Stormwater Information Timeline

June 26, 2014 Park District Staff, City Staff, V3 and Burke Engineering Meeting

In addition to Park District and City staff, engineers from V3 Engineering and Burke Engineering attended this meeting to discuss V3's initial findings.  

The group reviewed V3's initial findings report and agreed that Burke would  provide responses to V3's observations at the next subcommittee meeting on July 8, 2014.  Other items of discussions included potential need for irrigation systems for the proposed athletic fields in the detention basins, concerns of Cayuga residents regarding the proposed York Commons plan and the idea that a future subcommittee meeting should include representatives from the Park, City and School. 


June 25, 2014 Park Board Meeting

Remarks/Correspondence from Visitors

Due to the high volume of correspondence a full transcript of  comments can be found in the Remarks/Correspondence section of the Meeting Minutes provided through the link below. 

Unfinished business: Stormwater Management Update

This agenda item was added during the Additions/Deletions/Changes to Agenda portion of the meeting.  Board President Ubriaco attended the City of Elmhurst Public Works meeting on Monday, June 23.  She explained that the Park Board understands residents' plight and takes very seriously the City's desire to work with the Park District.  Board President Ubriaco read the following prepared statement:

In August 2013, the City of Elmhurst approached the Park Board with very preliminary temporary stormwater detention concepts.  With unanimous support, the Elmhurst Park Board approved the appointment of Commissioners Bob Howard and Vince Spaeth to the Stormwater Sub-Committee.  Over nearly the past year, Commissioners Howard and Spaeth have met regularly with their counterparts Aldermen Jim Kennedy and Danee Polomsky joined by respective staff members from both agencies including City Manager Jim Grabowski and Elmhurst Park District Executive Director Jim Rogers. The Elmhurst Park Board unanimously approved hiring V3 Engineering to help speed our process and advance our progress on the City of Elmhurst's desire to use parkland for temporary stormwater detention. V3 Engineering is providing expertise that was not contemplated in the Burke Engineering engagement with the City of Elmhurst. Specifically, identifying what is necessary to preserve recreational features and uses while providing for temporary detention when needed. The Elmhurst Park District Board has not wavered in its support for the mutual efforts underway with the City of Elmhurst. We are motivated and anxious to contribute to effective sustainable stormwater methods because we believe it is in the community's best interest to do so and the right thing to do. Elmhurst Park District recreational land diverted to stormwater detention is likely to be encumbered into perpetuity. You, the Elmhurst resident, are counting on us to make wise choices and to do the right thing in the right way. Please support us in our Park District mission and as we continue to work with the City of Elmhurst on theirs, that is, providing stormwater management to residents.

Thank you for your attention.

Executive Director Rogers stated that he and City Manager Grabowski will be meeting with Burke and V3 Engineering firms to go over V3's initial findings report. We look forward to Burke's response in order to move forward on the plan.  Park Commissioners asked that the Sub-Committee discuss the use of City property for stormwater detention, the possibility of the City purchasing flooding homes on Geneva to use for stormwater detention, and address concerns regarding the overflowing of the proposed York Commons detention basin to Cayuga Street.

Commissioner Spaeth stated that it would be beneficial if the School District participated in the discussions in order to strategize options of including School District property e.g... using Madison School District property and moving children to an alternate space. 

Executive Director Rogers explained to the public that one of the concerns with the proposed York Commons detention area is that the conceptual plans show a bottom depth resulting in water entering the park at any rain level from Crescent Street, which would make the field unusable during any rain event.  The elevation needs to be raised for water to fall when Crescent Street water capacity is above a determined depth. 

The Board consensus was that the detention basins will not solve stormwater problems altogether as it is a temporary solution to a problem of exponential building of large homes and direct downspouts to sewers.  Commissioners stated that the stormwater plans are a priority to the Park Board, many hours have been spent in considering the use of park land, but are concerned for the parks in order to continue to provide open space for safe recreational use.  The Board is interested in remaining active in participating in finding a solution as they stated that the problem is a community problem to be worked on by all as a whole and asked residents to implore the City to resolve the issues.  Commissioner Pelosi agreed with residents' comments asking a decision be made in order for the City to move on to other options if the decision is "No.”  Members on the Park Board connected with residents' urgency as some had flooding in their homes.

Board President Ubriaco made a final statement to thank the residents in attendance for coming to the meeting, voicing their opinions and their demand for action. She encouraged residents to contact the Board if they had any questions or concerns. She would like to see the City and the Park District jointly work together to answer residents' concerns. Although 98% of items discussed at the meeting were previously discussed, it was important to give an update to residents. If the Park Board can reduce the community's anxiety then that is one step closer to moving ahead to something that will work. In addition to spending time on stormwater and running the pools and recreational programs, the Park District has taken on some of the work that the City might otherwise be doing willingly and not begrudgingly. Thanked everyone for coming and fellow Commissioners for stepping up.  

Future Agenda

The Board discussed whether to add Stormwater Management Discussion on each Board agenda.  Cons were to only list when there is news and not as a just-in-case.  Pros were to allow for continued and last-minute updates to keep the Board posted at each meeting.  Executive Director Rogers explained that Future Agenda lists an item to discuss V3 Engineering's final report but Stormwater Management Discussion can be listed on the Board's meeting Agenda as frequently as needed for both Sub-Committee updates and Board discussions.

