WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
LAKEFRONT COMMITTEE MEETING
Date: February 3, 2014
Location: Lakeview Center
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Commissioners: Chair Benz, Abbott, Olvany; Crowley, Shelly
Staff: Wilson, Bingham, Bowen, Eppelheimer, Lambrecht, Donoghue, Specht
Visitors: See attached sheet
Topics for Discussion
1) Meeting Called to Order
2) Communication and Correspondence
3) Recognition of Visitors
4) Manager’s Report
5) Lakefront Master Plan
a) Williams Architects: Presentation of Revised Elevations for Proposed Gillson Beach House and Langdon Beach House
b) Review Status of Sheridan Shores Property
c) Discuss Public Forum Dates, Locations, Presentation Materials & Formats
d) Proposed Recommendation to Board of Park Commissioners
6) Old Business
7) New Business
1) The meeting was called to order at 6:31 p.m.
2) The Committee will approve minutes from the January 21, 2014 meeting at the next meeting due to the lack of staff time for completing them before this meeting.
3) Recognition of Visitors: None
4) Under Manager’s Reports, Holly Specht reported that the sailing contracts had been mailed January 31 and they are due back on February 21. The Sailing Lottery will be held on March 1 and the Lakeview Center had 9 rentals in January 2014 compared to 4 in 2013. Commissioner Olvany asked if more SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) racks were being added this year, and Ms. Specht replied that 10 more racks are being added for season rentals which would bring the total number of racks to 90.
5) Under Lakefront Master Plan, the Committee asked Executive Director Wilson to review the historical photos that show the high watermarks at Gillson Park before the dunes were constructed on the overlook. The photos also depicted Langdon Park with the old 55-gallon drums filled with gravel to act as shore protection and their subsequent ultimate failure. They also depicted the shore protection installed at Langdon Park in the mid-1980’s. General discussion followed on the photos relative to the existing road at Langdon and placement of the proposed beach house. The Committee also discussed the fact that the aerial photos highlighted what the impact would be what the loss of the pier at Gillson would have on the Aquatics/Dog beaches.
Commissioner Abbott expressed concern about whether the shore armament at Langdon Park would adequately protect the proposed beach house. Staff replied that it would be located behind the existing protection in the proposed location. Superintendent Lambrecht added that there is additional stone in front of the access ramp as well. After further discussion, Mr. LaLonde stated there would probably be some caissons included as part of the design to make sure the new building is well-reinforced. Superintendent Lambrecht added that when the shore protection work was completed, the lake was at an all-time high elevation. Conversely, it is now at an all-time low.
Tom LaLonde of Williams Architects provided an overview of the changes for the proposed Langdon beach house and stated that the roof has been changed to be “green” with a perimeter walkway. When asked, Mr. LaLonde stated there are ways to redirect the pedestrian traffic past the building and more to the north. Executive Director Wilson noted that the current placement is actually the center of the beach. Mr. Peter Baugher asked what plant materials would be used on the roof of the beach house and Deb Mitchell of JJR replied that the intent is to use native plant materials. Commissioner Shelly asked about safety related to the front edge of the roof. Mr. LaLonde replied that there would be a railing. The materials have not been identified as of yet but they would have to meet current building codes.
A visitor in attendance asked if the beach access would comply with the Americans with Disabilities act (ADA). Commissioner Benz replied that this beach does not have to be accessible as long as we designate Gillson as the accessible swimming beach. Commissioner Olvany asked if any improvements would be made to the access road. Ms. Mitchell replied that in addition to the stairs, the existing access would be topdressed with gravel. Mary Shea asked how wide the walk around the edge of the beach house would be and Mr. LaLonde replied that currently it is anticipated to be six feet wide.
Mr. LaLonde next presented the revised concept for the Gillson Beach house. At the Committee’s request, the overall height had been reduced, the eaves were extended, and the supports for the shelter now have a more “heavy timber” appearance. Commissioner Abbott asked what the overall current height of the building is and Mr. LaLonde replied that the height is approximately 20 feet which is below the bluff line. Commissioner Benz asked if the change would interfere with installation of the mechanicals. Mr. LaLonde replied that the mechanical systems are typically related to more ventilation which would not make a difference. The interior spaces of the locker and wash rooms are usually open to the underside of the roof deck as well. In the office area where more mechanical systems may be needed, there should be adequate space. Commissioner Benz asked if there was any concern about heat being trapped in the shelter. Mr. LaLonde replied that the shelter is currently designed to be wide open which should not be a problem.
