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Thursday Zoning Commission Meeting is All About Electronic Signs

Do you have an opinion about the placement of electronic signs in residential neighborhoods? The city wants to hear from you.

Elmhurst Zoning and Planning Commission will hold a workshop to solicit public input on whether electronic message board signs should be allowed on institutional properties within residentially zoned districts.

The workshop will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at City Hall, 209 N. York St.

The issue most recently was brought to the attention of the city last spring, when Redeemer Lutheran Church requested a 7-by-3-foot electronic sign on its property at 345 S. Kenilworth Ave. The Zoning and Planning Commission unanimously approved the request in May, but after much controversy and a legal opinion, in August the city's Development, Planning and Zoning Committee decided to recommend denial of the request. The request must be voted on by the full City Council.

Related:

  • Committee Says Redeemer Lutheran's Request for Electronic Reader Board Sign Should be Rejected
  • Signs of Stress: Church Neighbors Say Electronic Sign Would Detract from Character of Neighborhood

The church is hoping for a compromise, the aldermen have said a review of the city's sign ordinance is in order. Some residents have said the city has not been consistent in applying the zoning code with regard to signs.

The meeting will be held in the council chambers at City Hall.

Lawrence Gunther February 18, 2013 at 08:41 AM
1. what is the difference for Viz and IC? 2. do the vinyl banners from vista print look so much better?
TE February 18, 2013 at 01:51 PM
Amazing how Alderman Levin voted for IC and Visitation signs and then in his own backyard becomes the hypocrite and says there illegal? Obviously his neighborhood is more valuable then the 7 others that the City Council members voted electronic signs are just fine in! Usual double standard with this council. Redeemer obviously does not have the same rights as members of IC and the six other churches!
Henry February 18, 2013 at 02:46 PM
Chairman Steve "behind closed doors, boys club first" Morley doesn't want to make a decision on this until after election, just like the chickens. York is hiding from his people too. Mulliner is clearly the better man for the job.
TE February 18, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Henry you are right on here. Alderman York attends Redeemer Lutheran, and is laying low afraid to be a leader for both his 4th Ward and his fellow members of Redeemer it seems. Alderman York was on his churches committee to push for there sign request, but amazingly silent of his support for there application, afraid of the backlash from 4th Ward voters if he reveals his actual support for a sign! All the current Alderman and candidates for office should let the Elmhurst people know where they stand on this issue. That includes Morley, Mulliner, and Gutenkoff! Will hypocrite acting Mayor Levin tell us why he voted yes for IC's sign a few months earlier, and then had a not in my back yard moment for his neighbors??
not mike hasssan February 18, 2013 at 04:01 PM
would you all stop picking on diane; she is still trying to figure out what to do with the results of the robo survey. should i be transparent and release the results to the public; should i try to deflect the issue by talking about paving the city parking lot with permeable pavers even though it will octuple the cost. please help us ... we need a new issue to run on.
Frank February 18, 2013 at 04:24 PM
Mulliner is a do nothing Alderman, and has been for years. For the first 8 years of his tenure, he did whatever Marcucci told him to do. For the last 4 years, he has let his ego and blind hatred for Dicianni dictate his every move, often at the expense of his own consituents. I don't blame the other aldermen for ignoring him. Other than bringing a twig in to mug with in front of the cameras, he has done nothing notable in the recent past. His own platform for mayor reflects a lot of platitudes and campaign speak. It's woefully short on accomplishments. No thanks, I'll take Morley or Gutenkauf. Mulliner is an empty suit whose time came and went long ago.
Frank February 18, 2013 at 04:30 PM
Sooo...when Mulliner recuses himself for no good reason and side steps his statutory obligation as the senior serving alderman on the Wagner petition challenge, he blows his own horn and his mindless drones fill the Patch with how great he is. When York, confronted with an actual conflict of interest, does the right thing and doesn't push an agenda nor push through a sign, some d-bag takes him to task for it. The people most unhappy with this situation are the Redeemer people. This is happening the way it should...in the public eye and transparent.