June 11, 2014 Park Board Meeting

Unfinished Business: Stormwater Management Discussion - Initial Finds of V3 Engineering Peer Review

Executive Director Rogers provided the Board with V3 Engineering's initial peer review of Burke Engineering's conceptual designs developed for the City of Elmhurst's stormwater solutions. The overarching theme of the V3 report was that the proposed designs, as presented in conceptual form, do not adequately take into account recreational and playability considerations.  After Board review and discussion, including comment about similar facilities in other communities and their playability, the number of homes impacted, long-term maintenance considerations, changes in City building codes affecting stormwater capacity and the significant amount of time and resources that the District is allocating in aiding the City to find a solution that would normally be spent on providing recreational opportunities, the Board agreed that V3's findings should be sent to the City for comment and will be the focus of the next stormwater subcommittee meeting.

Future Agenda

No additions were added to the current list. Stormwater discussions will remain on the Future Agenda until V3’s final report.  The Board Policy Committee expects to set a meeting date.

May 28, 2014 Park Board Meeting

Remarks/ Correspondence from Visitors

Cheryl Jasek, 748 South Washington –

Spoke in support of plans proposed by the City of Elmhurst and Burke Engineering to build stormwater retention basins in Elmhurst parks. Ms. Jasek conducted research, took photographs (shared with the Board), and spoke with residents of the Downers Grove Park District’s Washington Park, where a similar basin has been built. In her conversations with residents of Downers Grove’s Washington Park, residents stated that the stormwater detention basins did help reduce flooding of homes, improved park features, provided spectator accommodations/seating, made parks usable quicker after a rainfall, and increased revenue by bringing in more teams to play on the fields. Ms. Jasek stated that she believes the proposed plans for Elmhurst are good, will help the community, improve the parks, and help flooding retention issues.

Mike Jasek, 748 South Washington –

Stated that he is a civil engineer who is currently working on a stormwater detention basin project in the Village of Wheeling parks similar to the one proposed for Elmhurst. In the two years working on the project, the basin has flooded three times and has worked perfectly as planned; he described that as the water recedes, the water leaves the basin, and the grass grows for kids to play soccer. He added that although there is some tweaking to be done to the proposed City plans, as a concept, the plan will work, is a viable option for Elmhurst parks, and will improve flood retention for residents.

Future Agenda

Apart from the item to discuss 413 S. York Road, the three other items requested by the Board at the May 14 meeting have been added to Future Agenda – Board Policy, Gateway update, and Stormwater discussion following V3’s review.

Staff Announcements: Executive Director Rogers

V3 Engineering has begun its peer review of the proposed City stormwater management plans.  An initial observation made was the basin’s lack of elevation, which means the retention basin will not only immediately receive water from the actual rainfall but also take in water at inception from the drain piped area causing the fields to be saturated every time it rains.  Should the elevation be raised and water contained in storm sewers then flow to the basin, fewer homes could be affected by the conceptual plans.  This is an example of V3’s overview; they will continue to point out macro findings for the sub-committee to discuss and I will later bring back to the Board.

May 14, 2014 Park Board Meeting

Stormwater Subcommittee Update

  • The full Committee did not meet due to a miscommunication on the meeting date, which was dependent on information.  Fortunately, we were able to speak to the City Manager regarding information slated for discussion on the Park Board's meeting agenda tonight. There is another tentative meeting date scheduled.

Unfinished Business: Stormwater Management - City of Elmhurst Memorandum

In response to the District's request for an update from the City on its progress to date in addressing stormwater issues, City staff provided two memorandums listing initiatives including stormwater management policies for new construction and existing homes, review of maximum allowable impervious lot coverage, rear-yard drain program suspension and revised requirements.  Executive Director Rogers suggested the Board utilize information presented in the memorandums for future discussion.  Commissioner Spaeth stated that the City's initiatives are a good start but questioned whether it was enough.  The Board awaits V3 Engineering's review of the City's stormwater plan and the City's memorandums in continued discussions.

April 23, 2014 Park Board Meeting

Stormwater Subcommittee Update

  • Discussed the four proposed locations.
  • Commissioner Spaeth stated that he recently toured a home construction site that had drains and pumps piped into the stormwater system, which is unacceptable if the goal is to reduce flooding.  Before the Park District makes a decision on the use of parks for stormwater retention, the City's master ordinance plan must be reviewed to achieve effective solutions.
  • Commissioner Spaeth anticipates V3 Engineering will assist in vetting out concerns and ideas.
  • The Committee discussed flood proofing homes especially in the Seminole and East End areas, but this option is not ideal for York Commons as there are too many homes involved.  Commissioner Morissette-Moll asked if the Committee discussed offering an incentive to homeowners for on-site stormwater detention.

Executive Director Rogers stated that the City plans to forward a memo to the Park District regarding status of proposed changes to building ordinances/codes, etc., under consideration.

The Board will be updated as soon as the memo is received.

