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Land Use and Zoning

Livability is primarily created at the local level through planning and development decisions made by communities, developers, and individuals. CMAP upholds the long-standing Illinois tradition of local control over zoning and land use decisions. Yet, within that framework exist many opportunities for collaborative planning across jurisdictions in pursuit of common goals.  

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CMAP supports reinvesting in existing communities, pursuing opportunities for more compact, walkable, and mixed-use development, and providing a range of housing options. Local land use decisions should focus on the interrelationship of transportation, land use, and housing, with an emphasis on development patterns that support the use of public transit. With local authority comes the responsibility to carefully assess broader impacts on neighboring communities and on the region as a whole. 

Achieving livability will take proactive planning by local governments that recognize the potential regional impacts of even seemingly small local decisions. One of GO TO 2040's highest priorities is to promote comprehensive planning in communities across our seven counties—including the development of comprehensive plans, consistent ordinances and regulations, and trained decision makers.
 
GO TO 2040 also recommends supporting local planning through grant programs, infrastructure investments to implement plans, technical assistance, and collaboration between municipalities on shared priorities. CMAP provides a number of resources that help local governments to strengthen each of these.

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Land Use and Zoning Updates

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July 22, 2014

Improved GO TO 2040 Case Study Library

Completed Local Technical Assistance projects and GO TO 2040-related work are highlighted in a new interactive map. Read More About Improved GO TO 2040 Case Study Library
July 15, 2014

Community planning proposals

CMAP received 104 applications were submitted by 77 different applicants to the LTA program. Read More About Community planning proposals
June 26, 2014

Evaluating Housing and Transportation Costs in the CMAP Region

Very few parts of the region are affordable in terms of housing and transportation costs for low-income households. Read More About Evaluating Housing and Transportation Costs in the CMAP Region
June 13, 2014

Draft GO TO 2040 plan update available for public comment through August 1, 2014

Submit comments on-line and attend open house meetings throughout the region for the draft GO TO 2040 plan update and FFY 2014-19 Transportation Improvement Program. Read More About Draft GO TO 2040 plan update available for public comment through August 1, 2014
May 1, 2014

Obama Administration Releases Transportation Bill

On April 29, 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) released legislative language for the GROW AMERICA Act. Read More About Obama Administration Releases Transportation Bill
April 11, 2014

Free form-based codes workshop

CMAP and the Form-Based Codes Institute will host a free workshop on May 16. Read More About Free form-based codes workshop
April 2, 2014

Smart Growth America ranks Chicago region among national leaders in effective patterns of land use

Metropolitan Chicago's land-use trends are among the top U.S. regions according to a new national report on smart growth patterns of 221 major metropolitan areas. Read More About Smart Growth America ranks Chicago region among national leaders in effective patterns of land use
March 6, 2014

Fair Housing report

CMAP and the Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance (CAFHA) have released Fair Housing and Equity Assessment: Metropolitan Chicago . The report finds that communities with a well-balanced supply of... Read More About Fair Housing report
February 4, 2014

North Cook Workshops RESCHEDULED

The North Cook workshops in Arlington Heights for Cook County's Planning for Progress effort have been rescheduled to February 11 due to snow.  Register  on-line. The... Read More About North Cook Workshops RESCHEDULED
January 30, 2014

Examining the Fiscal and Economic Impacts of Local Development Decisions

Land use decisions by local governments have profound effects not just for their communities, but also for the region as a whole.  By understanding both the local and regional implications... Read More About Examining the Fiscal and Economic Impacts of Local Development Decisions
January 23, 2014

CMAP Muni-Blast, 1-23-14

CMAP's quarterly "e-blast" newsletter for metropolitan Chicago's 284 municipalities briefly highlights local planning resources that can help communities implement livability recommendations ... Read More About CMAP Muni-Blast, 1-23-14
January 21, 2014

