DeKalb County, Illinois
March 28, 2012
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PLANNING AND ZONING COMMITTEE
March 28, 2012
The Planning and Zoning Committee of the DeKalb County Board met on March 28, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in the Conference Room East located in the DeKalb County Administration Building. In attendance were Committee Members Ken Andersen, Dan Cribben, John Emerson, John Hulseberg, Ruth Anne Tobias, Pat Vary, and Jeff Whelan. Also in attendance were Cash Reichling, Tammy Reichling, Hilary Reichling, Ed Reichling, Brian Schumaker, Mike Hey, Greg Millburg, Christel Springmire, Peter Smith, Greg Maurice, Tom Townsend, Roger Craigmile, Mel Hass, and Planning, Zoning and Building Department staff members Paul Miller and Marcellus Anderson.
Ken Andersen, Planning and Zoning Committee Chairman, called the meeting to order and noted that all members were present.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mr. Hulseberg moved to approve the agenda, seconded by Mr. Whelan, and the motion carried unanimously.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Ms. Vary moved to approve the minutes of the February 22, 2012 meeting of the Planning and Zoning Committee, seconded by Ms. Tobias, and the motion carried unanimously.
SPECIAL USE PERMIT
Mr. Miller informed the committee that Don Taylor had filed a petition for a Special Use Permit to allow for the operation of construction and excavation equipment and vehicle storage use on his property located at 10486 Old State Road in Mayfield Township; also noting that the property was zoned A-1, Agricultural District. A public hearing was conducted on February 16, 2012 by the DeKalb County hearing Officer, where the petitioner described the business operation and stated that the business had existed there for many years. Mr. Miller explained that in 1993, an Interim Special Use Permit had been granted for the storage of equipment, which was to expire in 1995 unless an extension was granted by the Planning and Zoning Committee, but that no such extension was requested or granted. The Special Use now being requested would allow the storage use to remain indefinitely, as it would be a service-type use in and around an agricultural building no longer used for agriculture. Mr. Miller pointed out that the Hearing Officer has forwarded his Findings-of-Fact with a recommendation of approval with conditions. The Committee was being asked to make a recommendation to the full County Board in the form of an ordinance, and that the Committee could recommend approval, approval with conditions, or denial of the request.
Ms. Tobias inquired about the parking issues raised at the hearing. Mr. Miller stated that the petitioner had indicated that they would have no problem complying with the condition that they provide a formal parking plan, including designation of areas to be used for equipment and vehicle
storage, which staff will review after approval by the County Board.
Mr. Cribben inquired whether there would be any issues with them receiving a Building Permit. Mr. Miller responded that he did not anticipate any issues.
Ms. Vary moved to accept the Findings-of-Fact and recommendations of the Hearing Officer and to forward an ordinance of approval with conditions to the full County Board, seconded by Ms. Tobias, and the motion carried unanimously.
SPECIAL USE PERMIT
Mr. Miller informed the Committee that R-Equipment LLC had filed an application for a Special Use Permit to accommodate a proposed agribusiness in the form of a farm machinery, implement, and equipment dealership, to be located on a 6.13-acre property commonly known as 8789 and 8813 State Route 64 in Mayfield Township. The required public hearing was conducted on March 5, 2012 by the DeKalb County Hearing Officer, who forwarded his Findings-of-Fact with a recommendation of approval. The Committee was being asked to make a recommendation to the full County Board in the form of an ordinance, and that the Committee could recommend approval, approval with conditions, or denial of the request.
Ms. Vary noted that an issue regarding the requirement for landscaping had been raised at the hearing and asked for clarification. Mr. Miller explained that petitioners had requested that they not be required to place tree screening along State Route 64. However, the Zoning Ordinance regulations require street trees when a parking lot faces a street. Mr. Miller stated that staff would work with the petitioners to resolve the issue.
Mr. Hulseberg inquired about the petitioners’ request for a waiver from the paving and curbing requirements. Mr. Miller responded that he did not foresee any issue with granting such a waiver. Mr. Whelan inquired as to the location of the employee parking. Mr. Miller pointed out that it would be in the gravel area towards the rear, however, one paved space for the handicapped would have to be provided in the employee parking area to meet State regulations.
Ms. Tobias moved to accept the Findings-of-Fact and recommendations of the Hearing Officer and to forward an ordinance of approval with conditions to the full County Board, seconded by Mr. Emerson, and the motion carried unanimously.
