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Body Cameras, Downtown Design Standards On Naperville Council Agenda

January 31, 2022
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A contract for body-worn cameras, staff direction on downtown design standards, a decision on Special Events and Cultural Amenities (SECA) grant funding allocations and an ordinance amending zoning regulations in the Office, Research and Light Industry (ORI) zoning district all fall on the Naperville City Council agenda for its Feb. 1 meeting.

Body Camera Contract

The city is looking to build on its efforts to demonstrate transparency between the police, residents and community members.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, officials will give consideration to awarding a five-year, $2.2 million contract to Axon Enterprise Inc. for body-worn cameras and in-car video system.

City action would give the police department the ability to capture community engagements, whether during a traffic stop or an arrest. Interactions could be recorded on the equipment and made available for departmental review.

The contract’s consideration comes on the heels of House Bill 3653’s passage requiring cities and counties serving more than 500,000 people to comply with new requirements.

Downtown Design Standards

In other developments, the City Council is expected to receive a report detailing feedback from the Planning and Zoning Commission on downtown design standards.

At the Planning and Zoning Commission, officials decided it’s best to limit artistic accents that lean too far toward branding and signage. The recommendation to the City Council came in part after the Naperville Downtown Advisory Committee said the façade of JoJo’s Shake Bar – which includes dripping blue accents – doesn’t violate any current design standards. Commissioners said there should be room for artistic choices in downtown design, but also barriers in place to stop what they called a slippery slope.

The standards serve as a guide to property owners and design professionals communicating what is allowable in the community as far as new construction, additions and modifications to buildings. They give direction on, among other things, building height and bulk, color, materials and lighting.

SECA Allocations

Also at the meeting, City Council will weigh in on whether to approve the proposed Special Events and Cultural Amenities (SECA) grant fund allocations for 2022.

The city currently has $964,317 to invest in initiatives that support the program’s mission: to encourage arts, culture and special events in the community.

The city has another $1.1 million to issue in non-discretionary awards to various organizations. These are obligations the city is bound by intergovernmental agreement to fulfill, according to council documents.

The funds will help pay for, among other things, Century Walk and Riverwalk maintenance, and DuPage Children’s Museum reimbursements.

NCTV17 is partially funded by a SECA grant.

Zoning District Changes

City Council will also decide whether to amend the Naperville municipal code to reflect that warehouse and storage facilities are permitted in the Office, Research and Light Industry (ORI) Zoning District as conditional uses.

Previously, these developments could be allowed as permitted uses. The zoning district is located primarily along the I-88 corridor.

Action taken to consider the ordinance amendment could provide an opportunity for the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council to decide what, if any, conditions can be imposed to mitigate potential impacts to the community, such as traffic congestion, noise issues and air quality and other environmental concerns. Conditional uses have an added layer of review and oversight that otherwise is not required of permitted uses, according to council documents.

The ordinance amendment could help pave the way for more intensive uses, like warehouses and storage facilities, to set up shop in town.

Naperville News 17’s Megann Horstead reports.

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