September 14, 2017 City Council Meeting Minutes

September 14, 2017 City Council Meeting Minutes


The regular meeting of the Hickory Hills City Council was called to order by Mayor Mike Howley on Thursday, September 14, 2017, at 7:30 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
    J. Stachnik
    J. Szeszycki
    B. Waight
    S. Zimmerman
  • City Clerk, D. Catizone
  • City Attorney, V. Cainkar
  • City Treasurer, D. Schramm
  • Police Chief, A. Vodicka
  • Chief Engineer, M. Spolar
  • Public Works Director, L. Boettcher
  • Building Commissioner, J. Moirano

Alderman McHugh was absent. 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, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.

At this time, Mayor Howley announced if anyone is present to speak regarding anything that is NOT on the agenda, they may do so now.

Mayor Howley explained the Dunkin’ Donuts Finding of Fact on the agenda this evening has been differed to the September 28th Council Meeting. The owner/petitioner has requested this extension to allow his architect to make changes that had been suggested recently. He noted no action on this matter will be taken this evening and everyone here may speak.

Before opening up to comments, Mayor Howley explained the property at 8700 W. 95th Street is zoned C-3 (Highway Commercial). If all zoning standards are met, a restaurant with a drive-thru is a permitted use in the C-3 zoning district. Under the City Zoning Ordinance, the City Council may not deny a building use that is a permitted use and meets all standards. The reason the owner has come to the Zoning Board was for a parking variance and a setback variance. It was his decision to keep the tenants that are there now and build a small Dunkin’ Donuts with a drive-thru. If the owner’s current petition is denied, the owner could decide to subsequently design a restaurant with a drive-thru to fit within the current building footprint. In theory, this could be done by not renewing one or more of the leases of current tenants and placing the restaurant in those business spaces. With proper design, the owner could do this in a way that would only require a building permit and the City could not require the owner to include any special design considerations on this process. For example, Mayor Howley explained that under this zoning petition, the City could require the owner to install sound buffers, fencing and added measures to move the speaker box to a different location. Mayor Howley explained that the property owner’s stated intention is to construct a Dunkin’ Donuts on this property subject to the current requested zoning relief or, if denied, as a permitted use legally allowed under the City’s Zoning Code. From the City’s perspective, we will do our best to look at the expressed concerns of the residents to make the situation as good as possible, but we hope that there is understanding that the City must follow applicable City ordinances and laws. Unfortunately, in this case, commercial zoning along 95th street is in conflict with the desires of residents in the adjacent residential area. Mayor Howley apologized for his lengthy introduction to this matter. Mayor Howley stated you are welcome to express your concerns at this meeting if you are unable to attend the September 28th meeting.
At this time, Mayor Howley invited residents to the microphone to state their name, address and concerns.

Mr. Naramin Mauref
9326 S. 87th Avenue

Mr. Mauref expressed his concern for his quality of life if Dunkin Donuts is built. He noted the other Dunkin’ Donuts on 95th Street is a parking nightmare. This is not good for this residential street. This project is not set in stone and he and his neighbors are discouraged and do not want this project. Mr. Mauref would not like this business on his street.

Mr. Ray Rampage
9025 W. 92nd Place

Mr. Rampage voiced his personal concern for his granddaughter and great grandchildren that live on 87th Avenue. His concern is the noise and any disturbances that may happen in the drive-thru and the general safety of his family if a Dunkin’ Donuts is built.

Ms. Cynthia Fiehler
9325 S. 87th Avenue

Ms. Fiehler stated she lives at the end of the cul-de-sac and the traffic would invade her privacy. She noted she walked to this meeting this evening and she noticed sewers need to be repaired. Several driveways have sunk. The City should focus on streets and sewers. She stated this business will add to the traffic on this street. She believes a sink hole will occur with all the new traffic.

Mr. Frank Sanders
9357 S. 87th Avenue

Mr. Sanders commented that he has lived in Hickory Hills for 28 years and only had one problem and that was some flooding of the street several years ago. He shares the comments of the previous speaker exactly as far as traffic is concerned.

Mr. Mike Voight
9417 S. 87th Avenue

Mr. Voight is a 34-year resident of Hickory Hills. His concern is flooding on 87th Avenue. It has flooded in the past. Mr. Voight mentioned the current business has problems with the parking lot and a sink hole. He has concerns regarding the garbage and snow removal. Mr. Voight inquired as to the employee parking agreement the City has made with the owners.

