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.
An Environmental Action Plan for Niles
Update: On February 26, 2013, the Village Board unanimously voted to adopt the Niles Environmental Action Plan.
The Village of Niles has many sustainable features, such as compact housing stock, access to retail, plentiful parks and open space, and high quality of life for residents. One of the major goals of Niles' recently adopted 2030 Comprehensive Plan is to "promote the importance of environmental issues and sustainable practices to residents, businesses, and developers through leadership, education, and partnerships." Now, CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program is helping the Village to create an Environmental Action Plan (EAP) to build on the comprehensive plan's recommendations and provide a roadmap for reaching long-term sustainability goals.
The EAP will cover a wide range of important topics, including stormwater management and flooding, energy and water use, green building and development, and open space. Planning will start by defining goals related to sustainability and then will drill down into specific strategies that the Village can pursue to achieve a sustainable future. The resulting EAP will outline an implementable and achievable path forward for Village elected and appointed officials, as well as guidance for residents, business owners, and other stakeholders on ways to integrate sustainability into their own lives.
The planning process will consist of three distinct phases. The first phase will include a thorough review of Niles' existing conditions, particularly as related to environmental topic areas. The second phase will focus on setting broad sustainability goals for the Village and brainstorming ways to implement those goals through specific actions and strategies. During the third phase, the EAP will be drafted and reviewed with Village staff and officials, as well as members of the general public. The EAP is slated for completion by the end of the year.
An initial public meeting was held on July 25, 2012. A public open house to present the draft EAP was held December 4, 2012. A public meeting to consider the Environmental Action Plan for adoption was held on February 12, 2013. The final version of the EAP was adopted by the Village Board on February 26, 2013.
Launch Niles "Green" Plan, Journal Online, May 9, 2012
Residents Like Niles' Plan to Go Green, Patch.com, December 6, 2012
Niles continues moving forward with its environmental sustainability programs, The Bugle February 20, 2013
Aggregation to save Niles residents $81 a year on electricity, Chicago Tribune, July 31, 2013
Niles hopes to make Milwaukee Avenue more friendly for pedestrians, cyclists, Trib Local, August 13, 2013
Niles hosts first Bike Niles event at Culver School, The Bugle, September 17, 2013
Niles board approves new bike, pedestrian plan, The Bugle, April 8, 2014
Niles hosts its second annual Bike Niles event, The Bugle, May 25, 2014
Niles wants to recognize businesses with innovative green building projects and sustainability efforts, The Bugle, July 16, 2014
Niles unveils first electrically-powered vechile, Chicago Tribune, February 5, 2015
Steven C. Vinezeano, Village of Niles Assistant Village Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-588-8007)
Kristin Ihnchak, Senior Planner at CMAP (email@example.com 312-676-7462)
Berenice Vallecillos, Outreach & Engagement Specialist at CMAP (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-386-8623)