O'Fallon Progress

Attempt to clear up complicated vote on luxury apartment complex in Shiloh gets confusing

An Impact Strategies contracting graphic concept plan for a new housing development titled “The Savannah,” which is planned in the village of Shiloh off of Cross Street, just south of Memorial Hospital East in Shiloh, across the street from Tamarack Lane. The plan calls for a total of 343 units and amenities like a lake, boathouse, fitness trail, pool and clubhouse.
An Impact Strategies contracting graphic concept plan for a new housing development titled “The Savannah,” which is planned in the village of Shiloh off of Cross Street, just south of Memorial Hospital East in Shiloh, across the street from Tamarack Lane. The plan calls for a total of 343 units and amenities like a lake, boathouse, fitness trail, pool and clubhouse. Courtesy graphic

The Shiloh Village Board had another yet confusing vote regarding the development of the 311-unit luxury apartment complex, The Savannah. This time, the object was to clear up a vote the board had already cast at a prior meeting, multiple times.

At its meeting on Oct. 23, the board voted to “ratify and restate actions taken by the village board authorizing” in regards to The Savannah, beginning with the pre-application conference on April 7 and every other official village action to date, including zoning changes granted in September. However, final approval came only after another confusing back-and-forth similar to the one two months ago that precipitated the need for the most recent vote.

At the meeting last week, Trustee Bob Weilmuenster motioned to table the ordinance until more information could be ascertained from village attorney Terry Bruckert and John Marquart, the village administrator.

Trustee Greg O’Neil then seconded the motion to table the item. There were no questions to the motion.

Weilmuenster, O’Neil, and trustees Tina Warchol, Colleen Powers, and Kurt Burrelsman, who attended the meeting via conference call, all voted in favor of tabling — at least initially.

But then Mayor Jim Vernier looked back-and-forth at trustees and asked, “Opposed?”

Powers then changed her vote.

Vernier called again, “Opposed?”

Trustee Mark Herrmann voted the motion down saying, “No.”

Bruckert then chimed in, recommending a roll call vote be made, since it was unclear who was opposed or in favor.

“Yeah, let’s do a roll call vote on this, since there’s obviously confusion,” Vernier said just before clarifying the motion and the second.

Herrmann maintained his vote to move forward.

Burrelsman said, “I still don’t understand. Why is this being tabled?”

Vernier clarified again, and Burrelsman, Powers and Warchol all changed their votes, thus defeating the motion to table, as O’Neil and Weilmuenster remained as the only votes in favor. The board then voted to pass the ordinance on the same 4-2 vote.

After the meeting, Weilmuenster said that the ordinance was “too vague” and still left him with “more questions.”

Part of the reason for the Oct. 23 ordinance vote was actually create an the official paperwork for the county to update its zoning maps, which had yet to be done by the village.

The other reason was to clear up any confusion over previous votes the board had made, specifically ones during a Sept. 5 meeting that gave final approval for The Savannah. That meeting was also rife with complicated back-and-forth motions, counter motions, amended motions, and motions to reconsider. In the end, Vernier cast tie-breaking votes in favor granting zoning changes necessary to move forward with the development, which is planned for a 26-acre site just south of Memorial Hospital East, across the street from Tamarack Lane.

Shiloh resident Charlotte Cox, of 1705 Cross St., filed a complaint on Sept. 25 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against the village of Shiloh asking for declaratory judgment nullifying the village’s Sept. 5 vote. The suit asserts that the village didn’t follow its own ordinances when the board allowed a re-vote to occur after trustees initially voted the rezoning and special use permit down. Cox also asked the court to include “that the village board shall not vote again on the proposed special use and re-zoning for The Savannah project until Sept. 5, 2018, as dictated by the village ordinances.”

The lawsuit is similar to prior complaints voiced by Weilmuenster, who claims the board’s first vote on Sept. 5, which failed to OK The Savannah, should have been binding for at least a year. Weilmuenster cited this passage in the village’s book of ordinances: “If a request for an amendment is denied by the village board, an amendment/rezoning request, on same parcel, by the same owner/applicant, will not be accepted by the village, for one year following the village board meeting at which the denial was made.”

The Savannah is being spearheaded by Edwardsville-based private equity firm Crevo Capital, and will have multiple buildings, a club house with a pool, garages, a dog park, walking trails, community gardens and a recreational lake. Rent will range from about $1,200 per month for a one-bedroom to a maximum of $2,000 for a three-bedroom depending on amenities and unit selection. The development has been a hot-button topic for month, with opposition voiced from many residents and trustees.

Other business

▪ A land lease and approval of easement of village owned property at 2400 Country Road to be leased to AT&T passed.

▪ A resolution in support of Illinois Bicentennial Celebrations from Dec. 3, 2017 through Dec. 3, 2018 passed.

▪ Cell tower modification request for a tower adjacent to the Shiloh-Scott Air Force Base Metrolink Station passed.

▪ Transfer of property at 209 Kay St. from village to Shiloh School District 85 passed.

▪ Tax levies passed.

▪ Trustees passed all Shiloh Auffenberg Automall project items. They include: request for roadway dedication as replacement for the current access easement on the south end of lot six next to Goddard School property, 1160 Fortune Blvd. In order for the road to be constructed, approval to vacate 36 feet of The Parkway detention basin was needed to allow for the roadway and additional storm water detention to be developed, if needed to compensate for any loss.

▪ Acceptance of improvements at the Villages at Wingate passed.

▪ A resolution of support for the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program for a Shiloh Station Road shared use path passed.

▪ A resolution for maintenance under the Illinois Highway Code allocating $450,000 in Motor Fuel Tax Funds for maintenance items in 2018 passed.

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