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Lisle Trustees Recommend Vocational, Technical Schools for Special Use Consideration

A proposed amendment would allow vocational and technical schools, and universities to apply for special use permits along Warrenville Road. Trustees will take a final vote on the amendment at a future meeting.

Village trustees unanimously recommended that attorneys draft an amendment which will allow vocational, trade, and technical schools to apply for special use permits in parts of Lisle.

For-profit technical school Universal Technical Institute, Inc. (UTI) submitted the request with the intention of eventually constructing a new campus at 2611 Corporate West Dr., located in the village’s office-research zone along Warrenville Road. Currently, schools are restricted in this zone. 

Planning and zoning commission members so UTI could with a special use request to demolish the existing facility and construct a new 185,000-square foot building. The new campus would serve roughly 1,500 students.

PZC members also supported the addition of colleges and universities to special use.

The amendment will come back to the board for final approval at a future meeting. Approval would allow similar institutions to submit special use requests in the office-research zone in the future.

Supporters of the project argue the only way to revive this site is to rebuild. And while schools are currently restricted, experts with UTI say the changes made in education in the last few decades allow teaching and research to exist simultaneously.

Planning and zoning commission member Brad Hettich said the village should be open to opportunities for education and research to evolve “as long as it’s the right school.”

Staff memos indicate the building served a similar purpose as an information technology training center. Monday evening Community Development Director Tony Budzikowski said training centers with dormitories are allowed under current code.

While the current building includes more than 200 dormitories, the proposed UTI campus plan does not include living quarters.

Staff memos also show areas of Aurora, Downers Grove, Naperville, and Oak Brook currently allow some type of technical or vocational education use in their office-research districts. Approval of the amendment would keep the village consistent with other communities along the I-88 corridor, Budzikowski said.

However, one resident took issue with the sentiment that educational uses are consistent with this corridor. Zajdel provided commission members with a PowerPoint presentation last month [slides are included in Monday night’s meeting packet] that argued the request was out of line with the village’s land use plan. She said she felt approval of educational institutions would change the character of the corridor.

The attorney representing UTI commented Monday that Zajdel presented some “mischaracterized” information in her PowerPoint presentation. Russ Whitaker said a FOIA request for numbers showing a significant number of police calls to UTI’s existing campus in Glendale Heights was not restricted to campus buildings. He described the majority of calls as being of a “non-criminal” nature, such as car lock-outs.

