July 19, 2022 Village Board Meeting
This written statement was sent to the trustees before the meeting. It was slightly modified when presented orally to reflect discussion between the trustees and Dermody.
My name is Sheri Latash. I’m appearing here tonight on behalf of and as the co-founder of Greener Glenview.
Greener Glenview takes no position on whether this project should be built. Our comments tonight are focused on efforts to make this development environmentally sustainable today, and in the future as it is built out.
We acknowledge that another developer, who does not construct buildings to even a basic LEED standard, could acquire this property. If that were the case, Glenview would be worse off for it. So Dermody’s proposal takes an important step in right direction.
Having said that, our comments reflect the concern that Greener Glenview members identified as their highest priority. That is, reducing the presence of carbon, and other greenhouse gases, in the environment. The goal is to get to a carbon-neutral state, where any CO2 released into the atmosphere from a company’s activities is balanced by an equivalent amount being sequestered.
Unfortunately, this development will have a large carbon footprint. Transportation accounts for 27% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions according to USEPA’s April 2022 Inventory. With 645 truck bays, Dermody’s logistics center will produce emissions on an ongoing basis. There will also be emissions associated with heating the 3.2 million square feet of warehouse space.
In light of these numbers, it’s particularly important that the warehouses be built to LEED standards. Dermody will build to the basic LEED v4 standard. Yet enhanced LEED building construction standards exist in LEED v4.1, which have been in effect since 2019. These enhanced standards were adopted to strengthen climate mitigation efforts with metrics on energy and greenhouse gas emissions. Greener Glenview suggests that the more robust LEED v4.1 standard be applied to this project. [We are pleased to hear Dermody will build to the most current LEED standard.]
Following the most current LEED standard becomes even more important in light of a troubling provision in the Annexation and Development Agreement. Section 3.E. related to Zoning and Development of the Property, grandfathers Dermody’s future Phase II and III construction plans, exempting them from certain sustainability standards the village might adopt. [We thank Trustee DeBoni for raising this issue tonight.] Even though Phases II and III might not be built for 3-5 years, they will be exempt from new standards for eight years. We ask, how is this compliance waiver in the best interest of the Village or its residents? Additionally, if this exemption is granted, are you setting a precedent for the developers of other large parcels—like Signode, ITW, and Pearson?
Greener Glenview would like to see Sec. 3.E. removed from the Agreement. With the hiring of a sustainability coordinator, Glenview will finally begin a systematic examination of its sustainability goals. Its future standards may look very different from today’s. Whatever standards come out of that process should apply to all developments, and not be a chip to be bargained away as an incentive.
If this provision is not removed from the Agreement, then we hope that elsewhere, using some other mechanism, a way can be found to limit its applicability.
Glenview has said it intends to be a leader in sustainability. We are watching to see how that intention will play out in this development. Thank you for the opportunity to provide Greener Glenview’s perspective.