT: APPROVED BY COMMITTEE [UNANIMOUS]

SECONDER: Ann Thompson-Kelly, Franklin C. Beach

AYES: Thompson-Kelly, Beach, Chiarelli, Hoffman, Quinonez

3. 2019-196-CR - Committee recommends approval of the Honorary Street Name Change on South Madison Street from East State Street to Walnut Street to Maffioli Avenue in honor of Louie Maffioli, fourth generation of the first Italian family in Rockford, President and CEO of Wilson Electric Company, serving a total of forty-six (46) years in the electrical industry. The Legal Director shall prepare the appropriate ordinance.

Kelly Nokes, Engineer Operations Manager informed the Committee that Staff has reviewed the request, and the requested roadway meets the requirements of the City's Honorary Street Name Policy. The applicant has paid the application fee. If approved by Council, the Public Works Department will install the honorary street name signage for an initial period of three (3) years.

RESULT: APPROVED BY COMMITTEE [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER: Ann Thompson-Kelly, Alderman

SECONDER: Franklin C. Beach, Alderman

AYES: Thompson-Kelly, Beach, Chiarelli, Hoffman, Quinonez

4. 2019-197-CR - Committee recommends sustaining the Zoning Board of Appeals' approval for a:

a. Special Use Permit for outside storage area for landscape and building materials on a gravel surface; and

b. Variation to increase the maximum height allowed in the front yard from four (4) feet to six (6) feet for a sight obscuring fence along 10th Avenue and Parmele Street in an I-1, Light Industrial Zoning District at 1430 10th Avenue (Andrew Benson dba Benson Stone/Applicant).

Subject to conditions. The Legal Director shall prepare the appropriate ordinance. Scott Capovilla, Zoning and Land Use Administrator explained that this item was previously before the Committee. The applicant is Benson Stone Company. He stated that there is some concern about the gravel request. Mr. Capovilla informed the Committee that currently there are four (4) existing yards in the same neighborhood that have gravel and none of them have a site obscuring fence and the subject property would. In addition, he explained that the weight of the materials would be very stressful on regular concrete. Mr. Capovilla noted that gravel was approved at Southrock Industrial Park for the same reasons.

Ald. Quinonez asked if the trucks on the state highways that haul this equipment charge the operator. Mr. Capovilla responded that the believes so and it's probably a higher license fee. Ald. Quinionez then asked if City Council denied this request, would the applicant be charged if he used blacktop, and had to replace it. Mr. Capovilla explained that it would be an expensive repair.

Ald. Thompson-Kelly inquired about the other lots in the area that Mr. Capovilla mentioned. She wondered if they would fall under the guidelines of the new zoning ordinance that will take effect in 2021. Mr. Capovilla stated that two (2) of the four (4) lots that he mentioned will be grand fathered because of the number of years that they have been there. The other two (2) will not. In addition, he noted that the zoning ordinance addresses commercial and residential properties, not industrial properties. Staff will address industrial properties as a separate amendment in the future. He reiterated that the subject property is a storage area and not a parking area. Ald. Thompson-Kelly reiterated her concerns with approving this request. She asked why industrial gravel wasn't addressed at the same time that amendments were made for residential and commercial properties.

Ald. Hervey pointed out that she was the person that requested that residential and commercial had to be paved, and that there was never an intent to include industrial. She further noted that it is her belief that if businesses with gravel surfaces were required to have concrete or asphalt,, the cost would drive them away. In her opinion, we should have some standards for industrial properties.

Ald. Rose commented that he agreed with Ald. Hervey.

Mr. Capovilla indicated that there has been an ordinance in place since 1973 regarding gravel on residential surfaces. However, no one was adhering to the guidelines and maintaining their properties.

Ald. Chiarelli asked about EPA issues in industrial areas concerning gravel and ground water run-off. Mr. Capovilla responded that there could be some issues such as ground water contamination, or possibly gases that are making their way up through the surface. One example is MegaFab by the river. Ald. Chiarelli asked who regulates these kind of problems. Mr. Capovilla explained that the EPA regulates this and, if there are known contaminants in an area, it goes on a watch list and the City is notified.

Ald. Hervey noted that Benson Stone moved from East State Street to their current location. They now have a beautiful location at 1100 11th Street. She stated that it is her belief, that they purposely moved to a distress area and they have done a great job. She stated that moving forward, she would like to see provisions made for industries that we are trying to bring to Rockford.

Ald. Tuneberg commented that the Doing Business in Rockford Committee can address the issues surrounding commercial properties and gravel. Ald. Chiarelli stated that previous discussions had taken place concerning over regulation of businesses, especially in industrial parks.

Approval is subject to the following conditions:

1. Must meet all applicable Building and Fire Codes

2. Outdoor storage of landscape and building material is limited to the fenced in area shown on Exhibit D

3. Submittal of a revised site plan to include a landscape island with tree outside of the fenced in area

4. Proposed fence material must be cedar wood and a fence permit must be obtained

5. The stacking of building materials and pallets may not exceed the height of proposed fencing

RESULT: APPROVED BY COMMITTEE [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER: Franklin C. Beach, Alderman

SECONDER: Tuffy Quinonez, Alderman

AYES: Thompson-Kelly, Beach, Chiarelli, Hoffman, Quinonez

5. Committee recommends reversing the Zoning Board of Appeals' approval for a Variation to increase the maximum number of allowed walls signs above the ground floor of the structure from two (2) to three (3) in an I-1, Light Industrial Zoning District at 4949 Harrison Avenue (Bob Baker/Image Signs/Applicants).

