June 10, 2019

BURLINGTON ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
Meeting/PUBLIC HEARING
Meeting Location – Village Hall, 175 Water Street
June 10, 2019 7:13 p.m.

 

Present: Village President Bob Walsh, Deputy Clerk Marilyn Diede, Zoning Enforcement Officer John Whitehouse and Village Attorney Peter Wilson.  
Open the Meeting:   Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Eugene Wojtal opened the meeting at 7:13 p.m. and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Roll Call:  Zoning Board of Appeals Members:   Tracy Hartje, Tom Carey, Eugene Wojtal, Brian Tillman and Jean Micklevitz were present.  Jeff Hartje arrived at 7:17 p.m.
Guests: Dale Lake, Claudia Lake, Candice Ornecki (MasTec) and Matt Fitzgibbon (MasTec).

 

Introductory Comment and Q &A by the Zoning Enforcement Officer:  Zoning Enforcement Officer (ZEO) John Whitehouse made some introductory comments.  He said all current Plan Commission Members were recently appointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals. He said the last Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) meeting was in 2010 for a Special Use on Village of Burlington property for the Verizon Cell Tower on the east side of town.  Over that time period all previous members terms have expired. Since the Plan Commission is a body who has conducted Public Hearings recently, they would be eligible to serve as Zoning Board of Appeals members.   They were all appointed in May with staggered terms.  ZEO Whitehouse said the function of the Zoning Board of Appeals is to hold Public Hearings on Special Uses or to hold hearings on appeals. He said if someone disagrees with John Whitehouse’s opinion as Zoning Enforcement Officer, they can file an appeal.  The appeal would come to the Zoning Board of Appeals.  Their decision is FINAL. No one can change their decision.

ZEO Whitehouse said this Public Hearing is on a Special Use for a Telecommunication Tower and Compound.  They will hold a Public Hearing and make a Findings of Fact and Recommendation to the Village Board.  The Village Board makes the final decision.

Zoning Board of Appeals Member Jeff Hartje arrived at 7:17 p.m.

Motion to Open the Public Hearing:  ZBA Member Tracy Hartje made a motion to go into the Public Hearing and ZBA Member Tom Carey seconded the motion.  Six ayes, motion carried. The Public Hearing opened at 7:17 p.m.

Roll Call:  Zoning Board of Appeals Members:  Tracy Hartje, Eugene Wojtal, Tom Carey, Jeff Hartje, Brian Tillman and Jean Micklevitz were present.

Chair/ZEO Reading of ZBA Public Hearing Procedures: ZEO John Whitehouse said Pursuant to Section 21.1908 of the Municipal Code of the Village of Burlington, a Public Hearing will be held by the Zoning Board of Appeals to consider the Application for Special Use Permit filed by MasTec Network Solutions on behalf of AT&T Mobility.  The Special Use is to allow the installation and maintenance of a cellular communications tower and related equipment on approximately 0.40 acres of the property located at 267 West Plank Road, Burlington, Illinois, further identified by PIN 04-09-228-018.  The property at issue is presently zoned C-F Community Facility District under Section 21.1104 of the Municipal Code and is owned by the Village.

He said the purpose of this Public Hearing is to obtain for the public record evidence to assist the ZBA in making a Findings of Fact and Recommendation to the Village Board as to whether the proposed Special Use should be allowed.  He said the ZBA may do one of the following.

  1.  It may continue the Public Hearing to a new date certain.
  2.  It may deliberate on the evidence, testimony and comments presented.
  3.  It may postpone such deliberations until a later meeting date.
  4.  It may make a Findings of Fact and Recommendation to the Village Board
  5.  It may take such other action as the ZBA deems appropriate.

There will be no vote taken on the proposed Special Use Application by the ZBA during this Public Hearing.  After the Public Hearing is closed, the ZBA can only make recommendations to the Village Board concerning their proposal.  Only the Village Board can take final action on the application. The ZBA will prepare and present to the Village Board a Findings of Fact and Recommendation as to whether the Special Use Permit should be granted, granted with recommended changes or denied.