Commissioner Abbott asked if in their opinion they think lowering the roof height ruined the design. Mr. LaLonde replied that it did not and the fact that the metal roof is still being used allowed the roof to be lowered by that much. A visitor in attendance asked if there had been any tests done on the structure as it relates to wind load. Mr. LaLonde replied that essentially there is not much difference between the old beach house and the new one in relation to wind load. Their structural engineer is very conservative and everything will be addressed. Mary Shea asked how much larger would the proposed facility be compared to the old one. Mr. LaLonde explained that the exact square footage was not currently available but essentially the new building would sit in the same location as the previous location. There might also be some increases due to access requirements to satisfy the ADA requirements. The open air shelter would be the major change.
A person in attendance asked about the site plan and Ms. Mitchell provided an overview of the proposed site plan including redirecting foot traffic from the Lake Avenue entrance to the old parking lot entrance area. They would walk along a bluff with good views and the old entrance matches up with a new central access point to the beach house. The parking lot would be reconfigured to improve traffic flow and eliminate traffic backups at the entrance. Mary Shea asked if permeable pavers are being considered and Ms. Mitchell replied they would certainly be looked at but the water table under the lot may not make that a feasible option.
Another visitor in the audience asked what would happen to the snow piles that are now sitting in the west lot. Superintendent Lambrecht replied that alternative locations would be looked at but that the Village would not be able to stockpile snow there in all likelihood due to the new layout. He went on to add that the new layout is a far better one and actually adds green space. The pavement would not go all the way to the bottom of the bluff and in addition, the south edge of the lot would be moved further north.
Commissioner Benz asked that the Committee discuss an alternative to the washroom for Sailing at the north end since they were taken aback at the cost of providing utilities to that location. He would ask that the consultants go back to one of the earlier concepts presented to look at building a new sailing center which would include office space and washrooms. The current facility needs to be made accessible and he would also like to know if getting utilities to that location would be more cost effective. He went on to add that the sailors like the current building but it no longer serves the current needs. He then asked staff to review the facility and determine what needs are really necessary. Ms. Mitchell replied that they can certainly take a look at it and then develop costs for that option. Commissioner Olvany stated that if we were talking about a full-fledged sailing center with washrooms, that concept already exists. However, he does agree that it is a good exercise to go through.
Commissioner Abbott suggested that the plan include offices, washrooms and shade. Commissioner Olvany asked why the facility needed to be accessible and Langdon did not. Staff replied that it is because it is our only sailing facility and we have two swimming beaches.
6) Under Old Business, Commissioner Benz asked about the status of the discussions with MWRD in regard to the Sheridan Shores lease. Executive Director Wilson replied that we are still waiting for the meeting date to be set with them.
7) Under New Business, Commissioner Benz stated that the next topic on the agenda was setting the dates and locations for the Public Forums. It is also his opinion that because there are other topics to be discussed such as Sheridan Shore and the sailing beach facility, it is too soon to set those dates until all of the information has been gathered. He also feels it is too soon to take a recommendation to the full Park Board. Commissioner Abbott stated that the design is currently conceptual. Commissioner Olvany stated that there are still a few issues that maybe the Committee should receive some directions on from the full Board such as the pier and any other issues that other board members may have.
Commissioner Benz added that this was the second postponement for taking this project to the full Board but it is important to take it to them all at once and not in pieces. Commissioner Olvany stated that he understood that but he still believes it would benefit the Committee if an issue such as the pier, which has a price tag of $1.85 million, be discussed and perhaps even go back to the MWRD since they are the lessors. Commissioner Shelly stated that she believes it is too premature to make a presentation until all of the information is gathered from MWRD. After some discussion, it was agreed that the Committee would make a report to the Park Board about the status of the plans at their next meeting.
Commissioner Benz stated he believes that when it is time to make a presentation to the public, it is important to have a 3D presentation to make it easier for the public to understand. Commissioner Abbott stated that it would be a very expensive proposition and added there are significant costs in infrastructure that would not present well in that format. Commissioner Shelly asked if there could be a 3D computer design/tour of the plans. Staff replied that they will discuss the options with the consultants.
There being no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 7:45 pm.
Minutes taken by Bill Lambrecht.
MINUTES APPROVED ON MARCH 6, 2014.