Mr. Capovilla explained that the subject property is the former Sunstrand building. Previously, this item was laid over. Staff recommends approval. Currently, there are two (2) signs on the property.

Ald. Chiarelli noted that this property is in his ward, and he has had several calls and meetings with neighbors sharing their concerns about this request. He stated that some of the residents are upset because they felt like their concerns were not addressed at the ZBA meeting. He stated that he does not see a hardship, and will not support this request.

Ald. Hervey asked if there were multiple tenants in the building, and if so, will they be requesting wall signs as well. Mr. Capovilla responded that there are, and they do have the right to request signage.

Ald. Beach commented that in light of the fact that the alderman of the ward has several residents who are concerned about this request, it would be appropriate to deny the request.

Ald. Chiarelli noted that to date, no one from the company has contacted him but, if they want to, he is available.

RESULT: DENIED BY COMMITTEE [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER: Franklin C. Beach, Alderman

SECONDER: Ann Thompson-Kelly, Alderman

AYES: Thompson-Kelly, Beach, Chiarelli, Hoffman, Quinonez

6. Committee recommends approval of the proposed amendments to the ICC Code Sections. This request by the Construction and Development Division is to amend codes to comply with the Mechanical Review Board recommendations. The Legal Director shall prepare the appropriate ordinance.

Nelson Sjostrom, Director of Construction and Development Services explained that Staff will be reviewing all the Building Code Amendments for all the sections in the future. However, the Mechanical Review Board, which meets monthly, have proposed the amendments before the Committee tonight. He summarized the proposed changes.

Ald. Hervey asked if the age of some of the residential and business properties was taken into consideration when these amendments were made. Mr. Sjostrom responded that the amendments are only for new construction and/or significant reconstruction.

RESULT: APPROVED BY COMMITTEE [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER: Tuffy Quinonez, Alderman

SECONDER: Ann Thompson-Kelly, Alderman

AYES: Thompson-Kelly, Beach, Chiarelli, Hoffman, Quinonez

III. RESOLUTIONS

1. 2019-169-R - Screw City Beer Festival

Scheduled for September 9, 2019 from Noon to 5:30 p.m. The event will take place at 324 North Madison Street (parking lot of Riverview Ice House and Trolley Car 36).

Ms. Nokes gave an overview of all the events. Permission for use of the parking lot, permission for use of lower Jefferson Street, Promotional Liquor License with open carry of beverage throughout footprint; and permission for electrical have been requested. All costs will be paid by the event organizers

RESULT: APPROVED BY COMMITTEE [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER: Franklin C. Beach, Alderman

SECONDER: Tuffy Quinonez, Alderman

AYES: Thompson-Kelly, Beach, Chiarelli, Hoffman, Quinonez

2. 2019-170-R - Greek Fest 2019

Scheduled for September 7, 2019 from Noon to 11:30 p.m. and September 8, 2019 from Noon to 9:00 p.m. The event will take place at Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church located at 108 North 5th Street.

Ms. Nokes gave an overview of all the events. Permission for a not-for-profit liquor license, liquor consumption on public/private property, tent(s), banner(s), electrical, street closures and permission to utilize a private parking lot for a special event have been requested. All costs will be paid by the event organizers

RESULT: APPROVED BY COMMITTEE [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER: Franklin C. Beach, Alderman

SECONDER: Tuffy Quinonez, Alderman

AYES: Thompson-Kelly, Beach, Chiarelli, Hoffman, Quinonez

3. 2019-171-R - Tamale Fest IV

Scheduled for September 14, 2019 from Noon to 10:00 p.m. The event will take place at Don Carter Lanes, 4007 East State Street (in the parking lot).

Ms. Nokes gave an overview of all the events. Permission for a promotional liquor license, liquor consumption on public grounds within the event footprint, and permission for a banner permit(s) have been requested. All costs will be paid by the event organizers

4. Fall for Rockford

Scheduled for September 21st from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. The event will take place in downtown Rockford, specifically Main Street from State Street to Jefferson, including Mulberry from Main to Wyman and City Lots 1 and 3

Ms. Nokes gave an overview of all the events. Permission for street closures, use of City Festival Power; use of Municipal Lots 1 and 3, permission for Civic Engagement liquor license with open carry of alcohol throughout footprint, and a banner(s) have been requested. The organizers are requesting City support for police services. Last year the City paid $3,777.87 in costs for police services. This year they are requesting two (2) additional officers, and the event will run two (2) hours longer for an estimated cost of $5,200 in police services.

Ald. Hervey expressed concerns about the amount of money being spent for police services. She suggested that a certain amount of money be set aside each year for these kind of events, as well as parades rather than financially supporting some events and not others.

Ald. Beach asked if new guidelines could or would be formulated to resolve this problem. Ms. Nokes responded that Staff could look into creating some guidelines if those are Council's wishes.

Ald. Tuneberg expressed his support for creating guidelines.

Ald. Thompson-Kelly asked if the organizers of this event will be charging their vendors, will they generate any revenue, and what are they going to do with the money raised. She stated that she does not agree with the event being extended two (2) additional hours at the cost of the taxpayers. Ms. Nokes responded that vendors are charged a fee but she is not sure what that is. However, she can get that information. Also, the money that was raised last year helped to pay for the entertainment and traffic control.

Ald. Rose expressed his concerns with paying for police services for this event.

Ald. Chiarelli asked that this item lay over. Ald. Beach WITHDREW his motion. Ald. Thompson-Kelly also asked for a copy of the River District's budget.

With no further business before the Committee, the meeting was adjourned.

RESULT: LAID OVER Next: 8/26/2019 5:30 PM

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