A Comprehensive Plan for Franklin Park
The Village of Franklin Park, located in Cook County just south of O'Hare International Airport, is a built-out community with a solid mix of residential, industrial, and commercial assets. Many transportation improvements – including the Elgin-O'Hare Western Access (EOWA) project – are occurring that will affect residents and businesses in Franklin Park, and consequently the Village is ready to update its comprehensive plan to prepare for the next 10 to 15 years. With approximately 18,000 residents and more than 800 businesses, Franklin Park serves a wide variety of interests, and has undergone a number of strong planning efforts over the last decade to improve quality of life and economic growth.
With assistance from the CMAP Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program, the Village will create a new comprehensive plan that will build upon these previous studies and plans, in addition to incorporating community input. This plan will focus on harmonizing land uses, increasing the economic prosperity of downtown and commercial corridors, and supporting recommendations from the Village's Industrial Corridor Plan (completed in 2014).
This planning process includes three phases, each of which involves public input. The first phase analyzes the Village's existing conditions, using information gathered from a steering committee, interviews with key stakeholders, a community workshop, economic and demographic data, and existing plans and studies. The second phase will capture a shared vision for the future of Franklin Park and identify specific goals and objectives necessary to achieve that vision. The third phase will create the comprehensive plan document, outlining the policies, programs, and actions needed to implement the Village's plan.
Residents and community stakeholders will have multiple opportunities to be engaged throughout this planning process. The first chance to get involved was on Tuesday, August 4, 2015, at the Franklin Park Police Station (9451 W. Belmont, Franklin Park), where more than 40 residents and representatives of various governmental agenices attended. At this meeting, participants learned about the comprehensive planning process and shared their ideas about the strengths and challenges facing the Village.
Residents identified these key Village strengths, which should be leveraged in trying to improve quality of life:
- Location near O'Hare airport, highways, and rail transportation, with three Metra stops in the community
- Robust and supportive businesses, notably industrial businesses; these provide jobs for residents, contribute to the local tax base, and give back to the community.
- Responsive and quality Village staff, Police Department, and Fire Department
- Affordable and attainable homeownership
- High-quality schools
The following were cited by multiple participants as major issues in Franklin Park:
- Train horn noise
- Poor north-south traffic circulation
- Flooding in the core areas of the Village
- Unsafe pedestrian access near rail crossings
- Lack of bicycle facilities
- Struggle to retain residents and attract new residents
- Downtown area/Franklin Avenue corridor that could be more inviting
Other issues that emerged included the need to improve the Village's reputation as a place to live, some under-developed and -utilized park facilities, and not enough transit-oriented development around the Franklin Park Metra station on the Milwaukee District-West line.
The process is continuing as CMAP staff analyze existing conditions and produce a report. After this report is created, the public will be invited again for a visioning workshop to lay out the goals for the comprehensive plan. Please continue to monitor this page for updates on when this meeting will be scheduled, sometime in early 2016.
Chicago Tribune, July 27, 2015: New comprehensive plan in works to shape Franklin Park
Chicago Tribune, Aug. 11, 2015: Franklin Park residents weigh in on village's future
John Schneider, Director of Community Development, Village of Franklin Park (847-671-8300)
John Carlisle, CMAP Project Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-386-8839)
For more on the project and upcoming events, follow CMAP's Twitter feed, @GOTO2040, and hashtag #CMAPLTA for the latest updates.