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Minutes of the DeKalb County Regional Plan Commission
March 28, 2013
7 p.m.






The DeKalb County Regional Planning Commission (RPC) met on March 28, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in the DeKalb County Administration Building, Conference Room East, in Sycamore, Illinois. In attendance were Commission members Rich Gentile, Brian Gregory, Derek Hiland, Cheryl Aldis, Tracy Jones, Liz Peerboom, Les Bellah, John Fischer, Don Pardridge, Dawn Grivetti, and Linda Swenson. Also in attendance were Dan Nolan and staff members Paul Miller and Rebecca Von Drasek.


1. Roll Call -- Commission members Bill Beverley, Martha May, Becky Morphey, and Anita Sorensen were absent.


2. Approval of Agenda -- Ms. Aldis moved to approve the agenda, seconded by Mr. Gentile, and the motion carried unanimously.


3. Approval of Minutes -- Mr. Pardridge moved to approve the minutes from October 25, 2012 and January 24, 2013, seconded by Mr. Pardridge, and the motion carried unanimously.

4. 2013 Agenda Items

Mr. Miller explained that the Regional Planning Commission has, since its inception, served as an important forum for communication, coordination and cooperation between the units of local government on issues that cross jurisdictional boundaries. Each year, several such issues are discussed and related information is shared. Issues previously highlighted have included: stormwater management; groundwater information; freedom of information laws; GIS data; the Countywide fiber optics project; urban agriculture; small wind energy regulation; sidewalk programs, pedestrian infrastructure; and property maintenance codes.


The Commission has also sponsored workshops and seminars on subjects of interest to entities that have land use regulation authority.


Mr. Miller asked the Commissioners what issues were currently taking place within member communities, with an eye toward sharing lessons learned from experiences and seeking input and ideas from each other. He asked what problems are currently being faced, what new projects have taken place, what new information has come to light that may be of interest or use to others.


Mr. Miller emphasized that the RPC represents a unique opportunity to share information on topics that cross governmental jurisdictions, and for members to avail themselves of the experience and expertise of others in the group.

Mr. Hiland opened the discussion up to the Commission. He observed in DeKalb there has been a discussion on the use of the population coefficient's for determining a development's fiscal impact on the community. Mr. Hiland observed that the given standard is approximately twenty-years-old and may not truly reflect the actual impact of a development.


Mr. Gregory reported that Sycamore has used transfer tax data to create a model of a development's impact.


Mr. Hiland referenced a housing study completed by the NIU Center for Government Studies as a new source of data.


Ms. Swenson observed that the intended market for a development and information such as price point would aid staff in determining the population demographics likely to live in the development.


Mr. Hiland also noted that he was requesting to update the City's Comprehensive Plan. He explained that when a developer approaches the City with a proposal that fits the Comprehensive Plan the community is hard pressed to deny the project. Mr. Hiland emphasized the importance of keeping the Comprehensive Plan current so that it reflects the values and preferences of the community.


The Committee agreed that reviewing each community's Comprehensive Plan might be a good exercise for a future meeting.


Mr. Pardridge observed that many of the communities have similar issues with development proposals.


The Commission briefly discussed as a future agenda item the topic of emergency preparedness and the need for mutual aid agreements for Public Works services. Mr. Gentile suggested cross training for key staff members. Another suggestion was file sharing so that communities' information is backed up off site in case of a disaster.


Mr. Gregory mentioned the topics such as the expiration of Annexation Agreements and of impact fee waivers might be good for the Commission to discuss.


Mr. Gentile suggested incentivizing development by designing a phased approach for the build out and the impact fees. He also suggested a discussion on how communities should move forward with unfinished development plans.


Mr. Miller thanked the Commissioners and noted that the range of suggestions would be useful for future meetings.


5. Newly Elected Official Orientation

Mr. Miller introduced the topic, noting that every two to four years the County and municipalities go through elections for local offices. The victors in these races are often new to the legislative process, and need good information about the history, procedures, laws, and policies from the local, State and Federal levels that will direct their decision-making. Although there are some mandatory training programs (for instance, the State-required Open Meetings Act training), most of what elected officials need to know is provided either by others on the board, council or commission which they have joined, or by key staff to those bodies. Each legislative or decision-making body is largely responsible for its own training. Because the practices for orienting newly elected officials varies from municipality to municipality, Mr. Miller suggested it may be of interest and use to the Commissioners to discuss and review these practices. He explained that for the County Board officials an Orientation meeting was held and processes and procedures were highlighted for members.


Mr. Gentile indicated that with newly elected officials he will often take them on a tour of the public works facilities.

Mr. Bellah noted that there was nothing formal in Kirkland.


Ms. Aldis explained that this year staff had created a notebook to handout to newly elected officials which included contact information for key staff, information on ethics, open meeting acts, freedom of information requests and more.

Mr. Gregory suggested that all elected officials have a point person on staff.


6. Municipal Development Projects / Issues

Mr. Hiland noted that this topic was covered in the discussion about 2013 Agenda items.


7. Next Meeting Date -- The Commission agreed that the next RPC meeting would be on May 30, 2013 at 7:00 pm in the Conference Room East.


8. Adjournment -- Mr. Pardridge moved to adjourn, seconded by Mr. Gregory, and the motion carried unanimously.


Respectfully submitted,

Derek Hiland
Chairman, DeKalb County Regional Planning Commission