Village trustees won’t vote on whether to approve the final development plan for the Brookfield Public Library on Monday night after all.
Following a presentation of the plan and a brief discussion by the village board on Nov. 9, officials stated that the matter would move to a village board vote at their next meeting on Nov. 23.
But the vote won’t be taken until Dec. 14 after library officials saw the ordinance that village trustees were going to consider and requested amended language to soften some of the conditions for approval handed down in October by the Brookfield Planning and Zoning Commission.
According to Keith Sbiral, those conditions became part of the ordinance the village board would consider, because no trustees expressed opinions on modifying them during their discussion on Nov. 9.
The library’s attorney, Roger Ritzman, sent Village Manager Keith Sbiral three pages of suggestions for amending the language of the ordinance. The Landmark has obtained a copy of those suggestions.
Among the conditions the Planning and Zoning Commission placed on the library was redesigning a tower feature to reduce its size and add transparent features to it. While officials were not averse to transparent materials, they were not in favor of redesigning the tower.
According to Ritzman, the tower was designed the way it was to provide roof access via stairs and elevator and reducing the height would eliminate that access. Instead of mandating that the library “shall reduce the size of the tower,” Ritzman suggested the term “shall minimize tower height while allowing stair and elevator access.”
The commission also mandated the use of recycled materials for carpeting and furniture, called for an electric car charging station in the parking lot, using local materials “whenever possible,” diverting all construction waste from landfills, and including educational signage for “all sustainable practices.”
Ritzman suggested the use of recycled materials “when practical,” asking for more research on the necessity of a car-charging station, using local material “when prudent,” diverting 50 percent of construction debris from landfills and including a central display highlighting sustainable practices and individual signage for major visible features.
“We want to make sure we’re working with the [village] board, but the library board has to balance that with our fiduciary duty and taxpayer dollars,” said Jennifer Perry, the president of the Brookfield Public Library’s Board of Trustees. “What the board is asking for costs a lot more money.”
Finally, the library has suggested changing language regarding how soon the library must begin construction before the village’s approval expires. The language in the proposed ordinance is two years. The library has proposed the grace period for the start of construction be extended to five years.
Such language would give the library more time if voters don’t quickly approve a referendum question needed to help obtain construction funding. The library has proposed going to voters in November 2016.
“I can’t see that anybody would have an issue with that,” said Sbiral, adding that the village board could address the suggested changes to the ordinance in a couple of different ways.
The board could consider the ordinance as originally drafted and amend any sections they see fit to change. Or village staff may provide the board with two different ordinances, one reflecting the original language and one reflecting the library’s amended language.
Either way, the final decision for any conditions imposed on the Brookfield Public Library for its proposed new facility, rests in the hands of the village board, which can choose to accept or reject conditions suggested by the Planning and Zoning Commission.