Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) has kicked off local planning projects in communities across northeastern Illinois.
The Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program helps local governments, nonprofits, and regional organizations address issues at the intersection of transportation, land use, and housing. Since 2010, CMAP has supported more than 200 local planning projects in communities throughout the seven-county region, from Aurora to Zion.
Each LTA project promotes the principles of ON TO 2050: inclusive growth, resilience, and prioritized investment.
Here’s a look at six of the LTA projects underway this year:
Hickory Hills comprehensive plan
Hickory Hills is a community of 14,000 residents in Cook County, 15 miles southwest of the Chicago Loop. CMAP will work with Hickory Hills to create the city's first comprehensive plan.
The comprehensive plan will help the city address challenges and set priorities for land use, economic development, infrastructure, transportation, and climate resilience, among other topics. For example, the plan will identify opportunities for the 95th Street and Roberts Road corridors, the primary commercial streets in the community. The plan will also provide strategies for improving pedestrian and bicycle access to key destinations in and around Hickory Hills, including the forest preserves west of the community.
Hegewisch (Chicago) neighborhood plan
This project will create a neighborhood plan for Hegewisch, a community on the far south side of Chicago along the Indiana border.
Currently, many of the area’s 9,000 residents travel to Indiana to access entertainment, amenities, and businesses. The plan will identify economic development opportunities to support a vibrant local commercial district along Baltimore Avenue, as well as support a safe, pedestrian-friendly environment through streetscaping and placemaking. The neighborhood plan will also build upon Hegewisch’s assets, including a South Shore Line station and Wolf Lake, an 800-acre lake that flows across the Illinois/Indiana border.
Phoenix planning priorities report
Phoenix is a small community of 2,000 residents in southern Cook County. This LTA project will help the village develop a planning priorities report, exploring a range of issues from economic development to transportation and climate resilience.
Sugar Grove comprehensive plan
Sugar Grove, located in southern Kane County, is a community of about 9,000 residents. The village previously adopted a comprehensive plan in 2005, when growth and development were desired and inevitable. Today, in a post-recession society, many of Sugar Grove’s 2005 comprehensive plan recommendations are invalid and outdated.
In this LTA project, CMAP and consultants will work with the Village of Sugar Grove to update its comprehensive plan. The recommendations will particularly focus on fiscal sustainability, housing, and climate resiliency.
City of Chicago community engagement plan
We Will Chicago is the city’s new, three-year planning initiative, focused on encouraging neighborhood growth and vibrancy, while addressing existing social and economic inequities. In this LTA project, CMAP will assist Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development in developing the strategy and approach for the civic and public engagement elements of the citywide plan.
Flossmoor local road safety plan
Flossmoor is a village in southern Cook County with about 9,500 residents. The Village of Flossmoor aims to implement data-driven, multi-modal safety improvements that make roads safer for all users, while maintaining the desired character of the area.
In support of this goal, CMAP will help the village develop a local road safety plan for all roads in Flossmoor. The plan will provide recommendations and address topics such as roadway safety, bicycle and pedestrian safety, access to transit, crash analysis, stakeholder and public input on traffic safety issues, and potential funding opportunities. The plan will also guide implementation, by prioritizing actions that the village should take within two years to advance plan recommendations.