The City of Berwyn is developing a comprehensive plan that will guide its land use and other decisions for decades to come. As part of that effort, the City invites local residents, business owners, community leaders, and other stakeholders to attend a special community planning event.
The public will have two opportunities in August to contribute to the comprehensive plan by attending an evening event on either Saturday, August 13, 2011, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the North Berwyn Park District Community Center, 1619 S. Wesley Avenue, Berwyn, IL 60402, or Saturday, August 20, 2011, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Berwyn Public Library, 2701 S. Harlem Avenue, Berwyn, IL 60402. Each session will feature a brainstorming exercise in which participants can state their preferences regarding issues they feel should be addressed in planning for the future of Berwyn.
Building upon priorities set in the City’s previous community planning projects, the Berwyn comprehensive plan will address topics such as land use development, infrastructure improvements, and strategies for supporting and improving key commercial areas in the City. A grant to the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is enabling CMAP staff to provide technical assistance to Berwyn, including help with public participation in the plan’s development.
August 13 and August 20 events let residents have their say
To begin, the City asks residents to answer the question: What issues do you think should be addressed in planning for the future of Berwyn? The August 13 and August 20 meetings are a chance for people to have their voices heard. At these initial public meetings, residents can weigh in about issues they think the plan should address. Are there redevelopment opportunities in the community? How about more transportation options? What steps can help preserve the character of Berwyn?
For more information and to RSVP to this public event, please contact Ricardo Lopez, Community Outreach Specialist at CMAP (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312.386.8766).
In the project’s first phase, CMAP will work with the City to conduct a detailed analysis of existing conditions to verify current land uses, to study community facilities, and to obtain initial public input regarding the issues and opportunities in the community. The second phase will be for the community to create a shared vision with specific goals and recommendations to help achieve the Berwyn vision. In the third phase, CMAP will assist in developing an implementation strategy that the City, residents, and others will use to put the plan’s recommendations into action.
HUD and CMAP build capacity for local planning
Especially in challenging economic times, many communities have difficulty allocating enough resources to plan as proactively as they would prefer. At the same time, proactive planning is necessary for economic prosperity and protecting community assets. The HUD-funded effort is helping fill this gap by making staff resources and grants available to assist with local planning projects that help to implement GO TO 2040, the first comprehensive plan for metropolitan Chicago in more than 100 years.
The HUD grant to CMAP was announced one day after leaders of the seven-county region, on October 13, 2010, unanimously adopted GO TO 2040. The region’s plan establishes coordinated strategies that help the region’s 284 communities address transportation, housing, economic development, open space, the environment, and other quality-of-life issues. See www.cmap.illinois.gov for more information.
With the three-year $4.25 million HUD award (http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/press-release-10-14-10), CMAP has begun a new Local Technical Assistance program sponsored by HUD as part of the federal interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities. CMAP issued a call for projects in early 2011, prompting more than 220 proposals from over 130 municipalities, counties, interjurisdictional groups, and nongovernmental organizations – an indication of significant unmet demand for local planning capacity.
In March, CMAP began partnering with the first wave of 62 local governments, nonprofits, and intergovernmental organizations selected for assistance. Like the Berwyn effort, these projects address local issues at the intersection of transportation, land use, and housing, including the natural environment, economic growth, and community development. Download a full list of projects at http://goo.gl/1nYBM.
CMAP is the official regional planning organization for the northeastern Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will.
Media contact: Justine Reisinger, 312-386-8802 or email@example.com
Program contact: Pete Saunders, 312-386-8654 or firstname.lastname@example.org