no more sleaze February 18, 2013 at 04:30 PM
yeah, k york is in a real pickle on this one. as a board member of redeemer, he has to balance his allegiance to his church with his desire to get re-elected from the 4th ward people who of course do not want the sign. so does his choose his neighbors over his fellow lutherans. I'd have to bet he votes with the neighbors, if he votes at all. morley of course will play his cards VERY tight to his vest, as is his modus operandi.
Voice of Reason February 18, 2013 at 05:43 PM
wow ... looks like TJ has morphed into Frank. ii'd agree that york has done the right thing if he has removed himself from this. whether he's an actual board member or not, it's obviously the right thing to do. but to add mulliner to your rant is a little over the top imo. the way I see it, we have WAY too many conflicts running around this town. and there's a fine line btw the legal definition of an actual conflict of interest and an apparent conflict of interest. take whistler or brinkmeier for example: they both wear lots of different hats. maybe it's wrong, maybe it's not. imo, we have way too many people in this town who feel the need to wear two or three hats. look at some of our city consultants vanslyke, bartels); they wear several hats. i like the fact that both mulliner and york have exercised their own judgment to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. and this is what most people don't get. every person has their own ethical sensibilities.
TE February 18, 2013 at 06:22 PM
This is the city of conflict of interests. Should all the IC Alderman have voted yes for there sign? Should the former mayor and Visitation Alderman have voted yes for there sign? As for Whistler he often takes himself out of applicants in front of the ZPC if there even appears to be a conflict. York should just be honest with the 4th Ward and let them know he is for electronic signs as his past 7 votes to approve them for others shows. Then he can stand up Thursday as a citizen and Redeemer church board member and support there sign application. Pretty simple honest and transparent!
Henry February 18, 2013 at 06:40 PM
The people of the 4th Ward may wake up this time. Inskeep's candidate Baker will represent the residents, not just the club.
Shareabit February 18, 2013 at 07:26 PM
Waiting for York to be honest? Don't hold your breath. York will not be honest with the 4th Ward. Waiting for York at act with integrity? He will not and won't take a stand. He did not speak out publicly against the dual office matter against DiCianni and instead held back even though the matter was before him. York voted in the past 5 times to approve the exact same electronic signs for others that now comes up in his Ward. The others were before his time. Check the records York wants to play both sides, for his Church and for his 4th Ward neighbors. What a rat. Let's give candidate Baker a vote this time around to begin to heal the wounds Morley, York, Dicianni, Healy, Wagner etc.... have caused.
R Johnson February 18, 2013 at 07:45 PM
the effort of the anonymous morley drones to slander Mulliner is really pathetic. it's pathetic because ALL three mayoral candidates approved ALL the prior sign requests on the recommendation of the zoning & planning commission (not to be confused with city council's committee on Zoning & planning). And the full council unanimously approved all of these on their consent agenda, which means that the matters were not even discussed/debated by the city council. The person that people should be talking about is acting/interim mayor levin; his house is right around the corner from this sign; he is the NIMBY man who all of a sudden is reading up on this.
Jan Burke Happel February 18, 2013 at 07:48 PM
The question here is about the electronic signs. The current signs in Elmhurst are just fine. The messages inspire. The only one I have trouble with is the high school electronics sign when the graphics are flashing. Not necessary. Instead of whining over the electronics, why can't we move into the 21st century and have a few electronic signs for businesses to choose from that would fit into the landscape. And stop whining about this. The messages are good and people need them. It's the ugly billboards on interstates 294/290 we need to get rid of.
York Rules! February 18, 2013 at 07:53 PM
