November 10, 2016 City Council Meeting Minutes

November 10, 2016 City Council Meeting Minutes


The regular meeting of the Hickory Hills City Council was called to order by Mayor Mike Howley on Thursday,
November 10, 2016, at 7:39 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers.


Mayor Mike Howley led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Upon roll call, the following were present:

  • Mayor, M. Howley
    Aldermen, D. Ferrero
    B. Fonte
    M. McHugh
    T. McAvoy
    J. Stachnik
    J. Szeszycki
    B. Waight
    S. Zimmerman
  • City Clerk, D. Catizone
  • City Clerk, V. Cainkar
  • City Treasurer, D. Schramm
  • City Engineer, M. Spolar
  • Police Chief, A. Vodicka
  • Public Works Director, L. Boettcher
  • Building Commissioner, J. Moirano

There being a quorum present, the meeting was called to order.


Alderman Stachnik moved to open the meeting to the public. Alderman Ferrero second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McHugh, McAvoy, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.

No one spoke during this portion of the meeting.


Alderman McAvoy moved to close the meeting to the public. Alderman Waight second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McHugh, McAvoy, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.


Alderman McHugh moved to approve the minutes of the regularly scheduled meeting of October 27, 2016 as printed subject to deletions or corrections. Alderman Waight second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.



Mayor Howley presented the Finding of Fact for the Sabre Woods located at 8900 W. 95th Street, Hickory Hills. The Hickory Hills Plan Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals conducted a public hearing on October 17, 2016 on a petition by the Koziarz Group II (Mr. James Koziarz). Presently this property is zoned R-4 and C-3 Highway Commercial. Mayor Howley noted prior to the public hearing the Petitioner supplied all documents as required by Ordinance 70-2. The City published a legal notice and notified adjacent property owners. The petitioner is requesting a special use as a Planned Unit Development (PUD). The Council received copies of the site development plan which includes the following components for Sabre Woods: six single family market rate houses, proposed civic property, lots 8 & 9 – for 55 & older single family/multi-family rentals or condos, northeast corner assisted living/memory care facility, out lot #5 for offices and southeast corner of the property retail on 95th Street. After due deliberation, the ZBA moved to amend the C-3 zoning in the Planned Unit Development. Also, noted the ZBA moved to amend this motion to include a detail explanation of landscaping and detention ponds to be reviewed again by the City Council. The ZBA vote was unanimous to recommend approval to the City Council of the Finding of Fact. This is what is before the Council this evening. Alderman McHugh moved to open the discussion on the Finding of Fact. Alderman Ferrero second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.

The Petitioners were present and included Mr. Charles Cornelius, Chicagoland Reality Services; Mr. Jim Louthen, Retown; and Santo Rizzo, Development Team. At this time, Mr. Louthen shared their Preliminary Development Plan. Mr. Louthen expressed the importance of this project to the City of Hickory Hills.
He then reviewed the plan which includes a 5 story building for assisted living and a memory care center; a commercial retail corridor facing 95th Street; 6 or more single family lots and civic and open space including a water drainage basin. Mr. Louthen stated criteria of the development team were to set forward a project that is financially viable, marketable and that would contribute to the community. They are seeking a broad rezoning approval now and will move forward with more detail designs. Also, a design standard pamphlet was provided to the Plan Commission/Zoning Board today. He noted many of the questions that have come forward are addressed in these design standards.

Mayor Howley spoke and expressed the concern over the retention and detention areas and if the areas would include water features. Other concerns expressed were the distribution of single family homes vs. multi-family buildings, and preference of condos vs. apartments, as well as questions on the need for 5-story structures in residential areas. There was some discussion on the restrictions placed on the wetlands by the MWRD, FEMA and the Army Corp of Engineers.

Mayor Howley noted part of the City’s approval can address some concerns. These would include how many single family homes or apartments vs. condos. Mayor Howley stated it is the consensus of the Council and other City officials that the City does not want to be responsible for or maintain the 5.25 acres of the water drainage basins on this property that was offered to them. When asked who would maintain this area, Mr. Louthen noted an association would be responsible the same as any of the common areas.

Alderman McAvoy voiced his concern on the height of the building at 5 stories. Mr. Louthen stated the intent of the design followed the City’s current zoning ordinance.

Alderman Stachnik suggested that the City review the financials of this parcel of property. Mr. Louthen stated that they are not prepared to share those this evening and felt this would be a future discussion or further along in this process. Discussion ensued and Mayor Howley added if this is approved for rezoning, then a clause would be included in the agreement reverting the property to the current zoning if no agreement could be reached by both parties.

Lastly, a discussion on proposed lot sizes ensued. Mr. Louthen noted the plan illustrated was done according to the City’s zoning ordinance. He also stated they were just informed regarding water pressure and their engineers will review. The discussion ended with the Mayor asking if there were any other questions at this time. Attorney Cainkar clarified that the motion this evening would authorize the attorney to negotiate a special use agreement and ordinance with the developers. Alderman McAvoy moved to authorize the City attorney to reach an agreement on the special use and Planned Unit Development of the Sabre Woods located at 8900 W. 95th Street. Alderman Fonte second. Alderman Szeszycki inquired the status of the 6 acres of wetland. Attorney Cainkar assured the Council he knows the Council’s stand. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. Alderman Stachnik nay. So approved.

