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Tonight: Memorial Lights Issue Goes Before Plan Commission

Commissioners will review zoning variation requests from Glenbard High School District 87 to install lights at Memorial Field. Tonight's meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Glen Ellyn Civic Center.

Tonight is just the first step to reach a final decision on the installation of lights at Memorial Field. 

Before the village board can vote on the decision, the board will wait to review the recommendation from the plan commission. And tonight the plan commission will review the request for the project; the first step in formulating that recommendation for village trustees. 

The group opposed to the lights, Our Field Our Town, and Glenbard High School District 87 will present their sides of the argument tonight, hoping to sway commissioners' votes on the issue.

Both groups have hired experts, lighting engineers and zoning professionals, to present evidence on why lights should or should not be installed at the field just off Crescent Boulevard. 

The district's request for variances to install the lights comes after the completion of phase one construction at Memorial Field: finished in the summer of 2010, the installation of a synthetic turf allows for increased usage. Among the many enhancements, part of that $1.4 million project included installing an underground conduit for future lights. District 87 officials cite the need for a field that can operate longer due to the limited field space at the Glenbard West campus. The $300,000 project to install lights will be funded by donations, not taxpayers.

Tonight, plan commissioners will also accept comments from the public when reviewing the district's request for zoning variances to install the lights at Memorial Field. 

There's no deadline for when the plan commission must formulate a recommendation for village trustees but tonight is one step closer in reaching that final decision. 

Jane August 25, 2011 at 04:19 PM
Why doesn't the Village of Glen Ellyn post the Plan Commission board packets online for all to see?
Samantha Liss August 25, 2011 at 04:25 PM
Hi Jane, that's my fault. I should've included a link to the agenda packet. If you go to the village website and click on "Boards and Commissions" you can choose "Plan Commission." From there it'll take you to the plan commission page, and on the right you can click on the "PC Agendas and Minutes." That will take you to another page where you can click on any given year to review previous minutes and agendas. Click 2011 at the top and you can see the meeting for tonight. But I saved you the trouble; here is the link: http://glenellyn.org/Agendas_Minutes/Plan/2011/pc_agenda_08_25_11.pdf
Jay Donovan August 25, 2011 at 09:19 PM
At the outset, everyone in GE is rooting with fervor for the Hilltoppers Sunday on ESPN2! For or against the lights, this hearing is one part of the political process. Hopefully all constituents educate themselves to the exact particulars of the Plan's effects on the entire community. The Petitioner, Dist. 87, has presented an application containing 15 variances to Village Code. Which in layperson terms means, the Village has a real estate code and the District is seeking to construct something that diverges from that code and must apply for permission. Our Field Our Town (OFOT) is one organization that opposes the lights generally, and specifically in this proceeding, the variance application. In addition to OFOT, there are other groups and individuals that are reviewing the application and oppose it. Is there anyone outside Dist. 87 that has reviewed the variance application and supports it? Point being, members of the Glen Ellyn community may be in favor of 'lights' but that does not mean they support the variance application - or have even read it. Maybe there is a better application that Dist. 87 needs to file. The battle of the experts (from the proponent and an opponent) begins tonight. In all likelihood, the process will require a series of future meetings before the Planning Commission provides its opinion. Does anyone know the Legal standard the Plan Commission applies for a variance application?
Jane August 26, 2011 at 04:11 AM
I was lloking for a copy of the "packet" that is given by staff to the commissioners - not the agenda. Here's a link to the 200+ page packet Lisle posted for their Planning Commission meeting. Why doesn't GE to this, too? http://www.villageoflisle.org/docs/20110803.pzc.agenda.1.pdf
Jane August 26, 2011 at 04:31 AM
Village Code 10-10-12 The Zoning Board of Appeals shall not recommend, and the Village Board shall not vary, the provisions of this Zoning Code, except in cases where there are practical difficulties or particular hardship in the way of carrying out the strict letter of any regulation of this Zoning Code relating to the use, construction or alteration of buildings or structures or the use of land, and unless it shall have made findings based upon the evidence presented to it in the following cases: 1. That the property in question cannot yield a reasonable return if permitted to be used only under the conditions allowed by the regulations governing the district in which it is located; and that the Variation, if granted, will not alter the essential character of the locality; or 2. That the plight of the owner is due to unique circumstances; and that the Variation, if granted, will not alter the essential character of the locality; Key to approval of the numerous variances to code will be the School District's ability to provide evidence that enormous lights and the uses they support "will not alter the essential character of the locality." I, (one outside of Dist 87) have reviewed the application, and cannot figure out why this was not submitted as a "Special Use" application. The standards for approval of a "Special Use" are, by Code, much higher than for zoning variances. Village Code 10-10-14(E).

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