By: Diane Turner-Hurns
Journal & Topics Reporter
Rosemont trustees at Wednesday's Village Board meeting are expected to consider a new Comprehensive Plan developed over the last two years by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), local officials and public input. It’s the first new comprehensive plan for the village in more than 40 years.
CMAP planner Samyukth Shenbaga told the Journal & Topics this week that during the Tuesday, November 10 Rosemont Zoning Board of Appeals public hearing, the overall response was positive from commissioners.
Questions received from the board focused on next steps and the adoption process.
The last time the Village formed a new comprehensive plan was decades ago, according to Village engineer Mark Wrzeszcz who worked with CMAP in developing the plan. In part, it calls for expanding pedestrian walkways and bike paths, alleviating traffic congestion, expanding green and open spaces and addressing flooding. Its purpose is to guide present and future development or redevelopment of the Village.
Funding for projects included in the plan could come from federal, state, county or Village sources.
CMAP’s work has been two years in the making, which included several meetings, and community outreach sessions at the senior center, park district and business areas in an effort to garner input from the public.
“The plan looks great and the process worked well,” Wrzeszcz told the Journal & Topics this week.
Shenbaga said a key area of the plan is the possibility of building a bike lane on Devon Avenue from Higgins Road to River Road and to enhance pedestrian walkways, especially at key intersections.
“The transportation infrastructure is one of the key areas of importance in the plan,” Shenbaga said. “There’s a lot to the plan. It is up to the mayor and the board of trustees to decide if and how to move forward. But what I know about Rosemont is that they are already addressing some pedestrian issues, such as building a pedestrian bridge at Bryn Mawr. Rosemont is very good at implementation.”
If the plan is adopted by the village board, the next step is to determine which projects are to move forward, to design them, identify the costs, secure funding and implement them.
“Identifying priorities are key,” Shenbaga said.
Developing the comprehensive plan included three phases. The first analyzed existing conditions within the community gathered through one-on-one stakeholder interviews, steering committee meetings, focus group workshops, review of previous studies, and available data. Phase two created a vision for the future of Rosemont based on findings from public input. The last was to create the comprehensive plan document for review and approval by Village leaders.
In garnering information from the public and officials, issues identified were roadway traffic congestion, pedestrian safety, roadway signage, sidewalks needing repair, creating a local bike path network, flooding and basement seepage, and open space improvements.
“Overall, Rosemont is a great area. Our input focuses on what’s next for the village in the way of livability and sustainability,” Shenbaga said.
Shenbaga said if the plan is adopted by the village, CMAP will be available to “bounce ideas off.”
“Rosemont came to us to help develop the plan and we’ve really enjoyed working with the village and getting all of the input,” Shenbaga added.
Shenbaga and the CMAP team are working on a new comprehensive plan for Franklin Park. They are in the first phase of the plan, meeting with stakeholders and reviewing the village’s infrastructure, especially the industrial area, Shenbaga noted. He said in working with other cities and towns, most move forward and adopt CMAP plans and implement many of the suggestions.
The last Rosemont Comprehensive Plan was created in 1977.
Created in 2005, CMAP is the official regional planning organization for the northeastern Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will.
Copies of Rosemont’s draft plan are available for public inspection in the village building department, 9501 W. Devon Ave., during regular business hours.
Click here to view the full document.