Villa Park City Council reduces setbacks, increases spending and speed

By Andie King

A little romance crept into the Villa Park City Council meeting, Sep. 24. Councilman Bob Collacott left the dais to announce his engagement and introduce his fiancé, Renee Walz. He had known her as a neighbor on Morrow Circle, while their respective children were growing up, and recently reconnected.

The council then had the first reading to amend an ordinance, prompted by nine properties on Morrow Circle, zoned as e-4, to bring them into cohesion with other residential subdivisions zoned r-1.  Setbacks on the properties, less than 20,000 sq. ft., would be reduced from 10 to six feet. Properties over 20,000 sq. ft. would be held to a 10-foot setback.  The council vote in favor was unanimous.

Later, Councilman Chad Zimmerman pulled an item from the consent agenda: Collacott’s request for travel to Monterey for the California Stormwater Quality Association. No dollar amounts were included on the request. Collacott noted that it is the 30th anniversary of the organization he had helped found. Councilwoman Crystal Miles suggested the travel be “on his own dime,” as the content would be ancillary to his duties as councilman, and more appropriate for elected Serrano Water officials. Miles and Pitts were overruled, 3-2.

In other fiscal news, Bill Underwood reported on long-term investment funds. A contract with city attorney Rutan & Tucker was extended, with an increase from $4,000 to $4,200 per month, and $200 to $225 per hour for specialized service. Miles announced the first Winter Wonderland, a city event featuring a snow playground and ice skating rink to be erected on Sun., Dec. 8 (with a $10,000 allocation from the council). The city has also budgeted $10,000 for a State of the City event in the near future.

The second reading to increase the speed limit on Lemon Street, between Valley and Villa Park Road, passed 3-2, with Councilman Robbie Pitts and Zimmerman the “no” votes. The new 35 mph speed limit will go into effect on Oct. 24. In conjunction, the council asked that the 2011 speed hump policy be brought up for review.  Mayor Vince Rossini indicated that there would be “more enforcement” of city speed limits and full stops at stop signs, as new staff is more energetic and better trained. Prior ticket numbers, he said, were “abysmal,” and enforcement had been lacking. 

October 2019