Wilmette Park District
Lakefront Committee Meeting Minutes
Monday, February 23, 2015
6:58 p.m. – Village Hall Council Chambers

Attendees Present

Commissioners/Committee: Chair Bryan Abbott, John Olvany
Commissioner Shelley Shelly
Staff:  Kathy Bingham, Bill Lambrecht, Holly Specht, Steve Wilson, Ken Eppelheimer, Cindy Felicicchia

Attendees Absent

Commissioner Gary Benz (VIA Electronic Means)

I. Meeting Called to Order

Meeting called to order 6:58 p.m.

II. Electronic Attendance of Meeting by a Commissioner

Commissioner Olvany moved and Commissioner Abbott seconded a motion to approve the electronic attendance of Commissioner Benz at the February 23, 2015 Lakefront Committee meeting.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes: Commissioners Olvany, Brault; voting No: None. Absent: None; motion carried.

Commissioner Benz was then declared as being present at the meeting.

III. Approval of Minutes

A. Commissioner Benz moved to approve the minutes from January 26, 2015, seconded by Commissioner Olvany; all voted yes, the motion carried.

IV. Communication and Correspondence

Commissioner Abbott commented on an email he received from Mary Shea stating that the Committee members did not receive the original letter from November; there was an error in submission. Commissioner Benz stated he was handed the letter back then and he did respond back to her. He commented that a lot of the comments in the letter have been addressed but not all of them. Commissioner Abbott stated we would put the email with these minutes but stated some of the material is out of date at this point.

V. Recognition of Visitors


VI. Manager’s Report

Holly Specht reported on the following:

  • The sailing contracts were mailed out in January along with an email blast. The due date for contracts being returned was February 20th. The response has been good. There are 103 spaces available. They can get the contracts in this week with a late fee of $25.00.
  • There were 5 rentals for Lakeview in February. This is the average over the last few years.
  • Staff is in the process of hiring staff for the summer.
  • Supplies and equipment are being ordered.
  • Enrollments for camps look good.

VII. Unfinished Business

A. Lakefront Master Plan Update
Superintendent Lambrecht indicated that after the last Lakefront Committee meeting some comments came up in regards to the designs. The Staff and consultants discussed and addressed these comments in more details. Some of the comments are as follows:

Regarding the suggestion for better views of the lake from the picnic area at the north end of the beach house, the designers are looking at some alternatives; maybe pushing the patio out a little further to the north and place tables further to the east so people at the tables could see around the building.

What are the fencing options around the picnic area? The existing fence is 6’ the designs state 7’. The designers are working on options to make the fence the same as existing or maybe a little shorter. Commissioner Shelly asked if designers can reconsider moving the picnic area to the other side south of beach house. She feels this is not necessary when there are other parts of the beach that are non-swimming that are up and down beach to enjoy the views. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that the playground is in the way on the south side. Commissioner Olvany stated that this was something that some supporters wanted which was to use the beach house area but not necessarily go on to the beach. Commissioner Abbott agreed with what Commissioner Olvany stated. Director Wilson stated that people will find alternate areas to view the lakefront that may be more picturesque but we need to provide this in the plan because of the focus people have on it.

Regarding access to the shelter during off hours, the intent would be to have gates between the beach house and the shelter opened during off hours. This would allow direct access into the area of the shelter/pavilion.

Regarding other options for the ramp at Langdon, the designers came back with an option of concrete which Staff rejected due to the slip hazard. The designers are reviewing some alternatives; possibly an expandable cell system that you would fill with gravel. The Committee discussed keeping the stairs along with the ramp. Director Wilson stated that he and Commissioner Benz talked to one of the condominium buildings for which they stated they could not be more thankful for stairs at that location. Commissioner Shelly asked what the stairs are made out of. Superintendent Lambrecht stated concrete. Commissioner Shelly asked if there were other options besides concrete. Commissioner Benz asked what material the Elmwood Dunes staircase is made out of. Commissioner Abbott and Superintendent Lambrecht agreed that they are uneven and the material used is flagstone and concrete. Superintendent Lambrecht suggested having the designers look at limestone stair treads that the District used at Wallace Bowl.

Commissioner Shelly asked if conversations could be tabled for the Langdon Beach house until after the referendum. Commissioner Abbott stated that if we delayed the project by changing design, it would be very difficult to hit the September construction date. The plan would be two projects and two schedules in possibly different years and would cost additional money. Director Wilson stated that the Committee does not have to spend a lot of time on this now but that does not mean that the rest of the design can’t proceed so that we are not missing our windows. Commissioner Shelly feels that this is not a winning design but if we go into it stating it is conceptual people will probably be more open to voting in favor of it. She would like it to be more like the sailing shack.

