Brookfield’s village board was all set to approve an intergovernmental agreement with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) to kick start a roughly year-long comprehensive planning process later this month.
But then the state of Illinois’ budget impasse landed on their plans.
Village Manager Keith Sbiral confirmed late last week that the proposed agreement has been pulled from the village board’s Jan. 25 agenda and likely won’t be considered until the budget impasse is ended — probably no sooner than June.
“We’re holding it until the budget issue in Springfield is resolved,” Sbiral said.
As a result, Brookfield will have to wait on a new comprehensive plan until mid-2017 at the earliest. The new planning document will replace Brookfield’s most recent comprehensive planning effort, the 2020 Master Plan, which was adopted by the village board in 2004.
While the 2020 Master Plan focused most on the village’s commercial corridors, the CMAP-led process will be more comprehensive, said Sbiral.
“What we hope to get … is a much more rounded-out plan than even the 2020 Master Plan,” Sbiral told the village board at its Jan. 11 meeting. “This will truly be a rounded-out comprehensive plan, looking at everything from quality of life to resident health to transportation to all the planning issues that exist.”
Village officials had hoped that the CMAP planning process might be able to begin as early as March. That agency’s board approved hiring Ratio Architects Inc. to serve as the project leader.
Ratio Architects was chosen jointly by CMAP and the village of Brookfield from a field of five planning firms that submitted proposals last fall. Sbiral and Village Planner Emily Egan along with two CMAP staffers reviewed the proposals in November 2015.
The reviewers noted that Ratio employed an in-house economic development specialist and would be working with a multi-modal transportation engineering firm and a natural resources planning and analysis firm as part of the planning process.
According to a memo supplied to the CMAP board for its Jan. 13 meeting, the new comprehensive plan “will provide policies and implementation actions to promote balanced growth and development for the next 15-20 years, with a specific focus on economic development, bicycle and pedestrian planning, storm water management, housing and plan implementation.”
As part of the Brookfield Comprehensive Plan, Ratio will also include design guidelines for three “sub-areas” of the village. While it’s unclear exactly what those sub-areas are, Sbiral indicated they include key economic development areas and transportation hubs.
The total cost to complete the comprehensive plan will be about $105,000. The village of Brookfield will be expected to pay $50,000 of that amount, with CMAP picking up the balance.
However, the Brookfield plan is not the only planning project on the drawing board for CMAP, which gets some of its funding from the state of Illinois. While the project has been approved, until that funding comes through, the process will be delayed.
“We don’t know when Springfield will get those things resolved,” Sbiral said.
CMAP has completed more than 110 planning projects through its Local Technical Assistant program, which is meant to enhance the Go To 2040 comprehensive regional plan, which was approved by CMAP in 2010.
According to the CMAP website, the agency’s mission “is to help [Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will] counties and 284 communities plan together for sustainable prosperity through mid-century and beyond.”
Riverside won a CMAP Local Technical Assistance grant to complete its downtown comprehensive plan, which was adopted by the village board in 2013.
“It was very collaborative, and they were able to collect specific information from residents,” said Riverside Village President Ben Sells. “But because of their perspective, they can overlay that with work they’ve done in other places.”
And, according to Sells, CMAP continues to maintain contact with the village as a resource for plan implementation. The agency, said Sells, alerted the village to the federal Urban Waters grant program, through which the village has applied for funding to repair flood damage done to Swan Pond Park.
“I thought CMAP did a wonderful job,” Sells said.