Harvard Comprehensive Plan

Jul 7, 2014

Harvard Comprehensive Plan

UPDATE: The Harvard Comprehensive Plan is now available for download.

The City of Harvard, located in northwest McHenry County, boasts a small-town feel while also offering access to diverse cultural and natural amenities, making it an ideal place to live, work, and play. The City lies within close proximity of McHenry County's wealth of conservation land, as well as destinations including Chicago, Milwaukee, and Rockford. Metra's Union Pacific Northwest line runs multiple trains daily between Harvard and Chicago's Union Station, which links residents to a number of job centers in the northwest suburbs and Chicago's Loop. Today, there is potential for infill development and redevelopment, particularly within downtown, along Route 14, and at the site of a former Motorola facility. Recognizing these possibilities, the City is developing a comprehensive plan for increased social and economic prosperity in Harvard.

With support from CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program, this comprehensive plan will use a community-based process that reflects the interests and diverse needs of the community. The plan will provide a framework to make informed investment decisions, address current issues, and reach long-term goals. Together, the City of Harvard, local stakeholders, and CMAP will explore opportunities in land use planning, residential and commercial development, transportation, parks and open space, and numerous other aspects important to the City's prosperity. The plan will build upon the community's assets and identify ways to support goals from as the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan.

The three-phase planning process is designed to be completed in approximately 12 months. The first phase will involve a thorough analysis of the existing conditions within the community using information gathered through steering committee meetings, one-on-one stakeholder interviews, review of previous studies, and collection of maps and data. During the second phase, initial recommendations will be created and vetted with the project's steering committee and City staff. The final phase will include plan creation, community feedback, and plan adoption.

Public Engagement

The public will have several opportunities to participate in the planning process. The City of Harvard, in partnership with CMAP, will embark on a series of outreach meetings with City leadership, business representatives, and the community to solicit and incorporate local input into the planning process. We invite your participation at the following upcoming events.

Public kick-off meeting (March 5, 2015)
The public kick-off meeting for the Harvard Comprehensive Plan was held on Thursday, March 5, 2015 at the Harvard Diggins Library, located at 900 E. McKinley St, in Harvard. In addition to learning about the comprehensive planning process, more than 33 community residents and stakeholders talked about their vision for Harvard. Meeting attendees also discussed the strenghts and challenges throughout the City, particularly related to parks and open space, commercial areas, homes and neighborhoods, and transportation. The ideas and suggestions that were generated at this meeting are outlined in the following summary.
- Summary of public kick-off meeting results.

Latino Focus Group meeting (May 17, 2015)
The Latino population constitutes over 45 percent of the population in Harvard. To better understand their needs and opportunities as residents of the Harvard community, a Spanish-speaking workshop was designed to introduce Latino stakeholders to the project. The workshop was held on Sunday, May 17 before the regular scheduled mass at the Asamblea Apostolica de la Fe en Cristo Rey. In total, 27 Latino residents provided input during this interactive engagement activity.

Public visioning workshop (May 20, 2015)
On May 20, 2015, approximately 16 residents and stakeholders gathered at the Harvard Diggins Library to partake in a visioning charrette, during which participants divided up into smaller groups to envision the City's future through a mapping exercise. Participants identified specific assets to preserve and areas for improvement in relation to the key findings of the Existing Conditions Report.

  • Click here for a summary of the Focus Group and Visioning Workshop results . 

Public Open House meeting (October 29, 2015)
The third public meeting of the Harvard Comprehensive Plan was held on Thursday, October 29, 2015 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Harvard Diggins Library. There were approximately 41 people in attendance, including several members of the steering committee. The goal of the meeting was to present the draft Comprehensive Plan recommendations and garner feedback from residents and stakeholders.

  • Click here for a summary of the Public Open House meeting results.

Upcoming Events:




David A. Nelson, City Administrator, City of Harvard (nelson@cityofharvard.org or 815-943-1306)

Nora June Beck, CMAP Senior Planner (nbeck@cmap.illinois.gov or 312-386-8677)

Ricardo Lopez, CMAP Associate Planner (rlopez@cmap.illinois.gov or 312-386-8766)
For more on the project and upcoming events, follow CMAP's Twitter feed at @GOTO2040 and hashtag #CMAPLTA for the latest updates.
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Harvard Comprehensive Plan

Appendix A: Local Food Producers

Appendix B: Harvard Existing Conditions Report