ZEO John Whitehouse went over the Standing Rules of Procedure:  The Petitioner will present evidence and exhibits in support of its proposal.  The ZBA members will have an opportunity to question any of petitioner’s witnesses. Upon completion of the presentation Village Professional Staff may present any evidence by way of comment, testimony or exhibits in support or opposition to the proposal. ZBA members will have opportunity to question Village Professional Staff who testify. Then the Petitioner will have an opportunity to question Village Professional Staff who testified. Upon completion of the presentation of Village Professional Staff any interested parties may give testimony in support or opposition to the proposal.  ZBA Members will have opportunity to question interested parties who testify.  Then the Petitioner will have opportunity to question any interested parties who testified. Thereafter, the Petitioner may present any rebuttal evidence if so chooses. Upon completion of the presentation the petitioner will have opportunity to provide a summation to the ZBA.  Any interested person will also be given opportunity to provide a brief summation. 

ZEO Whitehouse went over the procedures for giving testimony.

ZBA Member Tom Carey made a motion to adopt the Standing Rules of Procedure for this Public Hearing.  ZBA Member Tracy Hartje seconded the motion.  Six ayes, motion carried.

Swearing in those wanting to give Testimony: ZBA Chairman Eugene Wojtal swore in those wanting to give testimony.

Village Attorney Peter Wilson said the information submitted by the applicant for this Special Use Permit has been reviewed by him for completeness against the list of adjoining properties provided by the ZEO and he submitted to the Deputy Clerk the Certificate of Publication published in the Chicago Tribune (Courier News), the returned receipts (green cards) from Certified mail and the mailing receipts for Certified mail for which the applicant has not received green cards.

Presentation by Petitioner:  Matt Fitzgibbon said he was a representative for MasTec Network Solutions and he also introduced Candy Ornecki from MasTec Network Solutions.  He said they both work out of MasTec in Itasca. They are representatives for AT&T and are requesting a Special Use for a Wireless Cellular Communications Tower at the West Plank Road site.  He went over an exhibit and showed where the site is located.  It is six acres of which 4/10 of an acre will be used for the cell tower. They are planning a 100 X 100-foot facility area.  The tower will be 250 feet in height.  It will be 257 feet tall including the lightning rod.  The tower will be about 350 to 400 feet from the nearest structure which is a house west of the site.

Mr. Fitzgibbon said there are multiple regulatory agencies involved in building this type of facility. He said the Village of Burlington maintains the zoning and permit regulatory authority.  He went over the approvals they are seeking which includes:

 1) The FCC; they have applied for an FCC license which is expected to be approved in August.

 2) The Federal Aviation Administration.

 3) MasTec has conducted a Phase 1 Engineering Report they have submitted to OSHA for safety of their workers constructing the facility.

4)  Kane County of Transportation (KDOT) the authority for accessing the site.  KDOT has reviewed their application; the final approval will come after this Public Hearing.

He said they respectfully request the approval of a Special Use for this Telecommunication Facility.

Mr. Fitzgibbon also stated these types of facilities are integral and necessary for modern local, state and federal infrastructure. He said this tower will have first net technology which came out of a report from the 9/11 crisis. Discussion followed.

He passed out a Before and After photos of the site with and without the tower from different perspectives which included a map. He went over it. He said this will allow more choices for service.

He said with construction of this facility they will remove the trees necessary within the access road and the compound. He said it is likely no other development will occur on this site.

ZBA Members Comments and Questions:  Financially the Village will be getting $1400 a month for the lease with a 2% increase each year for 85 years. There is also an option to sell the tower but it would stay AT&T as the carrier. Questions were asked about how First Net Technology would affect the Fire Department or if there was a back-up generator.  It was noted there is a natural spring back where they are proposing the access road. They were asked about the tower lights, about landscaping, how many carriers can be on the tower and rent involved. Discussion followed on each of the questions and comments. It was noted in reply the subject spring is not

Located on the subject site but is located on the property to the east.

Interested Parties Comments and Questions: A question was asked about health concerns with regard to radio frequency. The FCC is the regulator there. They have been issuing permits for cell towers all around the states for 30 years. There is a lot of information out there with regard to safety with these towers. The American Cancer Society provides a handout indicating no health risk to the general public for the radio frequencies admitted at a tower like this. He explained a little more about this. Discussion followed.

A question was asked about landscaping.  ZEO Whitehouse said there is an existing lease agreement between AT&T and the Village of Burlington on this site.  The construction of the cell tower is contingent on being granted a special use. At ground level driving by on Plank Road with a fully vegetated site a person will not see the chain link fence.  That is why there is no landscaping requirement for this property because the property is set back.

