Village of Skokie Statement on the Approved Carvana Project
Village Board Requests and Receives Additional Concessions and Bird Mitigations,
Setting Regional Standards
On February 22, 2022, the Skokie Village Board approved the proposed Carvana car dealership.
See list of Carvana bird mitigations and operational concessions addressing noise and traffic (updated February 23, 2022).
The Skokie Village Board has approved a proposed Carvana car dealership at 9801 Woods Drive, Skokie, a property with an Office Research zoning classification. During the months-long project approval process that involved the Village’s Appearance and Plan Commissions leading to the February 7, 2022 consideration by the Village Board, Carvana representatives repeatedly revised the project plan, adding measures to address noise and traffic concerns, as well as mitigations to protect both local and migratory birds. While many of these measures were included in the Plan Commission’s recommendation to the Village Board, during the February 7 meeting, members of the Village Board requested additional concessions that Carvana representatives agreed to during the proceedings.
“Hopefully, the Skokie Village Board has established bird mitigation standards for our region and beyond,” said Mayor George Van Dusen. The agreed-upon bird protection and deterrent mitigations are among the most stringent imposed on similar buildings in the region.
Mitigation measures include installing and maintaining American Bird Conservancy-approved, two-inch by four-inch patterned window markers to the exterior of all glass surfaces on the building up to 63 feet, 10 inches high to reduce the potential for bird strikes. The mitigation measures were evaluated by consulting regulatory requirements in San Francisco, Toronto, and Portland. San Francisco and Portland emphasize the important of window markers below 60 feet, while Toronto’s standard requires markers up to 12 meters (or 36 feet) to prevent fly-through conditions. Carvana’s bird mitigation proposal in early January included window markers up to 54 feet 10 inches. Through its continued review, staff recommended raising this level to over 60 feet to follow the San Francisco and Portland requirements. It’s also notable that San Francisco requires mitigation measures when a building is closer than 300 feet from a forested area. The Carvana building will be located 550 feet from Harms Woods.
Carvana also has agreed to turn off all internal and external building and sign lighting on all elevations between midnight and 7 a.m. during two, three-month spring and fall bird migration seasons. Only the sign facing the Edens Expressway will remain illuminated overnight during these time periods.
In addition, at the Village Board’s request, an independent research study to monitor bird strikes will be conducted for at least one year on both the Carvana and adjacent Optima buildings. The purpose of the study is to gain further understanding on bird impacts and the effectiveness of mitigation measures to facilitate future policy in both Skokie and at regional and national levels.
“The Office Research district is one of the most expansive zoning districts in the Village, allowing more than 50 land uses that include retail, service, office and residential,” said Community Development Director Matt Brandmeyer. “On the Carvana site, a 180-foot tall development with 500,000 square feet of space could have been built on the site, which would have been much more impactful than the Carvana proposal.” The Carvana facility will be positioned more than 500 feet away from Harms Woods and it will be among the most bird-friendly buildings in the entire Chicagoland area.
See Mayor George Van Dusen's February 13, 2022 Letter to the Editor in the Chicago Sun Times.
See February 14, 2022 Chicago Tribune editorial.
The image accompanying this post is an example of an existing Carvana development for illustrative purposes only.