The Village of Park Forest unanimously adopted a unified development ordinance (UDO) on December 11, 2017. Park Forest has prioritized livability since its inception as one of the first planned communities in the country and continues to make strides toward maintaining a high quality of life for its residents by redeveloping commercial areas and employing green practices throughout the community. To that end, Park Forest, in conjunction with CMAP, created and adopted a Sustainability Plan called Growing Green in 2011.
With support from CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program, this development regulations update was 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 were removing barriers to green practices, promoting sustainable development, and creating favorable conditions for the implementation of the Village's current planning documents. In particular, regulatory revisions focus on updating the Village's zoning districts; permitted uses; parking and loading; landscaping; signage; administrative provisions; and subdivision requirements.
This planning process consisted of four main phases. The first phase focused on existing conditions, including an assessment of current ordinances, as well as stakeholder and public engagement. During the second phase, initial recommendations for zoning and subdivision code changes were created and vetted with the project's steering committee and Village staff. Third, a comprehensive revisions of these ordinances were completed with an emphasis on making the regulations more user-friendly both for government and the business community. Finally, in the fourth phase, the documents were presented to the public for review and approval.