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Planning commission gives blessing, but only on 2-1 vote

The Glencoe Planning and Industrial Commission met last Thursday and swore in its newest member, Wes Olson.
Olson replaces Robert Senst, who resigned earlier this summer.
The only other item on the agenda was a variance request by Jason and Alicia Zehnder to build a garage on their property on Vernon Lane in Glenview Woods.
The variance is for a 26-by-26-foot garage that juts too far into the sideyard setback, which by ordinance is five feet. The request is for a three-foot variance from the ordinance requirement.
Because the lot is odd-shaped, Alicia Zehnder said only a portion of the garage comes within 2.2 feet of the property line, including the one-foot overhang on the garage.
But she said the adjacent lot is a double lot and the home on that property is far from the property line.
The vote to approve the variance was 2-1 with commission chairman Dewey Klaustermeier not voting and commissioner Brian Schlagel absent.
Casting the dissenting vote was commissioner Ron Knop, who was concerned about the lack of room on that side of the property if the garage is built as designed.
Klaustermeier also expressed concerns that the adjacent property was not contacted. That property is in foreclosure and owned by Wells Fargo Bank.
The bank was notified of the Zehnders’ plans, but the city has received no reply, City Administrator Mark Larson said.
Olson said in his experience dealing with banks and foreclosures,  “they (banks) don’t care. You will not get any answers from anyone.” He said the only concern of the bank is financial. “They want to sell (the property).”
Council member Greg Copas, City Council’s liaison to the planning commission, said his concern was that the property will sell, and the new owner may have some concerns about building the garage so close to the property line.
But Olson said there is a tree line and wooded area around the Zehnder property and a large space between the Zehnders and the adjacent home.
Alicia Zehnder said their lot “is a weird-shaped lot next to a weird-shaped lot.”
Olson agreed. “All the properties out there (in Glenview Woods) are unique.”
Larson added Glenview Woods was built before being annexed into the city.
Olson and commissioner Lynn Exsted voted to approve the variance, and the recommendation will be forwarded to Glencoe City Council for its Oct. 1 meeting.