LANDFILL LICENSE ANNUAL RENEWAL
Mr. Miller explained that Waste Management of Illinois had submitted an application for the annual renewal of its license for the continued operation of the DeKalb County Sanitary Landfill. The request for renewal of the license being subject first to review by the Planning and Zoning committee, which then forwards a recommendation to the full County Board in the form of a resolution. He noted that a draft resolution was included in the Committee’s packets and that the license would run from May 1, 2012 to April 30, 2013. He then introduced Mike Hey, district manager for Waste Management of Illinois.
Mr. Hey submitted a one-page handout to the Committee (copy attached), which detailed disposal volumes and composting activities for 2011 and provided a brief overview the current and proposed projects for 2012. Mr. Hey then gave a presentation elaborating on the information presented in the handout. Additionally, he made use of a large site photograph to highlight the location and orientation of the various operations occurring on the site.
Ms Vary inquired about the possibility of Waste Management collecting the natural gas produced on the site and using it for power generation. Mr. Hey explained that while the landfill is capturing a fair amount of gas, it is being burned off at the flare because the volume of gas is not yet sufficient to make a gas-to-electricity operation economically viable. Mr Hey went on to explain what would be involved in such an operation and the economic hurdles the company would face if it attempted to pursue it at this time. He added, however, that should the proposed expansion of the landfill be approved, it would easily increase the volume of gas enough to make a gas-to-electricity operation possible.
Mr. Whelan inquired whether there is any incineration of waste on the site. Mr. Hey responded that on the gas is incinerated, not the solid waste.
Ms. Vary asked how many years did he estimate were left before the site is filled up. Mr. Hey responded that, short of any expansion, they estimate approximately 6.5 to 7 years remain at this site. Ms. Vary noted that the same figure has been given for the past several years. Mr. Hey explained that the changing economy has resulted in significantly decreased volumes from what was originally projected over the past several years. He added that the increased rainfall of the past several years has caused a significant increase in the decomposition rate of the materials, allowing them to recover usable area as the waste volume contracts.
Mr. Andersen inquired as to the number of employees currently at the site. Mr. Hey responded that there are currently four (4) full-time employees, plus one (1) additional heavy equipment operator in the Summer. Additionally, there is a heavy equipment maintenance person who is shared between several facilities, and a gas recovery technician/manager who covers both this and another site.
Mr. Hulseberg inquired as to what percentage of waste is going out of County. Mr. Hey noted that he would only know the quantities his company hauls and he would have to defer to Christel Springmire, from the DeKalb County Health Department, as a better source to answer that question, but that the company does not even receive a quarter of the waste at this site.
Mr. Hey stated that Waste Management has received approval by the IEPA for the composting of food waste. He explained that a pilot program was conducted last year with Costco, using its pre-consumer fruit and vegetable food prep waste. He added that the current permit allows them to take in up to 40% of their “yard waste” as “food waste”. Ms. Tobias inquired whether homeowners could participate in this program. Mr. Hey responded that it is a long term goal of the program, but that at this time, the company is limited to pre-consumer wastes, because of contamination issues with post-consumer wastes. Mr. Hey explained that contaminated wastes can’t be used in composting, and that greater education about this issue needs to occur.
Mr. Whelan inquired where and how the compost generated on the site is sold. Mr. Hey stated that the landfill is partnered with Midwest Trading, which actually markets, bags, and distributes approximately 80% of it to various local retail outlets for sell. He added that Midwest Trading is also a large producer of the plants seem for sell outside of many local retail stores, and that the soil used in the planters for those plants comes from the landfill’s compost. Ms. Vary asked if anyone could go to the site and purchase some of the compost. Mr. Hey responded that the landfill used to allow any County resident to come into the site and take as much as they wanted for free as long as they loaded it themselves. However, due to liability issues, that policy had to be cancelled. He noted that people can still come to get compost, but it has to be loaded by site employees, at a charge of $14 per cubic yard.
Mr. Andersen asked Mr. Hey to elaborate on the inspection procedures that occur at the site. Mr. Hey used the large site map to explain that the site was divided into three areas: the original site, the area from the 70's to current day, and the most recent and modern area.. He then explained the differences between their composition and the regulations that governed their use and construction. Mr. Anderson asked who oversees the inspections. Mr. Hey responded that the EPA has oversight, but the company is required to regularly monitor the site and submit its findings to them. Ms. Vary asked what is being monitored. Mr. Hey responded that the landfill has to monitor the composition of the materials and leachate, the rate of leachate production, and the water levels within the landfill. Plus, the operator is required to do three (3) weekly random load inspections to check for hazardous wastes. Additionally, once a quarter the EPA conducts a random inspection. He pointed out that the site is surrounded by a series of groundwater monitoring wells.
