Comprehensive Plan open house this week

Marney Simon

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency on Planning (CMAP) and the city of Braidwood will host an open house this week, to discuss the creation of the city’s long term Comprehensive Plan.

The open house will inform residents on where CMAP is on the planning stages to crate a new plan for the city to replace the last Comprehensive Plan, which was completed nearly 20 years ago.

“They’re looking for input from residents,” city administrator Tony Altiery said. “Some thoughts on what areas might work better for different zoning, and things like that.”

A comprehensive plan is not a compulsory document that the city must adhere to. Rather, the plan outlines plans for development and growth for residential and commercial construction projects, economic development, recreational opportunities, land use, transportation, and community facilities.

Such plans serve as a framework for city and community leaders, residents, local business owners, and potential investors on the vision of the community.

A comprehensive plan can help the residents and business owners in the city make informed decisions on land use, transportation issues, infrastructure, and capital improvements.

Braidwood was awarded assistance from CMAP for creating a new comprehensive plan, a process equivalent to roughly $150,000, in 2022.

A survey was added to the city’s CMAP website, and results showed that revitalization of downtown, and commercial or industrial business development on the city’s outskirts were key items that residents wanted to see addressed.

Residents who responded to that initial survey noted they would like to see the addition of a a bank, more business variety, and more family friendly businesses, as well as additional recreational opportunities, community events for families and teens, and safe passages for walking, biking and driving.

The city’s first comprehensive plan was developed in 1971 as a plan of public improvements, looking to the present and future development of the city.

By code, the comprehensive plan addresses certain objectives, including:

• Maintaining the character of the city with commercial developments permitted where appropriate
• Promoting public health, safety and convenience and maintaining property values
• Providing adequate street lighting, water supply, sanitary and drainage facilities, highways, streets and sidewalks
• Providing landscaping of areas that avoids the creation of hazardous conditions.
• Maintaining architectural design standards for public buildings, schools, parks, recreational facilities, and parking areas

By code, the Planning Commission may, from time to time, recommend to the mayor and City Council changes in the official plan

The open house will take place at the Fossil Ridge Public Library on Thursday, Nov. 30 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

Communities that have an updated comprehensive plan are also in a stronger position to apply for county, state, or federal grants.

CMAP’s role in the creation of the comprehensive plan is to listen to feedback to help craft a plan tailored to the city’s needs.

CMAP is the regional planning organization for the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will. CMAP represents 284 municipalities in the region.

CMAP operates under the Comprehensive Regional Planning Fund of the state’s Finance Act.