Real Estate Committee
Meeting Minutes

Date:   June 13, 2011

Location:  Council Room – Wilmette Village Hall

Time:  8:25 p.m.

Committee:  J. Crowley, M. Murdock, Chair J. Brault
Commissioner: D. Graham, G. Benz
Staff:  S. Wilson, K. Eppelheimer, B. Lambrecht, K. Bingham, J. Bowen, S. Donoghue

Agenda Topics:
1. Call to Order
2. Approval of Minutes
3. Communications and Correspondence
4. Recognition of Visitors
5. Discussion
6. Adjourn to Closed Session
7. Reconvene Regular Meeting
8. Adjourn

Discussion Items

1. The Meeting was called to order at 8:25 p.m.

2. The Committee approved the minutes of August 24, 2009

3. Communications and Correspondence – A packet was supplied by Patrick Duffy of 932 Illinois Road, Wilmette.

4. Recognition of Visitors – The following were in attendance
Beth Beucher, 1420 Sheridan Road, #6E; Patrick Duffy, 932 Illinois Road; Mike Boyer, 934 Linden; Dan Ephraim, 1112 Michigan Avenue; Dennis Chookaszian, 1100 Michigan Avenue; Hugh Rider, 1720 Walnut; Judy Mandel, 141 Green Bay Road, #409; Amy Boyer, 1028 Sheridan Road; Matalie and Neil Franke, 2347 Old Glenview Road; Kevin Carey, 424 Pinecrest Lane; and Steven Cotsirilos, 1025 Sheridan Road

5. Discussion of Elwood Avenue Street vacation
     a. Mike Boyer and Patrick Duffy offered background on the 1/3 to 1 acre of property at the end of Elwood Avenue.  Mr. Boyer and Mr. Duffy both sit on the Village Zoning Commission and became aware of this parcel and began to research options to keep the parcel for the residents of Wilmette. Their goal was to keep the parcel passive in use and do not want to affect the neighbors. There was some more work to be done on land title but the goal to maintain the parcel for the residents remained. There was discussion from the Committee as to landscaping, fencing and public access to the beach from Michigan Avenue.
     b. Dan Ephraim discussed keeping the parcel as it is a valuable asset but should be kept the same at it is with a fence to limit access to the beach. The Committee questions what portion of the beach is accessible to the public in front of residents; the right of way is “wet sand.”
     c. Beth Beucher discussed this area has been referred to as Elwood Beach for a long time.  She would like to see the parcel kept as a “natural” area. With development comes the cost to maintain. Where would the funds come from to obtain and maintain the parcel?  There is a public safety issue as there continues to be inappropriate behavior on the beach now. There could be an parking impact and other negative impacts on the residents of east Wilmette.
     d. Dennis Chookaszian discussed how unsafe the area had become because of overgrown trees and shrubs. The west portion of the parcel has been maintained by him and the southern neighbors – the Noyes. He felt there were four options: keep the status quo with the fence being replaced, vacate the property to the neighbors, leave it now with its uncontrolled access (an option he felt was not acceptable), or convert the parcel to a park with a controlled beach access.

The Committee then asked questions of Superintendent Lambrecht on how this area compared to Langdon Beach. Superintendent Lambrecht responded that Langdon had been a private for-profit swimming beach so the development was minimal after it was purchased in 1962/63.  Superintendent Lambrecht stated that as long as the parcel in question did not have access to the beach, then it could remain unimproved. Accessibility for individuals with disabilities would not be an issue if improved as access is available at Gillson.

The Committee asked if there were any other comments or discussion.  The Committee did ask for a copy of the appraisal Mr. Chookaszian indicated he was having done.

6. The meeting adjourned to Closed Session to discuss the purchase of real property for the use by the District in accordance with Section 2(c)(5) of the Open Meetings Act.  Commissioner Brault on a motion to go to closed session was seconded by Commissioner Crowley and approved on a roll call vote adjourned to Closed Session at 9:25 p.m.

7. Reconvened to the Real Estate Committee Meeting at 10:00 p.m.  No actions were taken as a result of items discussed in Closed Session.

8.  Adjournment – With no further business to discuss, the Committee adjourned at 10:01 p.m.