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Committee Says Redeemer Lutheran's Request for Electronic Reader Board Sign Should be Rejected

Attorney says city code does not permit electronic signs in residential neighborhoods.

Following a legal opinion that an electronic billboard is not allowed per village code in a residential area, Elmhurst's Development, Planning and Zoning Committee on Monday recommended denying 's  request to install an electronic sign on its property at 345 S. Kenilworth Ave.

The church is requesting a 7-by-3-foot electronic reader-board sign at the northeast corner of St. Charles Road and Kenilworth.

Redeemer's request was unanimously approved by the Zoning and Planning Commission May 24. But after and many questions from church neighbors, the DPZ Committee sought the opinion of Elmhurst City Attorney Don Storino.

On Monday, Scott Day, the attorney for Redeemer, asked that the committee make its decision based on the application as submitted.

“Apply whatever conditions you deem lawful, reasonable and proper,” he said.

After some debate on whether the sign would be permitted if it did not automatically scroll through different electronic messages, the committee decided that they could not recommend approval of the application at all based on Storino's opinion.

Planning and Zoning Administrator Than Warner referenced discussion about zoning rules for signs in other towns. He said Hinsdale has created spot zoning districts of "institutional buildings" for organizations such as churches.

Committee Chairman and 6th Ward Alderman Steve Morley said a review of Elmhurst's sign codes is on the committee's to-do list.

The committee's recommendation to deny the sign request now goes to the full City Council for a vote.

Mark D August 16, 2012 at 03:25 PM
If Crescent Court remained in Than's memory, he would have recalled that proactive action to address what we call "planning" is better than letting a known issue percolate until neighbors are in deep conflict. The same is true of any alderman currently sitting who had issues with electronic signs but didn't think to clarify things before the Redeemer issue arose. On the TIF, I think your comparison to prior districts is telling of your lack of understanding. The numbers behind the new TIF are substantially different than those that came before it. But you would not know this since you seem to rely on a fraction of the figures, back end performance only, and not the risk going in, the burdens on the remaining owners of the EAV in town and the returns that may or may not occur without an extension. Is a TIF needed in that area? Sure it is. Is the TIF as outlined needed? I don't see it, but maybe you can educate us on why the outlined TIF can be compared in other respects to the prior ones.
Hates Orange Ribbons August 16, 2012 at 04:21 PM
OK, I get it. You dislike Than. I'm sure he has no love for you either. I also won't argue the merits of TIF 4 with you. You are against, I am for. Numbers don't lie, but only liars use numbers. You or I can make the numbers dance anyway we need them to in regards to TIFs. You want to talk EAVs? What has the EAV in that area done 4 of the past 5 years? Answer, gone down. Over the previous 10 years, how much has it grown? .18 percent. There are no burdens on other tax payers, particularly if the EAVs grow. If the EAVs continue to decline, the city (and other taxing bodies) lose nothing. Now, let's talk hard dollars. Do you know how much the city spent in defending against your frivolous lawsuits? Tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands? All for what? NOTHING. Courts (several) agreed with the city. Crescent Court was built. It's a great development that will be a cash cow for the city (and surrounding businesses) for YEARS. Brought in many fine residents. You LOST. Your arguments LOST. How much of a burden did YOU put on that poor sucker who filed suit? How much of a burden did YOU put on the taxpayers of Elmhurst with your frivolous lawsuits? Those are hard dollars that YOU are responsible for. Who am I? I could be one of dozens of people with a serious dislike of you. I'd rather keep you guessing.
Mark D August 16, 2012 at 04:45 PM
HOR You live in a fantasy world. There was one case and the use concerns and zoning challenge on Crescent Court remained viable (the case was settled even though those involved had to do a look-away from the problems that existed and have ensued since then). Remember the semicircular drive that was not a street? Keep an eye out for public works when they care for it. The joy in your chiming in lies in the fact that you raise an issue that riled owners at on the very same street and the City is in an even more difficult position now at the south end of the street. And, yes, I do have an issue with Than. When a City planner resorts to name calling and nearly hitting another planner as his response to substantive input and professional courtesy, I take issue. I also take issue with a lack of foresight on his part that has people scratching their heads and dealing with a problem he knew about. Municipal planners do not ordinarily rely on the good graces of an applicant who decides not to sue or the sway in political positions. Rather, they rely on ordinances that reflect existing conditions and the going-forward posture of the needs of the businesses, institutions and residents in town. The failure to do this has pitted neighbor against neighbor again, and this is occurring on an issue that virtually any other municipality has addressed with clarity. This failure leaves people feeling for the neighbors and Redeemer alike, regardless of how the vote goes on Monday.
Hates Oranges Ribbons August 16, 2012 at 06:25 PM
You didn't answer my questions. How much did you cost your client and how much did you cost city of Elmhurst taxpayers? You are a skilled attorney, clever in your use of distraction. But my questions stand. The same tax payers you want to shield from TIF and Than are the very same ones who had to pay thousands in legal bills because of your frivolous lawsuits. Had you won, or proven a point, than I would agree with you about defending occasional law suits serving the common good. However, in your case, no such point was made, you lost, nothing changed, judges couldn't throw out your arguments and cases fast enough...and the rest of us paid for it. Thanks.
Hates Oranges Ribbons August 16, 2012 at 06:26 PM
PS. I wish I lived in fantasy world. I'm guessing it would be better than the one we live in now. One thing is for sure, there would be no lawyers in that world.

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