Press Release, 10-11-12
Nearly 50 new projects will help implement GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan in communities across northeastern Illinois
Second wave of projects through the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's Local Technical Assistance program emphasize interjurisdictional collaboration and planning for sustainable, livable communities
CHICAGO, October 11, 2012 – Forty-eight new projects led by counties, municipalities, and nongovernmental organizations will receive staff support and, in some cases, grants for local projects to implement recommendations of the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan.
Supported by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), these projects will help communities plan for "livability" that contributes to sustainable prosperity for the region and its 284 municipalities.
Shortly after GO TO 2040's adoption in October 2010, CMAP established the Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program with a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). LTA provides staff assistance and grants to assist local governments with planning activities. The program's first year saw the start of 65 local projects, of which 15 have been completed.
To begin its second year, CMAP received over 100 applications from 88 different applicants who submitted competitive proposals prior to the August 1 deadline. CMAP staff reviewed the projects, which were then approved by the CMAP Board on October 10. A full list of projects, as well as general LTA program information, is available at www.cmap.illinois.gov/lta.
"The impressive response to our second call for project highlights the immense need for planning assistance in this region," said Randy Blankenhorn, CMAP executive director. "Some great success stories have resulted from the LTA program's first year. As an agency, we believe strongly that communities are crucial implementers of GO TO 2040, which contributes to quality of life and economic competitiveness at the local and regional levels."
The LTA projects involve multijurisdictional coordination and partnerships between local governments and community-based organizations. For example, CMAP will help the Kane County communities of Carpentersville, East Dundee, Elgin, and West Dundee to plan together for long-term housing needs. Through Homes for a Changing Region, CMAP, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus (MMC), and the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) help groups of neighboring communities plan proactively for future housing demand and supply in their communities. By examining housing needs at a subregional level, neighboring towns and cities can tackle challenging issues like foreclosures collectively, rather than in isolation. This innovative approach has allowed past Homes communities, such as those in the West Cook County Housing Collaborative, to secure additional federal and state funding to tackle challenges identified in their shared, long-range housing plan. A quality-of-life community plan for the City of Chicago's Chinatown neighborhood is another noteworthy example of interjurisdictional coordination in the new round of LTA projects. CMAP will soon kick off this planning process with the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community, a nonprofit partnership of eight major service organizations in Chinatown.
One of the largest projects was submitted by the Lake County Division of Transportation for land-use planning involving 20 municipalities for the proposed Central Lake County Corridor, one of five new major capital projects highlighted in GO TO 2040. The project would extend IL Route 53 to central Lake County beyond where it currently ends at Lake-Cook Road and would construct a Route 120 bypass. CMAP has committed to this project and will manage a major consultant contract to conduct the land use planning. The project is contingent on the Illinois Tollway, Lake County, and CMAP identifying funding for the consultant contract. CMAP was very involved with the Tollway's IL Route 53/120 Blue Ribbon Advisory Council, which wrapped up work this summer to build consensus around options for the corridor. In its final report, the Council recommended planning for coordinated land use to align the predicted future growth of the area with community goals.
Many projects in LTA's first and second years involve CMAP's partners, including MMC, MPC, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, the Urban Land Institute Chicago, the Chicago Jobs Council, and Openlands.
"LTA is all about providing resources for communities to shape their own futures," said Bob Dean, CMAP's deputy executive director for planning. "Its success, much like implementation of the GO TO 2040 plan, depends on the spirit of cooperation shared by our region's local governments and nonprofit organizations. The high demand for LTA staff support and grants demonstrates the region's desire to increase local planning capacity."
HUD made the three-year $4.25 million grant for CMAP to begin the LTA program because, especially in challenging economic and fiscal times, many communities have difficulty allocating enough resources to plan for their futures as proactively as they would like. At the same time, proactive planning is necessary for the region's continued economic prosperity.
"CMAP's LTA program is effectively utilizing local partnerships with non-profits and businesses to leverage resources and help support sustainable planning practices that will help create a stronger regional economy" said Shelly Poticha, HUD director for the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities. "We believe these efforts in metropolitan Chicago are a model for the future of local planning in urban regions across the U.S."
About CMAP. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is the comprehensive regional planning organization for the northeastern Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will. By state and federal law, CMAP is responsible for producing the region's official, integrated plan for land use and transportation. The agency's innovative GO TO 2040 planning campaign develops and implements strategies to shape the region's transportation system and development patterns, while also addressing the natural environment, economic development, housing, education, human services, and other quality-of-life factors. See www.cmap.illinois.govfor more information.