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Minutes of the DeKalb County Regional Plan Commission
May 30, 2013
7 p.m.






The DeKalb County Regional Planning Commission (RPC) met on May 30, 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, John Fischer, Don Pardridge, Anita Sorensen, and Martha May. Also in attendance were staff members Paul Miller and Rebecca Von Drasek.


1. Roll Call - Commission members Les Bellah, Bill Beverley, Becky Morphey, Jim Roderrick and Linda Swenson were absent.


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


3. Approval of Minutes - Mr. Jones moved to approve the minutes from the March 28, 2013 meeting, seconded by Mr. Pardridge, and the motion carried unanimously.


4. Population Projections for Residential Development

Mr. Miller explained that one of the key issues associated with the development of new housing in any community is the impact the additional population will have on public infrastructure and services in the area. The challenge for planners and decision-makers responding to a residential development proposal is how to estimate the likely numbers of people of all ages that will occupy the dwellings. This information is needed to assess the adequacy of existing public water and sanitary service, roads, snow plowing, emergency services, health and social services, schools, parks, and libraries. Such information was used in the past to generate and justify developer exactions, that is, monetary contributions commonly in the form of impact fees. The area of particular emphasis in these evaluations has been the impacts on schools. Mr. Miller referenced his memo to the Commission regarding “Population Projections for Residential Development”, dated May 15, 2013, in which he highlights methods communities can use to formulate population projections. Mr. Miller concluded that one option may be that the municipality require the developer to reimburse the city for the cost of a qualified consultant (selected by the city) to do a population projection for a proposed development. He emphasized that this projection would be done first, and would be used to subsequently establish the amounts of all exactions, impact fees, and other developer contributions. Mr. Miller highlighted that this approach would give the municipality control of the analysis, and would help meet the needed “specifically and uniquely attributable” criteria of the State for developer exactions. Mr Miller described the housing study completed by the Center for Governmental Studies at NIU for the City of DeKalb to determine housing demand and supply.


The Commission briefly discussed the topic as applied to already approved developments and as to how municipalities would choose an expert to provide population projections.


Mr. Hiland noted that the City of DeKalb included within their Ordinance a method for the developer to object to the expert’s opinion.


Mr. Hiland highlighted the City of DeKalb’s housing study and reported that it was posted on the city’s web site. The Commission briefly discussed the results of the Center’s study.


5. Municipal Development Projects / Issues


Mr. Pardridge reported that the Shabbona Historical museum had received a grant for a building expansion.


Ms. Aldis stated that there was activity with the Robinson Farms project.  She indicated that this might be a sign of economic recovery.


Mr. Gregory noted that the City of Sycamore was seeing an increase in Building Permit applications.  He emphasized the City’s effort to stabilize the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV). Mr. Gregory reported recent negotiations with bank representatives regarding an unfinished subdivision and meeting with a developer about the restaurant property across from the hospital.


Mr. Gentile reported that the new Piggly Wiggly has opened in Genoa.


Ms. Sorensen announced that the Malta bar had opened and that the owners may be trying to sell the business.


Mr. Jones stated that the landfill court decision had been finalized and explained that the next step for the landfill expansion would require a construction permit through the Illinois Environment Protection Agency.  Mr. Jones also noted that the County Board recently voted to support the Evergreen Village mitigation project.


Ms. May noted her continued concern about urban sprawl within the County.  Mr. Hiland noted that her concern was a good lead in to the next topic of Comprehensive Planning. Mr. Miller responded to Ms. May that through the County’s future land use planning the County is projected to remain approximately 90% in agriculture.


The Commissioners discussed projected population in Sycamore and DeKalb and noted that the projections were higher than recent census data.


6. DeKalb and Sycamore Comprehensive Plans Review

Mr. Hiland explained that a Comprehensive Plan is intended to reflect a community’s desires.


Mr. Miller observed that this can include the desire to not grow as may be the case in Lee.


Mr. Gregory made a presentation of the Sycamore Comprehensive Plan. He noted that the Plan was updated in 2008, and explained that the Plan focused on future growth and reflected the discussion that the community had regarding city services, green space, how to pace the growth, and how not to lose Sycamore’s identity. Mr. Gregory noted that projected population if built out was about 9,000 people more than current census data. He suggested that the Plan encouraged developments which foster employment and housing for the next generation. He observed that the preference was for single family homes. He also noted the goals within the Plan which discussed logical in-fill developments, the desire to maintain the downtown, and encourage the natural environment.


Mr. Miller noted that the Plan was updated in 2008 and suggested that it was important to revisit these Plans to make sure they continue to reflect the desires of the community.


Mr. Hiland noted that the DeKalb Plan included similar features but he observed some specific differences between the Plans. Mr. Hiland emphasized that Comprehensive Plans are important, as developers will use them as a guide, so it is important that the reflect a community’s changing ideals. Mr. Hiland agreed to present the City of DeKalb Comprehensive Plan at the next meeting.


7. Next Meeting Date

Mr. Hiland invited the Commission to change the location of the next Regional Planning Commission meeting to the DeKalb Airport, 3232 Pleasant Street, DeKalb, IL 60115.


The Commission agreed that the next RPC meeting would be on July 25, 2013 at 7:00 pm at the DeKalb Airport.


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


Respectfully submitted,

Derek Hiland
Chairman, DeKalb County Regional Planning Commission