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Westchester Zoning Update

Questions or comments? Contact Kristin Ihnchak.

The Village of Westchester, in partnership with CMAP, wishes to create a new zoning ordinance and updated zoning map to guide future redevelopment and help to implement its recently adopted Comprehensive Plan. Westchester is a developed suburban community that consists predominantly of single-family homes, with scattered commercial and industrial development. The Comprehensive Plan, developed with technical assistance from CMAP, sets forth the overarching land use goals of providing a greater range of housing options to foster a diverse population and revitalizing the Village's commercial corridors. These goals are reflected in the Comprehensive Plan's Future Land Use Map, which designates some of the Village's existing single-use commercial areas as areas of potential mixed-use development. The Village is particularly interested in creating a village center at the intersection of Cermak and Mannheim Roads, but currently lacks the proper zoning tools, such as a downtown-specific zoning district, to achieve this vision. The Comprehensive Plan also recommends including design standards in the new ordinance to improve the aesthetics and character of mixed-use areas.

This planning process consists of three main phases. The first phase focuses on kicking off the project, evaluating existing conditions, including an assessment of current ordinances, and conducting initial stakeholder and public engagement. At the end of the first phase, initial recommendations for code changes will be created and vetted with the project's steering committee and Village staff and presented at a public meeting. Second, a comprehensive revision of the zoning ordinance will occur, with an emphasis on making the regulations more user-friendly and facilitating redevelopment. This phase will entail intensive review of the draft regulations by Village staff and the steering committee before rolling out the regulations to the public. Finally, the third phase will present the document for public hearings and approval. The ordinance is expected to be adopted in summer 2017.

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Climate Adaptation Toolkit

Scientific consensus indicates that the climate is changing at a global scale and that greenhouse gas emissions are chiefly responsible for the change. To help mitigate climate change, the region's comprehensive plan GO TO 2040 recommends important local steps like improving energy efficiency and encouraging the use of low-carbon transportation alternatives, such as walking, biking, and transit. While it remains critical to reduce emissions to limit climate change, it is wise to prepare for its impacts at the same time.

The Climate Adaptation Guidebook for Municipalities in the Chicago Region (PDF) is a resource for communities interested in adapting their planning and investment decisions to a changing climate. Essentially, this means improving resilience to future weather impacts. The central reason for considering climate change is that, in many instances, it will be cheaper and less disruptive to plan for anticipated conditions than to retrofit or rebuild later. Since it is meant for municipalities, this guidebook concentrates on sectors and services that are typically under their jurisdiction.

Resources

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LOW-RESOLUTION -- Climate Adaptation Guidebook for Municipalities in the Chicago Region

Appendix A: Primary Impacts of Climate Change in the Chicago Region

Appendix B: Self-Assessment to Address Climate Change Readiness in Your Community

Appendix C: Financing Opportunities for Climate Adaptation

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