Mr. Whelan inquired if there any underground fires at the site. Mr. Hey responded that none had occurred at this site, and explained how such fires occur and the steps they take to attempt to prevent such fires.
Mr. Whelan inquired as to the odor problem that had been experienced at the Cortland Elementary School, and asked if moving the gas flame further from I-88 was what resolved that issue . Mr. Hey responded that moving the gas flare had nothing to do with that issue. He explained that the flare’s current location was always its intended permanent location. The odor was caused by hydrogen sulfide, which resulted when many companies disposed of their “dirty” wood (treated and/or painted wood) by grinding it up and sending it to land fills where it was used in the creation of temporary roads on the site. These same companies decided to start disposing of their drywall wastes by adding it in with the dirty wood to be ground up. What no one realized was that the drywall dust, plus the treated wood chips, and the wet conditions at the site, created the perfect conditions for the creation of the hydrogen sulfide. Mr. Hey explained that once they determined what was happening, the stopped taking in any wood loads containing the excessive amounts of dust in it.
Mr. Andersen asked if there were any questions or comments from the public. Mr. Craigmile asked about the amount of leachate generated per week or day. Mr. Hey responded that it depends on the amount of rain received at the site, roughly 80,000 gallons a month or so.
Mr. Hass inquired whether any thought had been given to raise the amount of the annual fee for the license renewal and whether staff’s costs for processing the application have risen or not. Mr. Miller responded that he was not aware of any increase in staff’s costs, but also noted that the County board has the right to charge as much for the fee as the statute allows. Mr. Andersen directed staff to look into the matter and to present findings at the April 25, 2012 Planning and Zoning Committee meeting.
Ms. Tobias moved to forward a recommendation of approval of the resolution to renew the license, seconded by Mr. Whelan, and the motion carried unanimously.
RECYCLING ANNUAL REPORT
Christel Springmire gave a presentation elaborating on the information presented in the 2011 Solid Waste Annual Report, which was included in the Committee’s packets (copy attached).
Ms. Vary noted that the commingled waste volume had changed and inquired what commingled included. Ms. Springmire explained that it included plastic, aluminum, and anything allowable in the blue recycle bins.
Mr. Whelan noted that the State of Illinois recently passed a law regarding electronic recycling and asked what the County was doing in regards to that law. Ms. Springmire responded that twice a year the County hosts an electronic recycling collection at the County Home, and that this program has been up an running for the past six (6) years. She also said that some other organizations have been in contact with her about the possibility of hosting similar electronic collections at different times.
Ms. Vary inquired whether Ms. Springmire was aware of where Target does its recycling. Ms. Springmire responded that it has an internal “green team” that handles recycling for them.
Mr. Hulseberg inquired whether the “Holiday lights” recycling program was still in operation. Ms. Springmire responded that the program ended the last week. She added that the program was quite successful, bringing in almost 1.1 tons of holiday lights.
Ms. Vary noted that Table 1, DeKalb County’s Recycling Rate 2000-2011, reported a recycling rate of 68% in 2000, 44% in 2010, and a rate of 53% in 2011, and asked about the change in the rates. Ms. Springmire responded that the fluctuation in the rates tends to mirror the changes in the
economy. Ms. Vary inquired how the rural recycling sites are doing. Ms. Springmire reported that the Kingston site collects about 1,500 lbs a week (approximately a full dumpster), noting that this site is open 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday, except on holiday weekends. She also reported that another site near the Village of Somonauk is being developed, and that they are hoping to have it up and running by early June. She said it would have similar hours to the Kingston site.
Mr. Andersen asked if there was any commentary from the public. Mr. Hass noted that recycle containers for events had been made available in the past and that he wanted to give Ms. Springmire a brochure he came across at an event detailing a new design of recycling receptacle. Mr. Hey noted that Waste Management of Illinois also produces the receptacle similar to the one shown on the brochure.
The Committee briefly discussed the Monthly Report.
There were no public comments.
The Planning and Zoning Committee is next scheduled to meet April 25, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in the Conference Room East.
Ms. Tobias moved to adjourn, seconded by Ms. Vary, and the motion carried unanimously.
Ken Andersen, Chairman
Planning and Zoning Committee Chairman