Update: On February 26, 2013, the Village Board unanimously voted to adopt the Niles Environmental Action Plan.
The Village of Niles has many sustainable features, such as compact housing stock, access to retail, plentiful parks and open space, and high quality of life for residents. One of the major goals of Niles' recently adopted 2030 Comprehensive Plan is to "promote the importance of environmental issues and sustainable practices to residents, businesses, and developers through leadership, education, and partnerships." Now, CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program is helping the Village to create an Environmental Action Plan (EAP) to build on the comprehensive plan's recommendations and provide a roadmap for reaching long-term sustainability goals.
The EAP will cover a wide range of important topics, including stormwater management and flooding, energy and water use, green building and development, and open space. Planning will start by defining goals related to sustainability and then will drill down into specific strategies that the Village can pursue to achieve a sustainable future. The resulting EAP will outline an implementable and achievable path forward for Village elected and appointed officials, as well as guidance for residents, business owners, and other stakeholders on ways to integrate sustainability into their own lives.
The planning process will consist of three distinct phases. The first phase will include a thorough review of Niles' existing conditions, particularly as related to environmental topic areas. The second phase will focus on setting broad sustainability goals for the Village and brainstorming ways to implement those goals through specific actions and strategies. During the third phase, the EAP will be drafted and reviewed with Village staff and officials, as well as members of the general public. The EAP is slated for completion by the end of the year.