Congress Releases Omnibus Appropriations Bill for FY14

On January 17, 2014, the President signed the Omnibus Appropriations Bill for federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, which ends September 30, 2014. Combining 12 separate appropriations bills, the... Read More About Congress Releases Omnibus Appropriations Bill for FY14
August 7, 2013

Report Examines Local Economic Development Incentives in Northeastern Illinois

Local economic development incentives play a major role within the overall economic development landscape of northeastern Illinois. In recent years, 202 of the region's 284 municipalities have... Read More About Report Examines Local Economic Development Incentives in Northeastern Illinois
August 5, 2013

Potential Impacts of Koontz Decision on Local Land Use Decisions

On June 25, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling on Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District , which expands the application of the Nollan v. California Coastal... Read More About Potential Impacts of Koontz Decision on Local Land Use Decisions
June 28, 2013

Recap of 98th Illinois General Assembly Spring Session

During the 98 th Illinois General Assembly's spring session that adjourned on May 31, 2013, CMAP followed a broad range of issues affecting residents and communities throughout the region.... Read More About Recap of 98th Illinois General Assembly Spring Session
June 19, 2013

Illinois General Assembly Passes Multifaceted Economic Development Bill

In the last two days of its spring session, the Illinois General Assembly passed SB 20 , the "Economic Development Act of 2013." The bill proposes changes to variety of existing programs and... Read More About Illinois General Assembly Passes Multifaceted Economic Development Bill
June 7, 2012

The Importance of Parking in Planning for Livable Communities

The influence and value of parking in planning for livable communities is often underestimated and not well understood. As one of the largest single land uses in municipalities' "footprints,"... Read More About The Importance of Parking in Planning for Livable Communities
May 23, 2012

A New Look at Metropolitan Chicago’s Existing Local Plans

Northeastern Illinois is made up of a network of unique, identifiable communities, each with their own histories and characters. Each has its own "sense of place," and that diversity within the... Read More About A New Look at Metropolitan Chicago’s Existing Local Plans
April 9, 2012

State Legislative Initiatives Address Vacant and Foreclosed Residential Properties

The number of foreclosed properties has been rising in the region since the recession began, and more homes are getting stuck in the foreclosure process . In many communities, this is... Read More About State Legislative Initiatives Address Vacant and Foreclosed Residential Properties
April 2, 2012

CNT Releases Prospering in Place Report

The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) recently released Prospering in Place: Linking Jobs, Development, and Transit to Spur Chicago's Economy . It offers strategies to increase... Read More About CNT Releases Prospering in Place Report
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Local Technical Assistance program

With funding from a Sustainable Communities Regional Planning grant by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), CMAP launched the Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program, which involves providing planning, and in some cases financial, assistance to communities across the Chicago metropolitan region to undertake planning projects that advance the principles of GO TO 2040.
 
CMAP has initiated over 100 local projects with local governments, nonprofits, and intergovernmental organizations to address local issues at the intersection of transportation, land use, and housing, including the natural environment, economic growth, and community development. Common projects include updating municipal comprehensive plans and zoning ordinances, developing sub-area plans for specific commercial or industrial districts, sustainability plans, and parking management planning.
 
Local Ordinances and Toolkits program
CMAP's Local Ordinances and Toolkits program develops resources that help municipalities to develop policies that support the goals of GO TO 2040, guiding them through the process from study to approval on a variety of topics such as parking regulation, local food production, and more. Particularly relevant to land use and zoning is a toolkit on form-based codes.
 

Fiscal Policy and Land Use Planning

Tax policies and economic development incentives also play a role in driving local land use decisions.  It is important for the region to have the best information possible about how our fiscal policies drive land use decisions, as well as the resulting impacts on the regional economy, jobs, and principles of livability as addressed in GO TO 2040. CMAP creates reports on these and other policy issues that affect land use.  
 

Land Use Committee

The CMAP Land Use Committee meets on the third Wednesday of every month and is composed of members representing municipal, county, state, and federal government in our region as well as agencies and nonprofit organizations focused on land use issues.
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