Members of the Brookfield Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously recommended approving the Brookfield Public Library’s final planned development application for a new facility at 3541 Park Ave. – for the second time – on Sept. 26, sending it to the village board later this month for consideration.
Village Planner Elyse Vukelich said that village trustees are likely to talk about the commission’s recommendation favoring the proposed roughly 21,000-square-foot building at the committee of the whole meeting on Oct. 14.
The village board could vote on whether to accept the commission’s recommendation at their business meeting on Oct. 28. If the board approves the plan, as is expected, library officials say they are still on pace to break ground for the new library in the spring of 2020.
Last week’s public hearing was something of a re-do. The commission had already recommended approving the library’s final planned development application in August, but concerns raised by resident Mark McCann about the traffic study used to address the new facility’s impact on the neighborhood forced officials to hit the brakes.
In addition to McCann’s complaint that the traffic study was flawed because it was done on two of the coldest days of the winter last January, McCann also discovered that the company that completed the study, Wisconsin-based Traffic Analysis and Design Inc. (TADI), had let its Illinois license lapse in 2017 and hadn’t renewed it.
In response, the village of Brookfield’s legal counsel recommended ordering a new traffic study, which TADI completed on Sept. 5 and 7. That new study was the main topic of discussion at the Sept. 26 commission hearing.
The study showed some increase in traffic was expected due to the construction of a new library, but concluded that the increase would not dramatically impact conditions for vehicles and pedestrians at the Lincoln/Park/Grand intersection where the library and separate parking lot will be located.
“We’re confident the intersection is going to work well,” said Michael P. May, the engineer from TADI who conducted the analysis.
May, who has been a licensed professional architect in Illinois since 2007, according to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional regulation’s website, disputed McCann assertion that his company’s stamp was required on the study. May’s stamp was on the document provided to the library.
While May thanked McCann for pointing out that TADI’s license to do business in Illinois had, indeed, lapsed, he said that the company immediately filed paperwork to remedy that lapse and that the company’s status with IDFPR was “pending reinstatement.”
May also said he had talked to someone at IDFPR, who told him it was appropriate for him to submit the traffic study to the library under his personal stamp.
McCann, who was at the Sept. 26 meeting, accused TADI of having no credibility and said he would file a second complaint with IDFPR. He previously had filed one after learning the company’s license had lapsed; that matter is pending, he said.
“If you approve this, you’re violating state law,” McCann told planning commissioners.
However, commissioners brushed aside that statement, voting unanimously with little comment to recommend the library’s final plan.
Commissioner Patrick Benjamin, who is a retired municipal community development director, said TADI’s updated traffic study was excellent.
“I don’t question your credibility,” Benjamin told May.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Todd Svoboda said the updated traffic analysis and its vetting by the village’s engineering firm, Edwin Hancock Engineering, reinforced his support for the library’s plan.
“I think it further supports the recommendation,” Svoboda said.