Council approves electronic signs in residential neighborhoods


A bit contentious” issue on the table more than three years

By Dan McLeister
For The Elmhurst Independent

In an unusual move Kevin York (4th Ward) made a motion to keep on the September 21st agenda discussion of electronic signs in residential neighborhoods.

Scott Levin (5th Ward), the chairman of the Development, Planning and Zoning (DPZ) Committee, wanted the item taken back to the DPZ Committee again after the issue had been taken off the City Council agenda two weeks ago.

At the September 21st meeting Levin said he needed more time to talk to neighbors about electronic signs which are “a bit contentious” for some neighbors which have expressed “a great deal of concern.”

With all due respect to the chairman, this item has been in various parts of City government for well over three years,” said York, who is a Board member of Lutheran Redeemer Church. “There has been plenty of time to reach conclusions. The Church asked in August of 2012 for an electronic sign, which City Attorney Don Storino rejected.”

I had an inkling that this might happen,” Mayor Steve Morley said.

Morley asked Storino at that meeting if York’s motion was in order. Storino assured it was.

Levin commented that he “was kind of surprised” about York’s motion.

I have a question about a conflict of interest for Alderman York since he is on the board of Lutheran Redeemer Church,” he said. “It is a sad day to me since no justification has been made for keeping the item on the agenda. It is highly unusual.”

York said there was no conflict of interest since Redeemer had withdrawn its request for an electronic sign. The alderman said the City’s regulations could have an effect on other churches.

I want to make it clear that it is not about Redeemer,” he said, adding that any application for an electronic sign would come under conditional use regulations of the proposed guidelines.

Storino also ruled that York did not have a conflict of interest.

Marti Deuter (1st Ward) said she was against York’s motion because Elmhurst city government “relies heavily on committees, where there is a vetting of all opinions with spirited debate. The alderman said she heard loud and clear that people do not want more electronic signs.

Chris Healy (5th Ward) said he supported York’s motion because “this is not about Redeemer.”

Noel Talluto (4th Ward) said she understood both sides.

The vote was 10-4 in favor of a motion to keep electronic signs on the September 21st agenda. ‘Nay’ votes came from Levin, Deuter, Michael Bram (3rd Ward) and Dannee Polomsky (3rd Ward).

The vote to approve electronic sign regulations was 12-2 with ‘no’ votes coming from Deuter and Bram.