Development Regulations Update for Park Forest
The Village of Park Forest has prioritized livability since its inception as one of the first planned communities in the country. Park Forest continues to make strides toward maintaining a high quality of life for its residents, redeveloping commercial areas, and employing green practices throughout the community. To that end, Park Forest, in conjunction with CMAP, created and adopted a Sustainability Plan called Growing Green in 2011. Now -- in order to better align the Village's zoning and subdivision ordinances with the Sustainability Plan, other recent planning documents, and current land use practices -- Park Forest is updating its development regulations.
With support from CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program, this development regulations update will be built around a community-based process that reflects the interests and needs of both residential and commercial property owners, as well as other community stakeholders. Key themes of this ordinance update will include removing barriers to green practices, promoting sustainable development, and creating favorable conditions for the implementation of the Village's current planning documents. In particular, regulatory revisions will focus on updating the Village's zoning districts; permitted uses; parking and loading; landscaping and buffering; signage; administrative provisions; and subdivision requirements.
This planning process, which is designed to be completed in approximately 16 months, consists of four main phases. The first phase focuses on existing conditions, including an assessment of current ordinances, as well as stakeholder and public engagement. During the second phase, initial recommendations for zoning and subdivision code changes will be created and vetted with the project's steering committee and Village staff. Third, a comprehensive revision of these ordinances will occur with an emphasis on making the regulations more user-friendly both for government and the business community. Finally, the fourth phase will present the documents for public review and approval.
The community had its first of several opportunities to give feedback at a public workshop held on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 in Park Forest, during which participants were introduced to the project and zoning concepts, and participated in an interactive activity to ascertain the community's preferences about development.
The Park Forest community also had the chance to share their ideas electronically. Stakeholders who were not able to attend the October public workshop in person could visit an interactive engagement website to participate in an online visual preference survey. The website was live from Octboer 29 through December 29 2013, and over 300 people visited to share their input about the Village's development regulations update.