County board sends zoning case back to committee
URBANA -- Champaign County Board members Thursday night voted to send a controversial zoning case back to the board's environment and land use committee.
The county's zoning board of appeals already had voted to deny a zoning map amendment for a proposed restricted landing area in southern Champaign County.
Dr. Phillip W. Jones and Sarabeth Jones had requested a special use permit to establish the restricted landing area for airplanes and helicopters at the location near Illinois 130, north of Villa Grove.
Representatives of 32 households in the area had signed a petition in opposition to the rezoning. They said they were concerned about harming property values and wildlife, and a possible threat to the safety and welfare of nearby residents.
Also Thursday the board approved board chair Alan Kurtz's nomination of Joyce Dill of Urbana and Philip Krein of Champaign for positions on the county's developmental disabilities board.
There were three other applicants for the position: Mary Auth, Amy Armstrong and Susan Fowler.
Champaign Democrats Pattsi Petrie and Giraldo Rosales voted against Dill's reappointment. Champaign Republican Max Mitchell, and Democrats Rosales and Lloyd Carter voted against Krein.
Kurtz said "we had five wonderful applicants," but that he nominated Dill because of her experience on the board and Krein because "he will bring a balanced look."
The board also approved Grant Henry of Champaign for another term on the Champaign County Housing Authority board, and Jim Randol to the county zoning board of appeals.
A request to create a jury coordinator's position, under Circuit Clerk Katie Blakeman, was approved. The position would replace two part-time jury clerks now under the county's court administrator.
Board members learned Thursday that the county's facilities director, Alan Reinhart, will retire in September. A five-member search committee already has been appointed to begin looking for a replacement, including county board members Stan James and James Quisenberry, plus Sheriff Dan Walsh; Jack Dempsey, the recently retired director of facilities and services at the University of Illinois; and retired Champaign City Manager Steve Carter.
A replacement for Reinhart should be hired by no later than November, according to a memo from County Administrator Deb Busey.
Meanwhile, during a presentation on the Champaign County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jayne DeLuce, the president and CEO of the group, said that there has been no discussion with city of Urbana representatives to bring the county seat back into the bureau.
"We have not approached the city of Urbana at this point because we have been told many times that there would be no discussion," DeLuce said.
Only one board member, Champaign Democrat Rachel Schwartz, was absent from Thursday's meeting.