Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Conflicts Flare At LITH Meet But Not Over Taxes
The Board's expected Thursday to approve a $5.49 million property tax levy to help pay for the coming year's $30.4 million Village budget to which the Board, after a hearing without an audience also gave initial approval.
Citizen interest perked up during regular meeting public comment when a group of a half dozen Impressions neighborhood residents complained about being ticketed for parking their cars across sidewalks. Homeowner Mike Greco charged residents didn't have much choice since driveways were so short and complained LITH PD was handing out tickets in the middle of the night when no one was walking around, anyway. "It's just getting out of hand," added neighbor Lativa Wright.
Director of Police and Public Safety Jim Wales replied there's a State law about parking across sidewalks that the Village can't adjust but suggested there might be a way to allow more on-street parking. Wales said Impressions wasn't the only neighborhood where police were cracking down on sidewalk parking. "We had a survey," added Trustee Paul Mulcahy. "It was overwhelmingly what people mentioned as a problem so we began to enforce it."
Turning to a request for the Village to relax some of its rules for a new convenience store and carwash on Algonquin Road, the Board voted to formally table the while matter Thursday after developers pushed too hard for oversized signs.
Planning and Zoning Commission Member Bill Dustin who happens to live in the area complained when the meeting began that the signs would be too bright for the neighborhood around Algonquin and Lakewood which he said was still, essentially, a residential area.
Hoffman Estates architect Chris Kalischefski told the Board the signs had to be bigger than normal because they'd be obscured by nearby trees, power poles and traffic signs. He said Glogovsky Oil Company of Libertyville would offset the near-doubling of sign size by using smaller ones elsewhere on the site.
However, the Board had already given an informal thumbs down to that in talks in July and most trustees weren't happy to see it come back again. "You've got your sign located in the least convenient, least visible spot you could put it," said Mulcahy. Trustee Denise Barreto called the unilateral bargain to swap one big sign for other downsized ones "disingenuous".
Kalischefski insisted the proposed Grove Mart complex needed big signage or people would drive past before they even noticed it. Trustee Steve Harlfigner observed they could easily turn in at the access that currently leads to the CVS store further west.
Trustee Russ Ruzanski wondered if the Board OK'ed an oversized sign now what the Village would be stuck with later when the obscuring trees were eventually removed by other developers. "We've got to think about the future, too," he said.
"You seem to have gotten a few people here a tad upset," Village President Ed Plaza said as he and trustees sent the project literally back to the drawing board.
LITH's planned levy is at page 10 and its Budget at page 200 here: http://www.lith.org/pdf/Agendas/COW/2012-12-11.pdf
In the pic: A developer wanted to up the square footage on a convenience store sign 80 percent over LITH's maximum allowable size. Trustees told him he hadn't made his case.