By Bob Uphues
Although it's not slated to be officially unveiled until later this month, a draft version of Brookfield's new comprehensive plan has been posted online and is available for review.
The 200-plus page document can be viewed at www.ratiodesign.com/Brookfieldcp on the website of Ratio Design, the firm chosen to lead the planning process for the village. The plan is being funded by a Local Technical Assistance grant from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP).
The village will hold an open house to formally present the draft plan to residents on Tuesday, Oct. 24 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the council chamber of the Brookfield Village Hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave.
But before that – this week – members of the public are invited to participate in four separate "Office Hours" listening sessions with the village's planning staff, to get input on the draft comprehensive plan and how to fine tune it.
The first listening session is on Monday, Oct. 9 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Hollywood Community House, 3435 Hollywood Ave. The others will be on Wednesday, Oct. 11 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Brookfield Fire Station, 9001 Shields Ave.; on Wednesday, Oct. 11 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Irish Times, 8869 Burlington Ave.; and on Thursday, Oct. 12 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at 4201 Grove Ave.
Anyone interested in attending one of the Office Hours sessions is asked to RSVP to Brookfield Village Planner Emily Egan at 708-485-1445 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The agenda for each of the sessions is helping people understand the planning process and know how they can use the plan in everyday life," said Lesley Roth, senior urban planner and project director at Ratio Design.
"It should be a great opportunity to learn about the plan in a small setting," said Egan. "Any level of knowledge or familiarity with the plan is welcome."
The open house on Oct. 24 will be a bit more formal, though residents are invited to drop in any time during the session. While there will be a presentation on the draft comprehensive plan at the beginning of the open house, village staff and representatives from Ratio Design and others involved in the planning will be available to talk with residents about specific aspects of the plan.
The draft plan is the result of almost a year's worth of work, much of it behind the scenes involving village officials, planning consultants and a steering committee of village officials, business owners and residents.
A new vision statement serves as the bedrock of the many aspects of the plan, which address land use, housing, transportation, community facilities and services, parks and open space and commercial sub-areas.
The statement reads: "The Brookfield community is accessible to all generations, offers affordable and quality housing, supports small business, values economic vitality and is welcoming and inclusive. Our community celebrates its rich history that contributes to pride of place. We are connected to the region through train and trail; value our natural resources; and prioritize a more sustainable quality of life."
The final version of the comprehensive plan, which the village board is expected to adopt either later this year or in early 2018, will also include strategies for implementing the goals outlined in the document.
According to Roth, the open house will be a place where implementation of goals will be addressed, with the help of residents.
"We'll be asking people how they'd like to be involved," Roth said, who added that the plan will identify organizations that can help with implementation and with whom citizens can work. The plan will also try to identify funding resources for implementation.
One of the biggest differences between this comprehensive plan and the Brookfield 2020 Master Plan, which the village board adopted in 2004, is this plan's emphasis on land use and roadways.
"We teamed with the village to make a concerted effort to prioritize mobility and how to best use the roads," Roth said.
The plan moves away from looking at roadways as simply ways for cars to get from one place to another and looks at them that also takes into account pedestrians and bicycles, a view she said was "more productive and multi-modal."
After the open house on Oct. 24, planners will revise the document, which will be presented formally to the Brookfield Planning and Zoning Commission later this fall. The comprehensive plan will then go to the village board for adoption.
"We're looking at rounding out the process by the end of the year," Roth said.