Plows Luncheon – Mayor Howley reported he attended the Plow’s Luncheon at which Hickory Hills resident, Mr. Hank Gaydos, was recognized.

Thanksgiving Dinner – Mayor Howley expressed his appreciation for the wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner that was held at the Community Center.


City Clerk Catizone is in receipt of a request from St. Patricia School to place signs throughout the City regarding their upcoming fundraiser. The signs will be placed at 95th Street and Roberts Road, 95th Street and 88th Avenue, 91st Street and Roberts Road, 91st Street and 88th Avenue, 87th Street and Roberts Road and 87th Street and 88th Avenue. No objections were noted.


Treasurer Schramm presented two Treasurer’s Reports dated September 30, 2016 and October 31, 2016 for approval. Alderman Stachnik moved to approve the Treasurer’s Reports dated September 30, 2016 and October 31, 2016. Alderman McHugh second. Alderman McHugh asked for clarification of an interfund transfer at the Community Center. Treasurer Schramm stated this was to refund the General Fund that was paid out. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.


No report submitted.


No report submitted.



Alderman Szeszycki moved to approve the bills payable for the first half of November 2016 in the amount of $483,006.77. Alderman McHugh second. Alderman Ferrero questioned expenditure to AT&T for $1,500.00. Treasurer Schramm stated this was a telephone bill from the Police Department. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McHugh, McAvoy, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.

Alderman McAvoy moved to approve the customary and ordinary bills for the second half of November 2016. Alderman Ferrero second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.



No report submitted.

Stachnik/Public Safety

Chief Vodicka reported through a cooperative effort with the Palos Hills Police Department, an arrest was made today of a 17 year old offender in the recent assault case in Palos Hills. The HHPD is continuing to work on an open case they believe this suspect is responsible for in our City.

Zimmerman/Public Works

Public Works Director Boettcher reported on budgeted funds to overlay the office area roof. A local firm, N.R.F from Palos Hills was recommended. A purchase order will be issued to them in the amount of $11,250.00 which is below the budgeted amount unless there is an expressed concern. No objections were noted.

Public Works had a discussion last week with Asst. Director O’Leary and he indicated that the FPD has accepted the reduced length of ditch cleaning needed from Christina south. Also, that excavated spoil could be left on site.

In addition, Public Works would not have to file for a FPD permit because MWRD already has an agreement. The FPD hopes to have the new MWRD agreement completed by mid-December.
Mr. Boettcher noted AC Paving has completed the contract for this year’s micro surfacing program. Rainfall frequency this year restricted the contractor’s progress for the various projects they had contracted. The City was fortunate to have the weather and temperatures in November for this work to be completed.

It was noted Insituform will commence sanitary lining this month in the oldest section of the City. This work should be completed in two weeks.

Mr. Boettcher announced he is sorry to report a valued long term employee of 32.5 years, Mr. Joe Bartlett, will retire from Public Works at the end of this month. Public Works will be looking for another worker with electrical experience.

Alderman Waight and Alderman McHugh questioned the micro surfacing on 94th Street from Roberts Road to the tollway. They noted the street was 1/2 inch micro surfaced to 77th Avenue. At 77th Avenue to the tollway it was micro surfaced 1/4 inch or one pass. Mr. Boettcher stated cul-du-sacs, dead ends or low volume streets get one pass; this is the policy. Discussion ensued on micro surfacing. Mayor Howley pointed out that discussions on micro surfacing are happening more often and there may need to be further discussion by the Council to continue this practice.


Alderman McHugh thanked all who helped out at the Community Thanksgiving Dinner. Jim Kruse raised over $400.00 for the postage fees for the troop’s care packages.

Waight/Laws & Ordinances

Alderman Waight is in receipt of one business certificate application for Midwest Distribution, LLC located at 9831 S. 78th Avenue, Unit E. This is a wholesaler selling cigarette accessories to businesses. No tobacco products would be sold. No objections were noted.

Fonte/Health & Environmental Control

No report submitted.

Ferrero/Community Affairs/Youth Advisory

Alderman Ferrero reported the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting will be held on November 22nd at 6:30 p.m.

The Annual Children’s Christmas Party at Krueger Park will be on December 10th and the Lights of Hickory Hills decorating judging on December 13th. She will need one alderman per ward for this judging.

Alderman Ferrero noted she has two students interested in the Youth Advisory Board and she had her first meeting this evening.

McAvoy/Chamber Business Development

Alderman McAvoy distributed election results to the Council.

Alderman McAvoy reported the Veteran’s Day ceremony went very well on Saturday, November 5th.

Alderman McAvoy noted the new owner for the laundromat on 87th Street and 88th Avenue opened his new business.

Alderman McAvoy thanked St. Patricia School and Ms. Glab’s second grade class. He gave them quite the experience on Election Day and gave them a tour of the polling place.

Alderman McAvoy moved to approve $100.00 to the Sertoma Adopt a Tree Program with funds from the Discretionary Fund. Alderman Waight second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.


Alderman Ferrero has received a complaint that a TV has been dropped on the vacant property on 87th Street and Roberts Road. This will be investigated.




Alderman Ferrero moved to adjourn the meeting until the next regularly scheduled or specially called meeting. Alderman Waight second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McHugh, McAvoy, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.

Meeting adjourned at 9:38 p.m.