Discussion followed.

Village Professional Staff Presentation: ZEO John Whitehouse wanted to address a few issues. He went over KDOT’s requirements.

He said the original plan that was presented by MasTec for this site has changed. He clarified; the original plan submitted for review had the driveway 200 feet westerly from where it is proposed now. KDOT would not allow it.  KDOT said it was too close to the crest of the hill.  They did not like the safety issue of it.  KDOT said to move it to the northeast as far as you can. This driveway at the northeast corner is a driveway KDOT will permit.

ZEO Whitehouse also talked to a representative from the CN Railroad. They want to know how tall the tower is and how far it is from the railroad tracks. It was noted it is 350 feet from the railroad tracks.

He said this was a lattice tower and explained a little bit about what happens if it collapses. ZEO Whitehouse went over the Tree Survey. He said MasTec objected to the requirement of a tree survey to determine what damage would be made to the wooded property. It was determined they wouldn’t have to do it.  As the Village Engineer’s recommendation, the Village had it done anyway through Davey Tree Service.  The survey had a rating on all the trees.  ZEO Whitehouse went over the trees on the map that were recommended to be removed. He talked about the where the driveway will be and the access. He said six trees will be removed and the tower is set back 250 feet from the Plank Road right of way.

Comments and Questions from Interested Parties:  There were no comments or questions from interested parties.

Comments and Questions from ZBA Members:  Questions were asked if more trees can be saved. Who will pay for the tree removal?

Discussion followed.  It was noted there will be a culvert underneath the driveway.

Interested Parties Testimonies.  Mr. Lake commented since the there are no strobe lights there is no problem with them. Brief discussion followed.

Comments and Questions from ZBA members: There were no comments and questions from the ZBA members.

Comments and Questions from the Petitioner:  There were no comments and questions from the petitioner.

Comments and questions from Village Professional Staff:  There were no comments and questions from Village Professional Staff.

Closing Comments and Rebuttals by Petitioner:   Matt Fitzgibbon thanked the Village of Burlington and the ZBA for hearing their request with the Public Hearing.  He thanked everyone for their questions and comments. He respectfully requested the Village give them a positive recommendation and approve the Special Use for the Telecommunication Facility.

Interested Parties Summation:  There was no comment from the interested parties.

Motion to close the Public Hearing: ZBA member Tracy Hartje made a motion to adjourn the Pubic Hearing and ZBA member Jean Micklevitz seconded the motion.  Motion carried on voice vote.  The Public Hearing closed at 8:10 p.m.

Dale Lake and Claudia Lake left at 8:11 p.m.

The Zoning Board of Appeals meeting reconvened at 8:11 p.m.

Deliberations Regarding the Petitioner’s Request:  ZEO Whitehouse stated the ZBA has to make a Findings of Fact and Recommendation to the Village Board.  He would like to have a consensus of what their thoughts are in what to put in the draft Findings of Fact and Recommendation. 

He explained to them they are a recommending body which takes public testimony, they formulate a Findings of Fact and Recommendation to the Village Board as to what they think needs to be done.  He explained the function of the Municipal Government.

The ZBA discussed the diesel gas generator preferring natural gas, the 85-year lease, root protection with landscaping. Davey Tree consulting the staking of the area to be fenced and to determine which trees will be protected, the wood from the trees cut down staying in the Village. The Findings of Fact and Recommendation would be approval with recommendations which would be added to as an Exhibit A. ZEO Whitehouse went over the five recommendations and explained the process to Mr. Fitzgibbon and Ms. Ornecki in getting the Findings of Fact and Recommendation to the Village Board. After a brief discussion ZEO Whitehouse suggested a sixth recommendation which would be the orientation of the driveway and site fencing.

It was noted the next Zoning Board of Appeals meeting will be Monday, July 8, 2019.

It was noted MasTec will provided an outline of the construction schedule for the next ZBA meeting.

Adjourn the Meeting:  ZBA member Jeff Hartje made a motion to adjourn the meeting and ZBA member Jean Micklevitz seconded the motion.  Motion carried on voice vote.  The meeting adjourned at 8:39 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

Marilyn Diede
Deputy Clerk