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Minutes of the DeKalb County Regional Plan Commission
November 14, 2013
7 p.m.



Note: These minutes are not official until approved by the DeKalb County Regional Planning Commission at a subsequent meeting. Please refer to the meeting minutes when these minutes are approved to obtain any changes to these minutes.


The DeKalb County Regional Planning Commission (RPC) met on November 14, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in the DeKalb County Administration Building, Conference Room East, in Sycamore, Illinois. In attendance were Commission members Don Pardridge, Rich Gentile, Les Bellah, John Fischer, Martha May, Derek Hiland, Cheryl Aldis, Dawn Grivetti, Linda Swenson and Becky Morphey. Also in attendance were Justyn Miller with the City of DeKalb, and staff members Paul Miller and Rebecca Von Drasek.

1. Roll Call -- Commission members Liz Peerboom, Tracy Jones, Brian Gregory, Bill Beverley, 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 -- Ms. Aldis moved to approve the minutes from the July 26, 2013 meeting, seconded by Ms. Morphey, and the motion carried unanimously.

4. Municipal Boundary Agreements

Mr. Miller briefed the Commission on Boundary Agreements, explaining that it is frequently the case that the planning jurisdiction of two or more municipalities will overlap. He noted that this can create conflict and competition between municipalities for the eventual future use of properties within the areas in dispute. Such conflict can in turn negatively impact the future growth of communities across a broad swath of issues, from financing, to planning, to schools, projected assessed value, and plans for future capital improvements to public infrastructure and services. In order to avoid the conflicts and uncertainties that attend overlapping planning jurisdiction, adjacent municipalities are wise to adopt boundary agreements. Boundary agreements establish a line beyond which each municipality agrees not to grow (annex). Mr. Miller explained that it fixes for the two communities the future limits of their growth, and thus allows each to confidently plan for that growth.


Mr. Miller went on to explain that state law allows municipalities to draft and enter into such agreements. Such boundaries can be created between any two adjacent municipalities following adoption of the agreement by both. The law requires posting of a public notice, not less than 30 days before adoption, regarding a proposed boundary agreement, both in the locations where meeting notices are always posted for each municipality and in a newspaper of general circulation in the area. The process for creating the boundary agreement is simple; representatives from each municipality sit down over a map that shows, at least, the existing municipal boundaries, and the roads and property lines in between. The line of demarcation is then negotiated. Once settled, the map becomes part of the draft agreement. The term of such agreements cannot exceed 20 years; if no term is included in the agreement, the term is automatically 20 years. Once adopted, the boundary agreement and map must be recorded in the County Recorder's Office. The term of a boundary agreement can be extended at the end of the 20-year period by further agreement of the two municipalities. It may also be altered if such is the desire of the two communities.


Ms. May arrived at 7:08 p.m.


Mr. Gentile observed that Genoa took advantage of Boundary agreements with many of its neighbors during the boom growth of the late 1990's.


Mr. Miller encouraged member communities to consider their potential growth plans. He emphasized that when growth is happening it is more difficult to plan. He also emphasized that the agreements were valid for 20 years and that growth and development may return during that time.


Ms. Aldis mentioned that the villages of Cortland and Maple Park were close to approving a boundary agreement.


Mr. Miller noted that the boundary agreements establish a planning jurisdiction but they do not guarantee future annexation of any specific property.


Mr. Bellah concurred with the importance of boundary agreements and suggested the need to have open communication with neighboring communities.


Ms. Aldis observed the confusion caused by the boundaries of other taxing bodies like the Fire or School Districts. Ms. Swenson agreed with Ms. Aldis.

5. Intergovernmental Agreements

Mr. Miller explained that a cooperative way in which overlapping zoning/building jurisdictions can resolve such conflicts is through intergovernmental agreements. Illinois law allows "public agencies", defined as any unit of local government as set forth in the Illinois Constitution of 1970 (this includes municipalities, counties, school districts, public community college districts, agencies of State government, etc.), to share or exchange powers, privileges and authorities (see the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act). This means that, where a piece of property falls under two (or more) planning jurisdictions, it can be agreed between the jurisdictions that one will govern the development as though the property were wholly and solely within that jurisdiction's boundaries.

Ms. Morphey shared that the Village of Somonauk had entered into agreements with LaSalle County and Somonauk Township to provide services and appropriate oversight on projects near the Village.


Ms. Aldis noted that Cortland had an agreement to share personnel and equipment with Cortland Township.


Mr. Bellah reported that Kirkland had agreements regarding public works projects, administrative adjudication, and fire department services.


Mr. Hiland highlighted the City of DeKalb's agreements on tailgating with Northern Illinois University and agreements with the Library District.


Ms. Grivetti observed that some the intergovernmental agreements between the Village of Hinckley and other jurisdictions appear to be informal. Mr. Miller encouraged communities to formalize important arrangements to limit complications caused by attrition.

6. Municipal Development Projects / Issues

Ms. Grivetti reported improvements to the Hinckley wastewater treatment plant were underway.


Ms. Morphey reported that Somonauk was waiting for the Subway to open and that Resource Bank was purposing to construct a new building.


Mr. Pardridge highlighted the recently completed Resource Bank and a relocated one-room school house which has been converted to a museum.


Ms. May reported the Village of Lee was continuing efforts to secure a grant to replace the water tower.

Mr. Bellah mentioned the success of the video gaming at one of the bars in Kirkland. The Commission briefly discussed the video gaming and the limitations and opportunities associated with the machines.


Mr. Bellah also explained the Village recently acquired a property in town which will be retrofitted to accommodate new businesses.


Mr. Gentile reported receiving a $10,000 Open Lands Grant to create a walking path along the river. He also observed a recently opened landscaping business which took the place of an old junk yard.


Ms. Aldis explained that Cortland had received an EPA loan to repair a lift station. She also reported an increased interest in a development of previously annexed property.


Ms. Swenson informed the Commission that the new Caseys was almost complete and that a new candle making business had opened in Waterman. She also reported that the Business associations from Waterman and Shabbona had merged.


Mr. Hiland reported the opening of a Jersey Mikes and Dunkin Donuts near the NIU campus. He also observed the approval by the City Council of the Irongate Development plan. He noted that other projects appear to be progressing for the City of DeKalb.


Mr. Justyn Miller introduced himself to the Commission and explained his participation with the Metro-West COG and their efforts to pass legislation enabling municipalities between 5,000 and 25,000 with some home rule authorities. He offered his contact information to any interested members.


7. Next Meeting Date -- The Commission agreed that the next RPC meeting would be held January 23, 2014 at 7 pm in the Conference Room East of the DeKalb County Administration Building.


8. Adjournment -- Ms. Aldis moved to adjourn, seconded by Ms. Grivetti, and the motion carried unanimously.


Respectfully submitted,


Derek Hiland
Chairman, DeKalb County Regional Planning Commission