After decades of quarry mining, several parcels of land along the IL Route 31 corridor will soon become suitable for development. These sites are located along the boundary between the Villages of Algonquin and Cary alongside several unincorporated areas. CMAP’s Local Technical Assistance (LTA) Program and the Villages of Algonquin and Cary are collaborating to develop a subarea plan that will establish a long term vision for the quarry sites and surrounding area and identify desired land use and development concepts.
Building on recent planning efforts in Downtown Algonquin as well as the Village of Cary’s recently adopted Comprehensive Plan, the Algonquin-Cary Subarea Plan will also evaluate project phasing and implementation strategies. These could include, but are not limited to utility coordination and economic development partnerships (such as a tax sharing agreement) that will be beneficial to both communities. The project will be founded on robust community engagement to ensure that the end product is driven by the needs and vision of the community, including residents, business owners, property owners, and other community stakeholders.
Areas of Focus
Key areas of focus for the planning process include the following:
Parks and Recreation
The Cary Park District is considering plans for continuing the build-out of its 265-acre Hoffman Park which forms the northern border of the study area. The McHenry County Conservation District (MCCD) has recently created a plan for activating its Fox Bluff conservation area along the Fox River. MCCD has provided a letter of support for the planning process and the Village of Cary has developed a positive relationship with the Cary Park District. The plan will focus on ways to maximize the use of these recreational assets and how future development of the IL Route 31 corridor can tap into their potential. The Three Oaks Recreation Area offers a nearby example of how former quarry sites have been converted into a regional recreation destination and this case study will be further evaluated.
Transportation & Infrastructure
The Villages of Algonquin and Cary have a mutual interest in seeing the study area develop strong bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure including linkages to their respective downtown business districts. Planning is also needed regarding utility and service connections as much of the study area is located a significant distance from current public infrastructure.
Both communities have an interest in encouraging development along IL Route 31 to broaden their respective tax bases. As highlighted in the Downtown Algonquin Planning Study (2009), there is a significant lack of daytime employees within a five-minute drive of Downtown Algonquin as compared with several other neighboring communities. As a component of potential future development, there is a desire for the area to serve as an economic engine that supplements the daytime customer base for restaurants and shops in other commercial areas.