The designers came up with two options for adding swings to the Langdon Park playground design. The Committee discussed the two different options proposed. Director Wilson stated that Staff liked alternate #1 which kept the playground equipment inside the sidewalks. The Committee agreed that alternate #1 was the best option after reviewing and discussing the plans.

The designers and Staff have made substantial changes in regards to the trees in the plan. There are many trees in the plan outlined for relocation with five or less being removed. The Staff asked designers to go back and redesign the sidewalks if possible to reduce the number of trees being removed. In addition, they have rerouted utilities and will use alternative installation methods to eliminate a number of tree removals.

The front of Lakeview and the relocation of the drive exiting at Washington were mentioned at the previous meeting. The slope in front of Lakeview is not accessible. This will need to be reoriented but it impacts tree removal. Therefore, Staff has asked designers to go back and look at alternatives. Commissioner Abbott stated he is all for saving the trees but that some will have to be sacrificed. The other area mentioned is the relocation of the exit drive at Washington. The Staff has reviewed and discussed other options. Superintendent Lambrecht pointed out that the tree removal would be significant with realignment and additional costs would be involved. The Staff recommends leaving the road as is. The Committee agreed.

The topic of the location of the sledding hill was discussed. The designers are reviewing the placement of the sledding hill and they will present alternative options.

The topic of the fireplace in the pavilion was discussed and the Staff recommends keeping the fireplace which is a key piece at the pavilion. The fireplace option will extend the use of the lakefront in the fall and spring. Commissioner Abbott respected the argument that was raised in regards to firewood burning. He did not feel that the argument was connected with this application. The Committee agreed to keep the fireplace.

Superintendent Lambrecht stated that W.B. Olson is continuing to put the budget numbers together. A presentation will be ready for the next Lakefront meeting on March 16th.

Superintendent Lambrecht reported on the handout of the master construction schedule for Lakefront. The schedule is updated every month. Commissioner Olvany asked what needs to be done at Langdon to continue moving forward. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that he does not believe the District needs to go to EPA. MWRD will be contacted for sanitary purposes along with the Village for permits. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that according to discussions with the Village they do not see any issues at this point and they are aware of the District’s projects.

Commissioner Olvany asked what expertise the Staff has used for the questions that come up in regards to lake levels at Langdon beach. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that as a point of reference, if you look at the elevations of the Gillson beach house and we get to a point that the beach house at Langdon is under water then the beach house at Gillson and the lower level of Lakeview would also be under water. Director Wilson stated that a combination of consultants’ expertise and the District’s site knowledge as far as knowing where the armor stone is located is what we base our decisions on.

At the Sailing facility, another stall has been added in women’s restrooms. Superintendent Lambrecht met with the architectural team and tweaked some of the designs in order to add another stall.

Commissioner Abbott asked the Committee if they would like to see a presentation made to the full Board with regard to the design status update. Commissioner Shelly stated she would still like to see the alternate drawing for Langdon.

The Committee discussed the bluff. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that if a design similar to Sailing were placed at the same elevation as the proposed Langdon facility, much more of the bluff would have to be removed in order to provide an area large enough for that size building. Commissioner Shelly stated that was good to know. She suggested changing the façade. Superintendent Lambrecht stated we can show the shingles of what we anticipate using. Superintendent Lambrecht stated he will go back to designers and have them add that to the renderings. Superintendent Lambrecht pointed out his concern that if we change the design after an approved referendum for Langdon the people who voted for the referendum may not be happy with a different design. Commissioner Olvany stated that was a good point. He stated the Committee has spent a lot of time discussing it. If we as a Committee and Board propose something that doesn’t pass then we propose something that doesn’t pass. Commissioner Shelly asked about changing the façade. The Committee agreed changing the material is fine. She recommended changing the rendering to make it look more like sailing. Director Wilson and Superintendent Lambrecht stated they will work on this with designers.

The Committee agreed to recommend a design presentation to the full Board. The Committee agreed that educating the public would be helpful including having the designers present the changes. Commissioner Olvany moved to recommend to the full Board a design update presentation from the designers at the next Board meeting, seconded by Commissioner Benz. All agreed.

VIII. New Business

A. Park Permit Requests

• New Trier High School – Post Graduation Party at Gillson June 1, 2015. All approved.
• Precision Multisport – Sprint Triathlon August 2, 2015. All approved.
• Go Green Event at Michigan Shores March 8, 2015, using parking lot at Gillson. All approved.

B. The Next meeting will be held on March 16th immediately following Financial Planning & Policy Committee meeting.

IX. Adjournment

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 8:24 p.m.