Mayor Howley explained this is not something the City pursued, and the City appreciates new businesses and economic development. This is the owner of the property at 8700 W. 95th Street and owner of the Dunkin’ Donuts down the street, and this is the plan brought to the City. Mayor Howley acknowledged the City is not advocating for the Dunkin’ Donuts is any way, however he is the new owner of this property. He also noted he will be present at the September 28th Council meeting to present his plans. Mayor Howley understands all of the residents’ concerns. Mayor Howley also noted when this was brought to the City and the Dunkin’ Donuts mentioned it would have 8 employees, as a way to alleviate the parking problem, he suggested employee parking at the City Hall. There was no formal agreement.

Mr. Voight also voiced his concern with the noise from the loud speaker taking orders at the Taco Bell and what the noise from a 24 hour Dunkin’ Donuts would cause.

Ms. Sarah Lencki
9450 Greenbriar

Ms. Lencki has concerns with the safety of the children on 87th Avenue. She noted the school bus stops at 95th Street and 87th Avenue with 4 stops at 4 times with different aged children being picked up. She is also concerned with the construction blocking exiting and entering this block. Other concerns noted were increased traffic, speeding cars and truck deliveries on 87th Avenue.

Mr. Dave Rampage
7709 W. 91st Street

Mr. Rampage has concerns for his grandchildren with the increased traffic, fumes from cars, patrons throwing garbage from the drive-thru. He would not support Dunkin’ Donuts.

Ms. Diane Chathas
6540 W. 93rd Street
(Mom 9349 S. 87th Avenue)

Ms. Chatas has a mother that lives on 87th Avenue and her concern is the same as near her home in Oak Lawn; a Starbucks was built and now there are many traffic issues. She does not support the Dunkin’ Donuts

Mr. Mike Lavery
9341 S. 87th Avenue

Mr. Lavery wanted clarification on the City options in this matter and asked if they can stop this plan. Mayor Howley explained the current proposal will be considered at the September 28th Council meeting and will be voted on that evening. Mr. Lavery wanted to know if the Finding of Fact is denied under the current ordinance, is what they are proposing a permitted use. Mayor Howley encouraged residents to attend this meeting and voice their concerns.

Mrs. Marilyn Rampage
9025 W. 92nd Place

Mrs. Rampage has concerns for family members that live on 87th Avenue. Her concern was the number of parking spaces which a business is allowed. Attorney Cainkar stated as long as they do not build an additional building, they have the correct amount of parking.

Mrs. Rampage spoke on another matter regarding an incident that occurred on Oakwood Drive regarding a minor. Chief Vodicka stated this is an ongoing investigation at this point, and the department is working with the school district. Currently, there is no information to collaborate what this student is saying.

Mr. Dave Rampage
7709 W. 91st Street

Mr. Rampage had an additional comment regarding parking and inquired if parking on the street can be residents only.

Mr. Mauref
9326 87th Avenue

Mr. Mauref shared his concerns with making changes to the zoning in Hickory Hills. Mayor Howley explained again September 28th is the time to share your concerns. Attorney Cainkar stated the City Council cannot make any comments until the petitioner is present.

Ms. Sandy Maloney
9361 S. 87th Avenue

Ms. Maloney shared her concerns with the proposed Dunkin’ Donut drive-thru on the property located at 8700 W. 95th Street. Her main concern is the safety of children and increased traffic on 87th Avenue. She does not want traffic on her street that can affect the children.

Ms. Nancy Roknich
9425 S. 87th Avenue

Ms. Roknich expressed her concerns with the proposed Dunkin’ Donuts because it’s a drive-thru. She shared some details of her street. Ms. Roknich stated she circulated a petition with 66 signatures opposing this proposal. Ms. Roknich voiced her concerns at the outcome of the ZBA Hearing. At this time, she shared the police reviewer comments which mention negative traffic and emergency vehicle impacts. Mayor Howley again expressed the owner is going to build a Dunkin’ Donuts according to submitted proposal if approved by City Council. If they are denied, they will build the Dunkin’ Donuts by removing a tenant space with the need for additional parking spaces. Pictures were presented showing problematic traffic and parking issues.

Mrs. Janice Voight
9417 S. 87th Avenue

Mrs. Voight stated she and Mrs. Nancy Roknich contacted 19 out of 21 neighbors on 87th Avenue. Most of these neighbors signed the presented petition (66 signatures) and our present tonight. Mrs. Voight reviewed a list of concerns shared by all of her neighbors. They included safety, traffic, litter, devaluation of property values, noise, car fumes, overflow parking, garbage pick-up and hours of operation.