Dick May 08, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Trips to Orlando and Vegas for Lisle officials - paid by taxpayers charged on credit cards? What is the public purpose? Overhaul is needed now.
Maria May 08, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Broda's little jaunt to Orlando is going to set the taxpayers back a few G's. And for what - to go to a convention for an organization that Lisle doesn't even belong to? A convention for cities of 100,000 people and more? As Rego would say - its not relevant.
Jane May 08, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Excellent question! The Village did not provide legal notice nor did they hold a hearing to hear public comments on amending the Village Code to permit and allow colleges and universities as a special use in the OR District. The Village Board took action in violation of State Statutes which require amendments to the zoning code can only occur after notice and a public hearing to consider the amendment.
Cathy F. May 09, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Oh, come on... Broda just wants to hang out with the big city mayors! Last year over 1000 mayors from the "big cities" signed the The U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, pledging their commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in their city. http://www.usmayors.org/meetmayors/mayorsatglance.asp
Lisle Watchdog May 09, 2012 at 03:00 PM
How many Lisle employees and elected officials are getting a taxpayer funded trip to Vegas later this month? How much is it costing us?
Lisle Watchdog May 09, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Isn't Lisle planning to spend a few grand on ipads for the personal use of trustees? do ipads have a calculator function to review budgets and bids, and monitor spending? http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120403/news/703289602/
Dick May 09, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Lisle Board of Trustees approved spending $300 on "Mints with Logos" ?
Jane May 12, 2012 at 12:22 AM
UTI is yet another "done deal" in Lisle posted on BidClerk a few weeks ago for bidding before public hearings and before public approval. Another backroom deal. BidClerk 2012/04/29 Universal Technical Institute / Lisle 185,000-square-foot technical college, 18.5 million 2611 Corporate West Dr. DuPage
Jane May 12, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Wow. Already in Design. Done with concept and schematic... before entitlements and zoning approval. Guess this doesn't need a TIF. https://www.bidclerk.com/project/1921461.html http://interactive.chicagobusiness.com/closer/constructionpipeline/public/full/
Lisle Watchdog May 12, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Lisle is planning to give UTI $8M to build a $18M warehouse building?! Are they nuts? Most of that $8M must be the cost to cut down thousands of mature trees to make room for the new drag strip. Last time I looked, TIF money cannot be used for new construction. How is it that Mariano's paid $5M for the 27 acre site of the old Hubble Middle School in Wheaton to build a 70,000 sf store with no TIF money? The School District had estimated that 27 acre property was worth over $20 Million but since it didn't sell and sat vacant for years, the District held an auction with $10M minimum no bids. Finally, it sold for $5M. The 20 acre site that UTI is looking at in Lisle is listed for $6M. Despite it being vacant, there have been offers... Do officials in Wheation have the words "NO TIF" in their vocabulary while Lisle officials don't?
George P May 12, 2012 at 05:30 PM
It's just a BIG BOX Auto Repair Shop that holds 180+ vehicles full of thousands of unemployed kids living on student loans crammed 6-8 per apartment (or vacant house for rent) all throughout Lisle. http://www.reedconstructiondata.com/rsmeans/models/auto-repair/illinois/south-suburban/ http://www.reedconstructiondata.com/rsmeans/models/warehouse/ UTI will be going the way of Career Education - CE just announced they are closing schools. UTI stock is down 50% in the past year. Don't worry about it - This project will never happen.
Jane May 12, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Unanswered questions: How many vehicles run in the building during the course of a day? Did the noise study include backup beepers? Can you tell me the difference between a dB and a dBA? What units are the EPA emission standards for toxic gasses measured in? ppm or ppb? Why weren't particles less than 0.3ug measured and included in the volume of particulates of diameter less than 2.5ug? National standard for Ozone is 75ppb, why does the submitted impact report say the standard is 0.75ppb rather than 0.075ppm? Why were the air measurements for toxic gases taken in units of ppm rather than ppb? Are schools exempt from EPA air emissions permits? Where do the students live? Who test-drives the vehicles? Where?
Dave W. May 14, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Thing to know: 1. UTI operates out of more locations in the Glendale Heights industrial park than the main address of 601 Regency. They also operate out of 555 Highgrove and 800 Regency. The total number of police calls is more than reported at the hearing. http://www.glendaleheights.org/ComDev/RRC/industrialparklist.pdf
Dave W. May 14, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Thing to know: 2. Green Trails Apartments is looking to house the UTI students.
Dave W. May 14, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Thing to know: 3. UTI accepts no responsiblity to the community for the behavior of their students off-campus. All students live off-campus. http://www.paed.uscourts.gov/documents/opinions/10D0839P.pdf
Lisle Watchdog May 16, 2012 at 04:59 PM
New spec office tower going up in Chicago with 900,000 sf. 17% vacancy in downtown Chicago. Approval of UTI has HUGE "lost-opportunity" costs. http://www.chicagorealestatedaily.com/article/20120515/CRED03/120519882/hines-set-to-kick-off-45-story-office-tower
