Journal & Topics Media Group

Draft Economic Strategic Plan For Glenview Released

Open House Scheduled June 19 At Park Center; Learn About Proposal, Give Feedback

Glenview Village Hall

Consultants from CallisonRTKL presented a 325-page draft economic strategic plan to village trustees at a virtual village board workshop held over Zoom Wednesday, June 9 through what have been referred to as economic development “blueprints.”

Village officials and consultants scheduled an in-person open house where elements of the detailed economic draft plan will be presented, from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 19 at the Glenview Park Center. The drop-in open house setting will include consultants and village staff standing at easels and tables with materials, answering residents’ questions on the proposed plan and ready to hear feedback.

Village trustees are expected to bring the plan back for a preliminary discussion at their Tuesday, July 6 village board meeting.

Additionally, several surveys are expected to be coming to residents to further garner local opinions on how to move forward with the plan.

Village trustees declared a downtown development moratorium in July 2020 and hired CallisonRTKL to guide a process to solicit public comment and preferences to craft two sets of economic development “blueprints,” or economic strategic plans: one for downtown Glenview and one for four other village economic corridors: The Glen, Willow Road, Milwaukee Avenue and Waukegan Road.

The “tools” provided in the draft economic development plan offer village officials a range of options for more or less involvement in encouraging developments generally, and offer a specific range of options for a series of specific “spark sites” around the village which could act as a model for development options.

Once a new plan is adopted, village regulations would need to be adopted both to be consistent with elements the plan calls for and to ensure existing ordinances do not provide barriers to elements identified in the version of the plan finally adopted.

Key to discussions were two sets of competing ideas. First, especially in downtown Glenview, the push and pull between encouraging economic development and maintaining the small-town charm of the village.

Secondly, discussion that, based on community feedback, there is little appetite for buildings four and five stories high, especially in downtown Glenview, how to attract smaller developments that could still be profitable to developers with a smaller number of units. Consultants said this was “filling the gap” to make a project profitable, but did not always mean cutting developers a check out of village funds.

Consultants said trustees and staff have two approaches to development: controlling the regulatory process, or controlling the outcome, but said, “You can’t do both.”

Consultants recommended two tracks in approaches staff and trustees could institute, detailing optional actions from less intervention to more intervention.

One track marked “facilitate redevelopment” put up options ranging from funding a downtown strategic plan to fast-tracking development approvals to providing marketing materials, to targeted infrastructure upgrades to rent support to creating a tax increment financing district. 

The track marked “participate redevelopment,” also listed a range from less involved to more involved, ranging from the village creating targeted entitlements to using funds to pay for site amenities to purchasing property to the village acting as a master developer.  

The draft plan lays out downtown Glenview in a unique “L” shape, further divided into several zones. The differing nature of Waukegan Road and Glenview Road was recognized, with Waukegan Road, a state route with higher traffic volumes prime for a slightly different kind of development than Glenview Road, a more pedestrian-friendly area.

Some spark sites were more generic, such as how to redevelop shops along Milwaukee Avenue, where conclusions could be applied more broadly, while others, including an area bounded by Waukegan Road, Glenview Road, Dewes Street, and Church Street, where the West Fork of the Chicago River passes through, was one of the most talked-about spark sites, with 10 scenarios for redevelopment ranging from a four-story building alongside a smaller park to a full 2-1/2-acre park with only a few small buildings on the site.

These spark sites discussions were not made with specific developers waiting in the wings, but were meant to discuss what kinds of features of developments, and what kinds of village assistance to developers, not all being direct financial aid, would be acceptable to the community.

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