Response to Inquiries Regarding Library

Proposed Helen Plum Library Redevelopment

Frequently Asked Questions

January 2019

The Helen Plum Memorial Library Board and staff have been working on redevelopment plans to replace the existing library facility at 110 W. Maple Street.  In response to questions that have been asked to the Village of Lombard, Village staff has prepared this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sheet for public reference.

  1. How has the Village been working with the Library and Park District on the Library redevelopment project to date?
    Village representatives met with Library officials on numerous occasions over the past two years and have discussed concerns as they present themselves. The Village has also attended Open House events as scheduled by the Library. The Village, at its own cost, has undertaken thorough reviews of concept engineering and building plans and entitlement agreements, all in order to provide proper direction.  Village representatives have also met with Park District officials as requested in order to discuss issues pertaining to the Library redevelopment. These actions demonstrate the Village’s obligation to meet demands expected by constituents.

  2.  What is the process for the Village to approve construction of a new library?
    As with any property owner seeking zoning approval for a project, the Library will need to submit a petition to the Village requesting approval of all relevant zoning entitlements. The Village’s Plan Commission will conduct a public hearing to consider the petition, and will make a recommendation to the Village Board. The Plan Commission may recommend that the petition be approved, approved with conditions, or that the petition be denied. The Village Board will consider the petition and the recommendation of the Plan Commission, and will make a final decision.

  3. What actions would the Library be requesting from the Village?
    Village staff has reviewed preliminary plans for the Library and identified the relief the Library would need in order to redevelop the site as proposed. Please note these items are subject to change.
    1. Conditional use for the library redevelopment
    2. Text amendment to amend parking requirements for libraries with companion parking relief
    3. Conditional use for a planned development with a use exception for a drive-through service window, and
    4. Variations for existing lot area, front yard, interior side yard and rear yard setbacks
  4. What criteria will the Plan Commission and Village Board use to consider the project?
    The Village will consider any petition advanced by the Library with respect to all relevant provisions in the Village Code.  Any zoning request must meet the standards for such relief.

    Statutorily, the Village’s review of the Library project will focus only on issues that fall under the jurisdiction of the Village as determined by the Village Code. Generally speaking, such issues will be limited to regulations related to land use. The Village’s review and approval process will not consider any financial aspects of the redevelopment proposal.

  5. Has the Library filed a petition with the Village?
    As of January 18, 2019, the Library has not filed a formal petition with the Village.

  6. Why hasn’t a hearing date been set for a Plan Commission hearing?
    See above, as the petition as not been formally filed to date.  The Village has identified a number of issues that require confirmation before the Village can process a formal petition and set a date for a Plan Commission hearing. The most pressing issue is the question of property owner consent. The preliminary plans presented by the Library to Village staff include a driveway and site improvements on the west side of the library building that would be partially constructed on property owned by the Lombard Park District. Thus far, the Park District has not provided formal consent to allow these improvements to be constructed on their land.

    By code, property owner consent is inherent to any zoning petition.  For example, if a resident wanted to construct a shed or garage on their neighbor’s property and sought relief to do so, the Village would require the adjacent property owner to consent to the requested action prior to the Village taking action.

  7. When will the Plan Commission consider the Library’s petition?
    Upon receipt of a petition from the Library, Village staff will review the petition for completeness and to identify issues that require more information. The public hearing will be scheduled once the Village has determined that the petition is complete.

  8. Why doesn’t the Village intervene in the negotiations between the Library and Park District and require the Park District to sign off on the Library’s petition?
    The Village of Lombard is a separate governmental agency from both the Lombard Park District as well as the Helen Plum Library. The Park District and the Library are not under the control or supervision of the Village, but rather have separate elected Boards that control them. Furthermore, the Village respects the Park District’s and Library’s rights as separate agencies, and, as such, does not advise them on how to handle their respective duties. Any disagreements or differences of opinion between the Park District and the Library are outside of the Village’s control. Any concerns with the actions taken by the Park District and/or the Library should be directed to their respective Boards.

  9. Is 110 W. Maple Street the only location a new library facility could be constructed?
    The Lombard Zoning Ordinance does not restrict construction of a new library facility solely to the property at 110 W. Maple Street. The Library could identify alternative sites and advance a petition accordingly. Should the Library identify an alternative location and secure the approval of the property owners, the Village would evaluate the proposed development against relevant provisions of the Village Code. The public hearing process would be the same regardless of the location.

  10. If the Village does not approve the project, does this affect the previously approved tax levy increase for the Library?
    No. The Village’s review and approval process for the construction of a new library will have no impact on the taxes paid by Lombard property owners to the Library, as the Library Board controls the Library’s tax levy.

  11. Has the Library submitted any plans or supporting materials to the Village? How can I view these documents?
    The Library’s project team submitted preliminary plans for review by Village staff in advance of filing a formal petition during the summer of 2018. These plans are available for viewing at the Village’s Community Development Department. You may also file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Village Clerk’s office.  Note that these preliminary plans are subject to change.

  12. How can I stay informed about the Library’s petition and its status with the Village?  
    Once the Library files a petition and Village staff determines the petition is ready for public hearing, a Plan Commission public hearing date will be scheduled. Prior to the hearing, the Village will provide public notice in the newspaper, letters to all property owners within 250 feet, a sign on the subject property, and it will be listed on the Village's public hearing page at

    The Village publishes agendas for all upcoming Plan Commission and Village Board meetings on our website in advance of each meeting. Interested parties can find these agendas by visiting the Village’s website and and clicking on the “Agendas & Minutes” link on the homepage.