CMAP letter on draft EIS.
Today we will submit the final version of our letter to the Surface Transportation Board
(opens 175KB PDF) regarding its draft Environmental Impact Statement on CN's proposed acquisition of the EJ&E railway. This issue has sparked debate across the region, with some communities vehemently opposed and others just as vehemently in favor. The letter describes five "requests for conditions" -- specific issues that we believe the STB should retain authority over in the event that volumes exceed CN's Operating Plan. Unfortunately, the federal EIS process was not established in a way that carefully considers the best overall interests of a region. As our letter states, "Despite those limitations (of the process), we urge you (the STB) to ensure that the regional perspective is not just incidental -- in CMAP's view, it should be paramount." The STB has said its decision could come in December or January. Water supply planning.
The Regional Water Supply Planning Group met this week here at CMAP's offices. The group received an updated regional water plan report outline and had some discussion of draft conservation-measure recommendations. Group members were provided with a thoughtful presentation on drought preparedness and how this topic applied to water planning at the federal, state, and regional levels. The preliminary results of the Water Utility Survey and the Household Water Use Survey were also presented. The survey results are still being analyzed and will be discussed more fully in the regional water supply plan. Tentative plans also include a formal presentation of survey results at the Universities Council on Water Resources / National Institutes for Water Resources 2009 annual conference, July 8-10 in Chicago. All the presentations are available online
. The next meeting is Tuesday, October 28, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. at CMAP.Stormwater story.
This week the Daily Herald covered the aftermath of recent flooding
, with a look at how steps taken in recent years helped avoid a worse outcome and how more progress is still needed. CMAP senior water resources planner Tim Loftus is quoted in the story.Planning commissioner workshops.
Following the success of workshops held last spring, CMAP, in partnership with the Illinois Chapter of the American Planning Association, has been providing training opportunities for planning commissioners, members of zoning boards, and other officials. Held over two Saturday mornings, these workshops provide practical support for appointed citizens serving on the "front lines" of development in northeastern Illinois, covering everything from the basics of planning and zoning to issues of law and ethics. Workshops have been held around the region in East Hazel Crest, Bolingbrook, Barrington, and Berkeley. On October 18 & November 8, we will be offering our next set of workshops in Sugar Grove at Waubonsee Community College, which is co-sponsoring this event. There is still time to register your planning commissioners, zoning board members, or other elected officials – please contact Jamie Krell (312-386-8658 or firstname.lastname@example.org
) for more information and to register. The $80 fee covers both sessions, workbook materials, and a subscription to APA's The Commissioner
. These are excellent, low-cost opportunities to equip your planning commissioners to make effective and informed land use deliberations.New blog entry.
See the new GO TO 2040
blog write-up about social media
following a MacArthur Foundation meeting that CMAP's Greg Sanders and Lindsay Banks attended this week.Water reuse workshops.
Workshops on the reuse of treated wastewater are being held on October 16 and 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Illinois Institute of Technology Rice Campus in Wheaton (directions
). The workshop on the 16th
focuses on landscape irrigation with reclaimed water, specifically golf courses, lawn areas, and fields. It is aimed at an audience of municipal engineers/planners and treatment plant operators, golf course industry personnel, and park district staff. The workshop on the 17th
focuses on reuse applications in commercial and industrial settings and is aimed primarily at industry personnel. The workshops are being hosted by the Illinois Institute of Technology, the Illinois Sustainable Technology (formerly the Waste Management and Research Center), and CMAP. Of particular interest is the potential for reclaimed water to be used in some applications to reduce future demand for potable water, which is one means of meeting the needs identified in the recently completed regional water demand report
conducted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale for CMAP and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP to Jesse Elam at 312.386.8688 or email@example.com
.Phelps helps Chicago.
The Chicago 2016
bid organizers have enlisted 14-time Gold Medal winner Michael Phelps, who taped a video in support of the City's candidacy. Grant writing workshop.
The Cook County Sheriff's Police Training Academy at Triton College and Grant Writing USA will present a two-day grant writing workshop in River Grove, November 24-25, 2008. The session is for beginning and experienced grant writers from city, county, and state agencies as well as nonprofits, K-12, colleges and universities. Tuition is $425 and includes a workbook and accompanying 220MB resource CD with helpful tools and sample grant proposals. Because seating is limited, RSVP at http://grantwritingusa.com/
events/write/rgil1108.html. Tuition payment is not required at the time of enrollment. For more information, call 800-814-8191.U.S. Census Bureau 2007 County Estimates.
for CMAP spreadsheets analyzing Homeowner and Home Rental Costs As a Percentage of Household Income, Means of Transportation to Work and Mean (Average) Travel Time to Work, and Educational Attainment for Persons 25 Year and Over. The data source is the American Community Survey, a project of the U.S. Bureau. Data were released on September 23, 2008. Visit the bureau's website
, and go to "What's New" for more information about the program and to view or download the data. Data highlights are shown below. For more information, contact Jon Hallas (312-386-8764 or firstname.lastname@example.org
At CMAP, we talk a lot about the need for innovation. Anyone interested in that topic should visit WIRED NextFest: Experience the Future from September 27 to October 12, 2008, at Millennium Park in Chicago. Billed as the "premier showcase of global innovations that are transforming our world," its exhibits include a gallery of the future demonstrating sustainable design, next-generation health care, interactive art and games, humanoid robotics, and more. Admission is free. See http://www.wirednextfest.com/
for details, including interesting video previews of the technologies to be displayed.Light Imprint Planning presentation.
At CMAP from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 8, Thomas E. Low AIA, CNU, LEED, principal at DPZ Charlotte, will present Light Imprint (http://lightimprint.org/),
a comprehensive strategy aiming to create urban forms that lie lightly on the land. It coordinates sustainable engineering practices and New Urbanism techniques, thereby offering different solutions for different transect zones. New Urbanism principles offer a better planning philosophy by minimizing the overall impact of the built environment compared to conventional suburban sprawl. LI, as a New Urban approach, integrates urban and engineering practices offering a framework for regional, neighborhood, and block scale development. Economic growth is ensured while preserving natural resources. LI protects biodiversity and reduces pollution and resource depletion. It addresses conservation of the two most critical global resources: energy and land. RSVP (required) at email@example.com
. LEED-ND and the Congress for the New Urbanism Illinois State Conference
. Join the Illinois Chapter for its Second Annual State Conference at the Chicago Cultural Center on Thursday October 9. The day will include an educational and dynamic workshop involving the latest updates to LEED for Neighborhood Development. Learn the origins of LEED-ND, apply its principles, hear about legislative initiatives in Illinois involving LEED-ND and how you can get involved. The inaugural CNU Illinois Charter Awards presentation and reception will be held at the end of the day's program. Speakers include CNU President and CEO John Norquist, CNU National Program Director Heather Smith, LEED ND Core Committee Chair Susan Mudd, Sustainable Urbanism author and Principal of Farr Associates Doug Farr, Light Imprint Handbook author and principal of DPZ Charlotte Tom Low, National Charrette Institute Executive Director Bill Lennertz, USGBC Illinois Chapter Executive Director Doug Widener. See http://www.cnuillinois.org
for registration details.