Mrs. Kelly Mickley
9426 S. 87th Avenue

Mrs. Mickley stated she is the most affected by the proposed Dunkin’ Donuts. She voiced her concern for the safety of her children and the amount of parking available for the new Dunkin’ Donuts.

A resident (Sarah) who resides on 86th Court voiced her concern regarding the hours of operation for the proposed Dunkin’ Donuts.

Mayor Howley thanked everyone for attending this evening. He stated the Council has heard your opinions and this will be the first matter heard at the September 28th meeting.

Mayor Howley addressed a question regarding the status of the Sabre Woods development. Mayor Howley noted he has recently met with the owner and developers on another matter and was informed that they are in the process of speaking with a number of companies representing a senior home developer. Another entity is interested in purchasing the single family lots.


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


Alderman Szeszycki moved to approve the minutes of the regularly scheduled meeting of August 24, 2017 as printed subject to deletions or corrections.

Correction: Under his report, Alderman Stachnik added Alderman McAvoy was also noted for his good nature and concern for his constituents. Alderman Waight second.

Roll call: Aldermen Fonte, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. Alderman Ferrero pass. So approved.



Bella’s Bistro – Mayor Howley presented a liquor license request from Bella’s Bistro to be located at 8821 W. 87th Street. The owner is requesting a Class F for this establishment which would allow bottled wine to be sold. Mayor Howley noted if there are no objections, the City Attorney would be directed to draft an ordinance adding one (1) additional Class F liquor license. Alderman Szeszycki second. Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.

5K Agreement – Mayor Howley presented the Intergovernmental Agreement between the City and the North Palos School District #117 to co-sponsor the 2017 Howl Through the Hills 5K Run/Walk. Mayor Howley stated this is the same agreement as in the past. Alderman Zimmerman moved to approve the Intergovernmental Agreement with District #117. Alderman Ferrero second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.


Clerk Catizone presented the Intergovernmental Agreement from the Cook County Department of Public Health for the provision of environmental health inspectional services. Clerk Catizone stated the rate would remain the same at $100.00 per inspection. Alderman Waight moved to approve the Cook County Department of Public Health Intergovernmental Agreement for Health Inspections of our businesses. Alderman Fonte second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.

Clerk Catizone reminded the Council of the newsletter deadline which is September 15th.

Clerk Catizone reported the Secretary of State Mobile Facility will be at City Hall on Tuesday, September 19th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


No report submitted.


No report submitted.


Mr. Spolar was absent. No report.



Alderman Szeszycki moved to approve the bills payable for the first half of September 2017 in the amount of $511,885.08. Alderman Stachnik second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.



Alderman Szeszycki distributed a memo that reviewed the Property & Casualty and Workers Compensation Insurance Renewals and the Employee Health Insurance Renewal.

Alderman Szeszycki stated the City went out to the market place to get competitive quotes for the City’s Property & Casualty Insurance renewal on October 1st and the City’s Workers Comp. Insurance which renews on January 1st.
In addition to our current broker, A. J Gallagher’s private market quotes, the City received a quote from Illinois Municipal League Risk Management Association (IMLRMA). Both came in with very competitive quotes which would save the City approximately $150,000.00 from our current premiums. The main reason for the lower premium was favorable loss experience the last two years and competitive market place. He distributed a summary of the current premiums versus the quotes received. Alderman Szeszycki is recommending the renewal through A. J. Gallagher due to higher limits and the safety grant which the City received each year of approximately $32k-$38k through the Illinois Public Risk Fund for Workers Comp. Insurance. He also noted the City has a 20-year relationship with A. J Gallagher. If there are no questions, he is seeking approval from the Council to sign the October 1st and January 1st renewal agreements with A. J. Gallagher. No objections were noted.

Alderman Szeszycki reported a meeting was held with our broker, Alliant/Mesirow, to review the October 1st Aetna renewal premiums along with other Aetna options and 3 other outside options (Blue Cross/Blue Shield). He also met on August 31st with the employee health insurance committee to review renewal options. (After review and discussion, it was recommended to look at the current Aetna plan benefit increase of 10% or $75,000.00 versus Aetna Option #1 with a plan benefit change of both PPO and HMO plans and a 1% premium increase or $8,000.00 and a Blue Cross/Blue Shield option (preliminary quote) showed a 5% premium decrease or $36,000.00 lower than the current Aetna premium. He noted later a revised quote came in from BCBSIL that reflected a 15% premium increase as of October 1st. Based on the revised quote, the finance committee is recommending to renew the current Aetna PPO/HMO plans as of October 1st.

