Comment sought on Northlake long-range plans
Trevor Dick, senior planner at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, shown at an earlier planning workshop, said a good long-range plan can help Northlake officials make land-use decisions in the coming decade. | Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 1, 2013 6:36AM
NORTHLAKE — Residents will get an opportunity to comment on a long-range vision for Northlake on March 6.
From 5 to 8 p.m. the public is welcome to visit the Northlake Public Library, 231 N. Wolf Road, to comment on a draft of a comprehensive plan for the city.
“It’s going to help the city in the next ten to 15 years make land use decisions,” said Trevor Dick, senior planner at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. “It provides a shared vision for the community.”
Over the last ten months, the planning agency has gathered suggestions from residents, officials, city staff, business owners and others. It has researched those suggestions to see which are feasible. That research is included in a 90- page draft plan, online at www.cmap.illinois.gov/northlake.
Three major recommendations have come out of the work. First, minimize flooding along Addison Creek. While the city has made efforts, more is needed, the agency concluded. Future efforts could include removing dams and planting vegetation along the banks to slow water flow. Such projects would require the assistance of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation Distrist.
Second, to improve the appearance of the commercial corridors.
“It’s dated, some kind of hodgepodge of development,” Dick said.
Actions could include increasing code enforcement and facade improvement.
Third, create mixed-use development at Wolf Road and North Avenue, a kind of town center. The area could include space for community events.
Based on public input at the library on March 6, the planning agency will make changes. The plan will then be considered by the Northlake Plan Commission, probably in April, and could be adopted by the City Council in May.
An updated comprehensive plan could help the city bring in federal and state grants.
“A lot of the (grant) applications ask if we have a comprehensive plan and they want to know the date of the comprehensive plan,” Mayor Jeff Sherwin said. “You tell them you have one from 1994, they say you really need to get that updated.”
According to a planning agency report from August, city officials and staff have consulted the 1994 comprehensive plan. The city reconfigured frontage roads along North Avenue, redeveloped an abandoned mink farm into a park, annexed appropriate properties and redeveloped the southwest corner or North Avenue and Wolf Road.
“One thing we try to do with our comprehensive plans is to make sure they are achievable,” Dick said. “There is an implementation chapter that identifies potential partners, departments that should lead efforts, grants that are out there. The plan doesn’t do any good if it’s going to sit on a shelf.”