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. 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 developed the Harvard Comprehensive Plan for increased social and economic prosperity in Harvard, which was adopted in 2016. Now – in order to better align the Village's development regulations with the comprehensive plan, other recent planning documents, and current land use practices – Harvard is updating its zoning and subdivision ordinance 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 promoting sustainable development and creating favorable conditions for the implementation of the City's current planning documents. In particular, regulatory revisions will focus on updating the City's zoning districts; permitted uses; parking and loading; landscaping; signage; administrative provisions; and subdivision regulations.
This planning process consists of four main phases. The first phase focuses on existing conditions, including an assessment of the current ordinance, as well as stakeholder and public engagement. During the second phase, initial recommendations for zoning code changes will be created and vetted with the project's steering committee and City staff. Third, a comprehensive revision of this ordinance 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 document for public review and approval.