Cathy F. May 16, 2012 at 07:05 PM
And the Lisle-Naperville office market showed the lowest overall vacancy rate of all the suburban markets at 17.1 percent - compared to downtown Chicago's 15.1% and the norhtwest sububand office market vacany of 26.9%. Lisle/Naperville is in position to be the location for a suburban spec office project. http://www.rejournals.com/2012/05/02/chicago-office-market-recovery-to-continue/
Maria May 16, 2012 at 09:20 PM
So Rahm is going to give $29M in TIF funds to build a $300M highrise office building with a 1.5 acre public park. That's about 10% of the total cost and it comes with a public park. Now let's look at Lisle. Lisle is ready to give $8M for a $18.5M project with ZERO public spaces. 43% of the project costs come from the silent taxpayers who are too fearful to speak up due to the retailation tactics from local officials. Pathetic.
George P May 17, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Hey, Lisle is going to get a "flashing sign" !! Come on - that's a public benefit, right? And what better public benefit than to clear out a few thousand trees, right? Huge public benefit. UTI will be fixing your car for free if you live in Lisle!! ... nudge, nudge, ... wink, wink... $$.
Bill May 21, 2012 at 05:02 PM
$10 Million for a $18.5Million building?! Most of that must be to cut down 2000 trees. I can hear the politcal campaign slogans now... "We paid an existing property owner $5000 per tree to clear a wooded site with mature trees. That's why they call us the arboretum village - our goal is no trees anywhere in town but in the arboretum and we'll use tax money to get there if we have to !!" or how about this one... "We paid over $6500 per student to bring 1500 students to Lisle's formerly prestigious corporate corridor! That's 1500 students with no income, saddled with thousands in student loans to spend their loan money in Lisle buying gasolne and new tires to race their tuner cars down Warrenville Road at 6:30am. We hope to turn Warrenville Road into a TIF subsidized tourism opportunity for folks to come watch the cars and trucks!!"
Bill May 22, 2012 at 03:39 PM
We now have amended the zoning cade to allow ALL schools in the OR DIstrict (maybe we should rename it the ORE District). Preschools, elementary, junior high and high schools can locate in the OR District now, as of right under the new purpose of the OR District for educational use. The only uses that require a special use permit are colleges, universities, vocational, trade and technical schools and schools for the developmentally disabled. All the other schools can now locate in the OR District as of right. That is of course, until someone figure out that the Village Board cannot change the entire purpose of a zoning district without a hearing.
George P May 22, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Maybe Lisle HS will move to Warrenville Road!! Plenty of room for their lighted football field!! Then, let's see, Lisle JHS can move into the HS building, the elementary can move to the Jr High, and Tate Woods Elementary can be purchased by the library (they've always wanted a bigger building). That leaves the current library to be purchased by the Park District (a deal that is already sort of in the works?). Good move to approve that zoning code change if you like higher property taxes and decreasing property values.
Karlie Baker (Editor) May 22, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Hi everyone, The director of the library asked me to clarify to readers that the statement above is purely conjecture by this individual and not based on any stated plans to transfer buildings. To those of you with opinions on this issue: perhaps you can take your arguments to the village board.
George P May 22, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Lisle Library director can read the blog comments, but cannot type her own comments? Hum. Well, since she's reading, maybe she can fill us in on the park district deal....
Bill May 24, 2012 at 01:33 PM
$1.5 Million to remove mature trees!?! Please tell me Lisle officials are not going to authorize use of tax dollars to pay for tree removal - thosands of mature trees on private property. If they do, I will personally make sure Lisle permanently loses its "Tree City USA" status.
Lisle Guy May 24, 2012 at 02:58 PM
George P's previous description of the school and it's students is correct. I have been to the UTI facility in Glendale Heights and am familiar with the Warrenville Rd. corridor as I am former Village of Lisle employee. UTI belongs in an industrial park, NOT in an office/research corridor. I know that the village officials must be desparate to bring business and evelepment into Lisle, but they will regret their decision to allow UTI one day in the future.
George P May 24, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Lisle's Board will regret it about 1 day after class starts - but they will never admit it. We will all watch business after business leave the area due to UTI.
Frank F May 24, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Who is the owner of the LLC that owns or will own this property? Who benefits from the $10 Million TIF if UTI is just leasing the property for 18 yrs? How easy is it for the ownership of the LLC to change from year to year with no annual disclosures of the beneficiaries? Who audits the TIF and how often?
Autumn Geist May 24, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Karlie, I see nothing has changed on the Patch :) Nice to know that your commentors are at least consistent. Turning around quickly and returning to my bubble...of positivity. You know, kids, job, and volunteerism. Wouldn't it be something to take all that negative energy and bottle it up for some productive activity? I can use some exterior paint work and I think Eyes to The Skies is looking for volunteers ;)
Bill November 06, 2012 at 05:54 PM
My letter to remove Lisle's "Tree City" title went in today.

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