Brookfield would like to follow the example of Riverside and tap the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) to help create a new comprehensive plan for the village or assist in an overhaul of its zoning code.

The village is expected to submit an application at the end of the month to be considered for the agency’s Local Technical Assistance Program, which in the past two years has helped 45 municipalities in the Chicago suburbs complete such documents as comprehensive plans, commercial corridor plans, transportation plans, land use plans, zoning ordinances and water conservation plans.

Brookfield Assistant Manager Keith Sbiral, who also heads the village’s Department of Building and Planning, urged village board members on May 28 to support applying for the CMAP program, which does not require any matching funds on the part of the municipality.

“I think this is a vital part of our economic development program,” said Sbiral. “It speaks to the direction that you all have as a board for a vision for the village.”

Riverside in April approved a comprehensive plan for its downtown business district that was the result of a year-long process led by CMAP planners. The process included several public meetings and an online survey where residents provided input and suggestions that were eventually incorporated into the plan.

Village board members in Riverside are expected to begin discussing ways to implement some of the recommendations in the CMAP plan this summer. The Riverside plan included suggestions that the village make it easier for new businesses to navigate the permit process, take advantage of its proximity to the Des Plaines River, improve signage, actively market vacant properties and increase the profile of the Riverside Historical Museum.

Brookfield will submit two applications to CMAP, according to Sbiral. One will be to complete a comprehensive plan for the village. The other will be to overhaul the village’s zoning ordinance.

“What I’ve talked about is putting together two proposals because the need is so in demand here,” Sbiral told the village board on May 28. “First and foremost, our primary proposal would be putting together a package for a comprehensive plan.”

While Brookfield completed its 2020 Master Plan back in 2004, Sbiral said it wasn’t exactly comprehensive. The 2020 Master Plan mainly targeted the village’s traditional business corridors, such as Broadway Avenue, Grand Boulevard and Ogden Avenue.

“It was almost a decade ago that the 2020 Master Plan was adopted, and the master plan’s scope was minor in terms of the bigger picture,” said Sbiral. “Not in a very long time has the village looked in a comprehensive way at what it means to be Brookfield as a whole, and what it means to be Brookfield 20 years from now. I think it’s just invaluable in everything we do and how we plan.”

A comprehensive plan can help the village understand its economic development goals and guide strategies for implementing them.

“More and more, as villages try to reach that goal of being the village that everybody wants to become, they realize that all of these things really weave together, and I think this is a good first step,” Sbiral said.

According to Sbiral, the value of the planning process is roughly $90,000. While the village wouldn’t receive a cash grant, CMAP would provide the grant in terms of consultants and expertise.

“If we’re fortunate enough to be awarded a grant, CMAP will put together a team of planners to come to your village and work as though they were a consulting firm,” Sbiral said.

Applicants will learn who has been awarded Local Technical Assistance grants in December, according to a schedule in the grant application form. The planning process would begin in early 2014 and completed in late 2014 or early 2015.