Alderman Szeszycki stated open enrollment for the employees will start Monday, September 18th. Alderman Szeszycki is seeking approval from the Council to sign the Aetna PPO/HMO Health Insurance renewal. No objections were noted.

Stachnik/Public Safety

Chief Vodicka reported a swearing in ceremony is scheduled for the next Council meeting on September 28th.He inquired if this could be moved to an earlier time. Mayor Howley stated he will coordinate this with Chief Vodicka.

Zimmerman/Public Works

Mr. Boettcher reported he met with the Cook County Highway Department on August 30th. He noted several other agencies were also present. CCHD stated this roadway will not be reconstructed in 2018. In addition, larger pipe sizes will not be installed because of the extreme project cost. CCHD and the MWRD needs a cooperative effort from all government bodies prior to the start of road design at year end. CCHD is prepared to split this project into two (2) sections with 95th Street as the dividing line if drainage issues cannot be resolved. With regards to flood water from 95th Street south, Palos Hills agreed to provide numerous property easements for proposed new pipe installation that will transfer storm water from Roberts Road main drain system directly to Lucas Ditch/Stoney Creek to relieve surplus storm loading that causes street flooding. Mr. Boettcher noted at 95th Street north flood water needs would be for a storm water detention of 10 acre feet to keep intersection from flooding which affects residents and motorists using 95th Street for Tollway Ramps. The Hickory Hills Park District does not want water detention in the view of the bottom of the sled hill because of possible encumbrance to park events. He noted the Park District has 17 acres with onsite retention. An alternative is to purchase an alternate detention property vacant at 93rd Street corner. If drainage upgrades cannot be resolved by entities having jurisdiction over tax payer properties by this fall, CCHD is prepared to move forward with pavement design (which takes one (1) year). Pavement upgrades will be bid in spring of 2019 and then constructed.

Mr. Boettcher stated the Tollway Planned Expansion is in need of a meeting location for 50-100 stakeholders. The City has volunteered the Council Chambers for such meetings.

Mr. Boettcher gave a brief history on the 95th Street eastbound with right turning lane at 76th Avenue. Years ago the City acquired a Grant from IDOT of $135,000.00 with a time limit to construct. The City had hired HNTB for the design work in this project. Delays with Tollway widening and the bridge work over 95th Street and including Pace Bus conflicts delayed this project.

It was alleged that IDOT would not allow the subject turning lane to be built until Tollway completed the exit ramp to westbound 95th Street which included a longer acceleration lane at the same time McDonald’s was being constructed. IDOT’s Grant evaporated because of the time limit and the City abandoned this project.

Mr. Boettcher reported Public Works has budgeted funds for a new vehicle. The current 2012 Focus transmission failed and Public Works is proposing to purchase a Ford Escape at the State purchase price from Hawk Ford. No objections were noted.

Mr. Boettcher would like to place the Colonial Apartment Storm Sewer Project on the agenda for the September 28th Council meeting.


Mayor Howley announced at this time, the swearing in ceremony for the new 3rd Ward Alderman will take place if there are no objections. No objections were noted.

City Clerk Dee Catizone administered the Oath of Office to Mr. Henry Kman as the new appointed Third (3rd) Ward Alderman. This appointment will be to the end of former Alderman Tom McAvoy’s term which is 2019.

A small reception will be held after tonight’s meeting.

Alderman Kman took his seat at this time.


Alderman McHugh was absent. No report submitted.

Waight/Laws & Ordinances

No report submitted.

Fonte/Health & Environmental Control

Alderman Fonte reported Waste Management has requested to send out postcards with reminders for rentals of yard waste containers. No objections were noted.

Ferrero/Community Affairs/Youth Advisory

Alderman Ferrero reported she has asked for 10 volunteers for the 5K Run and 8 volunteers for the Children’s Halloween Party. Both these events will be held on Saturday, October 21st. The Hills Chamber is sponsoring a train ride and photo booth in addition to the Scarecrow contest.

Chamber Business Development

No report submitted.






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

Meeting adjourned at 9:35 p.m.