Unfinished Business: Stormwater Management Discussion - V3 Engineering Proposal

Commissioner Spaeth made a motion for the Board to discuss the hiring of V3 Engineering to verify information provided by the City and Burke Engineering regarding the potential use of parks for stormwater management.  Commissioner Kies seconded the motion. Ayes: Commissioners Pelosi, Spaeth, Howard, Kies, Kubiesa, Morissette-Moll, and Ubriaco.  Nays: None.  Motion passed unanimously.  V3 has worked with the Park District satisfactorily in the past and is currently working with the City on the Addison Street garage project.  Rogers summarized that the hiring of V3 Engineeringg would allow the Board to make more informed decisions concerning the use of parks for stormwater retention.  This Peer Review would include identifying potential risks and opportunities within the proposed stormwater improvements, performing a cursory evaluation of the calculations, design plans and project specifications prepared by others, and providing cursory cost estimate evaluations to confirm approximate construction cost of proposed stormwater improvements associated with EPD property.  A second tier of review will include obtaining and reviewing the hydrologic and hydraulic modeling for the four projects to confirm that sound engineering practices were used, further review to confirm depth and duration of flooding within EPD properties and advise of expected impact to use of parks during and after rain events.

Rogers stated that he would finalize a contract with V3 Engineering.

April 14, 2014 Stormwater Subcommittee Meeting

City Updates

Burke Engineering is reviewing a number of flooded homes.  The Geneva area has 8-12 homes and  Pine Street has 18-26 homes. Also discussed was the feasibility of phasing in the two basins at York Commons and providing ice skating at York Commons.


A portion of the meeting centered around discussing the City's progress concerning changes to building codes, ordinances, and other regulations as they may relate to the "upstream" cause of flooding as part of the City's master plan. As a result of that discussion, City staff prepared a memorandum that provides an update on the City's progress to date in addressing stormwater issues. City staff also provided a copy of the memorandum presented to the City Council last week concerning a New Single Family Home Stormwater Management Policy. The Council subsequently approved the new policy.  Copies of both documents are available below. There are currently 41 homes under construction and 20 pending in Elmhurst.

March 26, 2014 Park Board Meeting

Stormwater Subcommittee Update

  • Commissioner Spaeth reported that the City released a draft document summarizing current status, number of homes originally targeted, and the effect of detention basins in the parks.
  • East End Park would provide stormwater relief for only 12 homes.  The document lists home flood proofing at a cost of $25,000 per home. Calculating the cost for the 12 homes is less significant than a detention basin in East End Park.  Golden Meadows continues to be the main solution for the 20 homes in the Pine Street area.  Piping from East End to Golden Meadows is considered to be too costly at an estimated $12 million.  According to the document, Golden Meadows and York Commons parks would impact the greatest number of homes.
  • Commissioner Howard added that two of the 12 homes near East End Park are candidates to serve as a natural bioswale.  The number of homes has increased from Burke's report of nine homes. The City spoke of other measures being taken to relieve flooding such as rear-yard and overhead sewer programs, and an ordinance for new construction. The City also cited the City of LaGrange, which has a progressive policy for residential site construction permits including requiring the use of established solutions.
  • Commissioner Spaeth voiced that the Park District is not in agreement with the City that the detention basins would be an enhancement to the parks.  Executive Director Rogers has repeatedly clarified that same point to the Sub-Committee.
  • At the March 12 Board meeting, the Board discussed hiring an independent engineering firm to verify Burke figures, sites, and field playability in the interest of protecting the parks. Executive Director Rogers has contacted V3 Engineering, which has direct experience with stormwater solutions and has worked with the Park District in the past.  The Board provided consensus that V3 Engineering review stormwater plans in order for the Board to make an informed decision in considering the use of parks for stormwater retention.
  • The Sub-Committee will meet again on April 14.
  • The City Manager gave Executive Director Rogers a first draft intergovernmental agreement for the stormwater detention sites.  Should the Board decide to allow detention basins in the parks it may agree to allow one park or a portion of a park at first and allow others depending on outcome.  The responsible party for maintenance costs must also be considered.

Unfinished Business (Old): Stormwater Management Discussion

Commissioners Kies asked why stormwater is listed twice on the agenda.  Executive Director Rogers explained that Stormwater Sub-Committee is listed for Committee Reports then listed under Unfinished Business for further discussion or possible Board action.

March 24, 2014 Stormwater Subcommittee Meeting

Discussion of City Substation for Geneva/Pine area.

Elmhurst Park District will hire an engineering firm to conduct a peer review.  The Park Board will hold a macro discussion at its next meeting.

City discussed requiring more onsite storage by homeowners and discontinuing direct connections of downspouts, sump pumps, etc. to storm system.  Proposed that 300-400 cubic feet of storage be required on newly developed sites.  Concept is being revised and proposed at City meeting. 

City shared a memo regarding requirement changes/additions for new construction.

More discussion on naturalized flow of water by City buying two homes on Geneva, instead of piping.

Village of LaGrange formulas for impervious surface calculation were discussed. 

A draft of an intergovernmental agreement template was supplied by Jim Grabowski, City Manager.