Sounds like someone relieved themselves in "Shareabit"'s Cheerios. There was no opposition to the Vis and IC signs. Still isn't. There are signs there. There was opposition to the Redeemer signs, still is, and there is no sign. Anybody else not see a problem here? Pure and simple politics by the CAVE mentality crowd. Which is part and parcel to why that is a dying crowd. They had their moment in the spotlight and all got voted out of office on the next cycle. People like Spaeth, Lomnicki, Moriarity, Thrall were all one and done. Pezza lost mayoral election and isn't running again because she knew better. Diane "RoboPoll" Gutkenkauf will finish a distant third in April. Heslop and Ernst got crushed in their attempts at office. All of the people in the above post have either won handily (Morley and Dicianni) or will win handily again this April. Then CAVERs like "Shareabit" will continue to have to eat very bad tasting Cheerios.
Carol Ruda February 18, 2013 at 09:25 PM
With regard to the Redeemer sign, many neighbors objected to the sign and attended meetings to voice their opinions. As part of that process, it came to light that the City Code did not permit signs of this type in residentially zoned areas. This was confirmed by the legal opinion of the City's attorney. The Zoning and Planning Commission and the Development, Planning and Zoning Committee that both approved the other institutions' permit applications for their signs are responsible for allowing signs that are not permitted by the Elmhurst Code. The question here is "Should electronic message boards be permitted in residential areas?" If you have opinion, please attend the meeting on Thursday. As for Alderman Levin, he responded to the concerns of his constituents. Please remember that when the entire City Council voted on the other signs, they did so based upon the recommendation of the Z&P Commission and the DPZ Committee. I suspect that the City Council members approved those other signs based on the wrongful assumption that the signs were allowed by the City Code subject to the permit process since both the Commission and Committee approved the permit applications. Once it became clear that the Code did not permit the type of sign Redeemer wanted to install, the DPZ Committee had no choice but to deny the permit application. I hope each of the mayoral candidates simply says "Yes" or "No" as to their positions on these types of signs in residential areas.
Jim Court February 19, 2013 at 03:53 AM
I am starting to find the whole political process to be truly disgusting and one big manipulative and dishonest game. Has the human condition degenerated so badly? A world of constant war and violence. Corrupt politicians, corrupt corporate leaders, corrupt police, dysfunction in the military. Broken budgets, money squandered, pensions not funded, the disappearance of the middle class. Gridlock and extreme partisanship, hate groups. A failed war on drugs, yet I detest the tremendous increase in all forms of addiction. Identity theft, viruses, fraud. Foreclosures, manufacturing being decimated, tax increases and every form of fines, fee's, tickets, red light cameras, break-in's, narcissism, sociopathic behaviors, liars , cheats , and thieves. Infidelity, gangs, shootings. Perhaps it is the rainy weather ( I don't really think so) that leads me to all these negative thoughts. I am generally a happy go lucky optimist but something is not right. Better lock the door, turn on the alarm, go to sleep trying to figure out what is going on in the world. Hope my bike doesn't get stolen, and worry about bad renters and police who spread negative rumors and slander others (not all, but more than a few). Condo Associations and bullies in general. A canoe, a nice body of water, a few mountains and tree's. Now that is appealing.
John February 21, 2013 at 04:33 PM
Wow I really do not get the personal venom here. So few comments on the issue so many personal attacks. No wonder people avoid politics like the plague. Some of you posters should be ashamed of yourselves. As for the issue. If you have a conflict, you recuse yourself....its not ducking the issue - its honest. To say York supports the signs but is recusing himself therefore he is bad is completely without logic ...would you rather he support them knowing he's on the Board of his church?? I know he supports them in general and has in the past. I don't like the signs (even the old ones that have been improperly approved) and I live in his ward. I still support him because I like many of his stances and I know in this day and age no one agrees on every issue all the time. C'mon people grow up. If you don't like the signs go to the friggn meeting. Stand up be counted! Stop the anonymous personal crap. This town is too small for that negativity.
Steve February 22, 2013 at 06:49 PM
"Conflict of Interest" should only be used when there is a financial impact not a perceived impact.

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