Petition to the Mayor and Village Council of Downers Grove, Illinois
We, the homeowners and residents of Clyde Estates who live in the neighborhood of the proposed Clyde Estates Reconstruction (ST-034/SW-053) project hereby petition the Downers Grove Village Council to vote to defund the construction of the new sidewalks on every street in Clyde Estates as currently proposed. We do not want sidewalks constructed on every street as they are unnecessary for public safety. We view them as a waste of hundreds of thousands of our taxpayer dollars. We do not want the requisite damage to existing trees and to existing tree root systems due to the construction. We know that these proposed sidewalks will decrease stormwater absorption in our neighborhood and this is critical as the great majority of Clyde Estates does not have storm sewers. We also believe that these proposed sidewalks will adversely affect the curb appeal of our homes, and thereby decrease our property values.
There are 65 households within Clyde Estates on the streets that are scheduled to have new sidewalks constructed. This petition is signed by 55 of the households, which is 85%.
Those who have not signed this petition are not necessarily in favor of these sidewalks, but some are. Some residents haven’t signed because they are away for the season, or due to illness, or due to being away on business, or because they are not scheduled to get a sidewalk on their side of the street.
We understand that the proposed budget for the street reconstruction is $1.5 million dollars; $500,000 for stormwater improvements, and $300,000 for sidewalks.
This petition is only concerned with the sidewalks. Our streets are in poor shape and we do have stormwater issues. We need these matters properly addressed as soon as possible.
Everyone who moved into Clyde Estates did so knowing that there are no sidewalks. We agree with what Wally Brown and Dr. Gordon Goodman pointed out last week, that this unique feature of this special neighborhood should be preserved, just as Denburn Woods should be.
This is a petition signed by young families with children, by senior citizens with and without grandchildren as frequent guests, and by single people as well. Some of us are second generation homeowners who have purchased a family home. We are here by choice.
My neighbors and I would very much like to meet with the mayor and with interested council members so that you may see with your own eyes why this poorly designed sidewalk plan is meeting such overwhelming opposition.
This is our neighborhood and in part, our tax money. We do not want to lose any greenway that provides area for stormwater absorption. we want to preserve our trees and tree root systems, and we want to maintain the unique character of our sidewalk free neighborhood.
I thank you for your time and on behalf of my friends and neighbors, I ask for your thoughtful consideration on this important matter.
Tree Impact of Clyde Estates as of February 18, 2015
Based on the current plans, 28 trees would be removed (see the above spreadsheet). Ten of the 28 trees are located along the east parkway of Webster Street and near the intersection of Webster Street with 59th Street .
12 trees would be removed due to sidewalk construction. Two of these trees are 4″ diameter or smaller and may be transplanted. Additional trees may be preserved during construction.
16 trees would be removed due the grading of ditches. Seven of these trees are 4″ diameter or smaller and may be transplanted. Additional trees may be preserved during construction.
The engineering plans show tree removal in terms of units measured as inches of tree diameter. For example, the removal of one 4-inch tree would be shown as “4” in the engineering plan quantities.
The Downers Grove Village Council is currently moving forward with a plan to construct a new Village Hall, Police Station, and Fire Station. Under the proposal supported by a majority of the Council, the existing buildings would be demolished with the Police Station and Fire Station #1 relocated to Ogden Avenue (near the intersection with Lacey Road) and the Village Hall reconstructed on its existing site. The project has an estimated cost of $46 million to $52 million and is slated to begin in 2015. For more information, visit http://www.downers.us/govt/village-managers-office/facilities-planning.
Village Facilities Meeting December 6, 2014 Minutes (click to view): Mayor Tully said there has been a great deal of discussion about placing this on the ballot as a referendum. The reasons the majority of Council [all except for David Olsen] are not in support of this is due to the complexity of the issue and the moving parts that make it difficult to write a referendum question, particularly as the project could change. Further, he asked why this is different from anything else the Council votes on. Council members were elected to make decisions on big issues. The majority of the Council decided that town hall meetings would be more appropriate as they would allow for input and exchange with residents.
In response, the Downers Grove for Responsible Government coalition submitted a petition with more than 3,000 signatures in support of a referendum asking residents if they supported spending $46 million or more on the proposed new Downers Grove village hall, police station and fire station. Voting on the question would occur at the April 7, 2015 election. The referendum question is “advisory.” This means that it is not binding on the Village of Downers Grove. However, the referendum will allow the voters of Downers Grove to clearly express their opinion on the proposed project to their Village elected officials and staff.
On December 16, 2014, the Village Council approved a Special Use for a multiple family residential development at 936 and 942 Maple. Construction of the development requires the demolition or relocation of the existing structures located on the properties. John Tillotson, owner of the property at 743 Maple Avenue, is interested in moving the existing structure at 942 Maple to the property at 743 Maple, and making improvements to the structure so that it could be occupied as a single family house and would qualify for historic landmark designation by the Village. The relocation would require cooperation and participation by the Village and the developer of the multiple family residential development. The structure relocation route has been revised since the original request presented on January 20, 2015. The revised route calls for the structure to travel on portions of the Maple Avenue parkway. The original route called for the structure to travel only on the Maple Avenue pavement. The parkway would be protected with steel plating that would allow the wheeled dollies carrying the structure to travel over the curbs on Maple Avenue and onto the sidewalks. The relocation of the structure will require tree removals and pruning as shown in the attached plan. The plan consists of:
Removal of 7 parkway trees (4 non-ash trees, 3 ash trees planned to be removed by the Village), temporary removal and replanting of 5 parkway trees, pruning of 1 parkway tree, pruning of 2 private trees, removal of 1 private tree located at 743 Maple. During the relocation, the structure will temporarily overhang onto the front yards of six properties. The wheeled dollies will remain on public property at all times. According to the project budget submitted by the petitioner, the relocation of the structure will cost approximately $134,000. Improvements to the structure once it is relocated will cost approximately $388,000 to $534,000. The total estimated project expenses are indicated in the attached project budget. A three-party agreement would be required to specify the terms and conditions under which the Village, Tillotson and developer would work together to facilitate and pay for the relocation.
Village Council will vote to approve or deny a Special Use permit to build a residential condo in a business district at 936-942 Maple. Special use must meet criteria to be approved: that it is necessary or desirable and will not be detrimental.
A petition seeking approval of a special use to permit a residential condominium development in the Downtown Business (DB) zoning district. The property is located on the north side of Maple Avenue, approximately 285 feet east of Main Street, commonly known as 936 and 942 Maple Avenue, Downers Grove, IL (PINs 09-08-306-031 and -032). David B. Sosin, Petitioner; First Merchants Bank, N.A., Owner. Source: http://www.downers.us/agendas/2014/2014/11/03/november-2-2014
Special Use Approval Criteria
No special use may be recommended for approval or approved unless the respective review or decision-making body determines that the proposed special use is consistent with and in substantial compliance with all village council policies and plans and that the applicant has presented evidence to support each of the following conclusions: 1. that the proposed use is expressly authorized as a special use in the district in which it is to be located; 2. that the proposed use at the proposed location is necessary or desirable to provide a service or a facility that is in the interest of public convenience and will contribute to the general welfare of the neighborhood or community; 3. that the proposed use will not, in the particular case, be detrimental to the health, safety, or general welfare of persons residing or working in the vicinity or be injurious to property values or improvements in the vicinity. Source: https://drive.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=http://www.downers.us/public/docs/code/Chapter28.pdf page 144 Sec. 12.050