Glen Ellyn wary of COD construction reports

 
 
Updated 6/14/2011 5:02 AM

The College of DuPage has given Glen Ellyn officials inspection reports on buildings under construction at the 273-acre campus.

The reports were completed by certified third party inspectors, the college says, and village staffers said Monday they are now reviewing the documents.

 

But village trustees said the inspectors, hired by the college, have to be "mutually agreeable" to both sides.

In a policy statement adopted by the village board Monday, the village would agree to waive its permit and review fees and standard practices for four buildings under construction -- unless officials found the inspectors or their reports to be inadequate.

The village's planning and development director, Staci Hulseberg, has previously said the college's building inspectors, who are architects and structural engineers, don't have the same qualifications as village inspectors. The college has said its inspectors are "licensed to be legally responsible for International Code Council requirements" and state law.

Interim Village Manager Terry Burghard said the inspection reports, submitted digitally by the college, are "very cumbersome and lengthy," and would take time to review.

Trustee Robert Friedberg suggested that even when the documents are reviewed, they still might not be up to village standards. He said adding "mutually agreeable" to the policy statement would give the village "suitable flexibility."

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The village board's adoption of the statement regarding its relationship with the college is the latest episode in an ongoing feud.

The two sides had been developing an intergovernmental agreement that would have exempted the college from some local building codes. But the deal fell through when the village argued it should retain the right to enforce certain health and safety rules.

College officials have said they intend to pursue deannexation of the 273-acre campus from the village.

In the absence of a formal agreement, the policy statement "establishes a framework for a new beginning" between the village and college, Village President Mark Pfefferman said.

It would serve "as a guide to the village's purpose and intent" toward its relationship with the college, but isn't an "all-inclusive handbook of operations," according to the statement.

Beyond the buildings currently under construction, the statement also stipulates that the village will enforce codes and practices on any new construction -- including signage -- until the college disconnects. Much of the rancor began when the college installed electronic signs that the village deemed to be against its codes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Under the policy statement, the village and college would provide an 18-month public comment period for current and proposed signage. At least three meetings would be held, including one at the college.

If and when the college deannexes, the village would provide water and sewer service at a rate up to double the amount residents pay -- if no annexation agreement exists. Should such an agreement be signed, the rate would be the same as what those in unincorporated areas pay -- typically one and a half times what residents pay, Pfefferman said.

Village Attorney Stewart Diamond said including language about annexation in the statement is important in case the college, at some time in the future, changes its position on leaving the village.