Updated: Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019 at 9:07 a.m.
The Brookfield Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing for the Brookfield Library’s final planned development application has been changed to Thursday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Brookfield Village Hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave.
A traffic study that was blasted by a neighbor as invalid because it was conducted during some of the coldest weather in January and because the firm that performed it apparently had let its Illinois license lapse, will send Brookfield Public Library officials back to the Planning and Zoning Commission next week for a new public hearing on its final planned development application.
In August, the Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously recommended that the library’s plan for a new facility at 3541 Park Ave. be approved by the village’s board of trustees.
The village board was to have its first look at that recommendation on Sept. 9, but that has now been delayed until the village board’s Sept. 23 meeting. Instead, library officials will re-present the final planned development application to the Planning and Zoning Commission at a hearing called for Thursday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Brookfield Village Hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave.
Village Manager Timothy Wiberg said library Director Kimberly Coughran decided to order the supplemental traffic impact study, which was carried out over two days out last week, rather than risk the village board sending the matter back to the Planning and Zoning Commission, delaying village board approval further.
The traffic study was performed by the same company, Cedarburg, Wisconsin-based Traffic Analysis and Design Inc. (TADI), which performed traffic impact studies for the library in 2012 and last January.
“I think she took the best approach,” Wiberg said. “This allows them to remove those clouds, so to speak, from the process.”
At the Planning and Zoning Commission’s Aug. 22 public hearing, Mark McCann, a resident of the 3500 block of Park Avenue, slammed the conclusions of the traffic study because it was performed during extremely cold weather, when schools were closed.
Planning commissioners, however, were convinced by an engineer from TADI that the traffic impact numbers were similar to a previous study completed in 2012 and an informal observation on the day of the hearing.
Subsequent to the public hearing, McCann provided information to library and village officials that TADI was not licensed to do business in Illinois.
“I think it was a matter of the firm, for whatever reason, of letting their license lapse,” said Wiberg.
As of Sept. 5, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation listed the company’s status as “not renewed.” The license expired, according to the state agency’s website in April 2017.
Reached by phone last week, TADI’s president, John Bieberitz told the Landmark that the firm had submitted all of its renewal paperwork and processing fees to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, though he could not provide information on when that paperwork was submitted.
“We are a registered business in Illinois and our managing agent is licensed in Illinois as a project engineer,” Bieberitz said.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation’s website shows that at least one of the firm’s employees, Jeffrey G. Fait, was licensed as a professional engineer in Illinois.
While the library has ordered an additional traffic impact analysis during fair weather and while school is in session, McCann continued to criticize the use of TADI for the work.
“TADI simply cannot be trusted to complete this updated study given the fact that they seemingly violated professional standards by collecting data during the polar vortex and questions still remain about their qualifications,” McCann said in an email. “The village should insist that any new studies be conducted by a firm prequalified by the Illinois Department of Transportation to ensure credibility.”
The delay caused by the new public hearing should not affect the library’s timeline for beginning construction of the new facility, which maintains the broad support of plan commissioners and village officials, in spring 2020.
If all goes smoothly next week, the village board could vote on the library’s final planned development application at the meeting on Oct. 14.
This story has been changed to reflected the new date for the Planning and Zoning Commission’s public hearing on the library’s planned development application.