By Bob Uphues
For the past six to eight months, a committee of elected and appointed officials, residents, village staff and a consulting team have been working to overhaul zoning rules for the areas near Brookfield's commuter train platforms.
On July 12, the public will get a picture of what the revised zoning code for those areas looks like. Officials will host a town hall meeting on the zoning effort at 4:30 p.m. at the Brookfield Village Hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave.
Village Manager Keith Sbiral described the revised code as "form based," which essentially looks at zoning from a different perspective than a traditional zoning code. Typically, a zoning code is a set of fixed standards that let developers know what can't be done in certain areas – limits on height, density, setbacks and uses for example.
What form-based zoning does, according to Sbiral, is to try to define what the goal of a particular zoning district is – the types of buildings and uses that the area is attempting to attract within a certain zoning envelope – and then encourage development that makes sense for those areas.
"The goal is to make the code more easily administrable and have an end result that's closer to what you want," Sbiral said. "It's definitely a modern approach. Particularly for transit-oriented areas it makes a lot of sense."
The areas targeted in this zoning update are the ones near the Congress Park, Prairie Avenue and Hollywood train platforms.
Members of the committee that has been working on the update include Sbiral, Village Planner Emily Egan and Community and Economic Development Director Nicholas Greifer; Village President Kit Ketchmark and Trustee Michelle Ryan; Planning and Zoning Commission members Charles Grund and Karen Miller; community members Dan Chopp, who is a commercial real estate broker, and Scott Sanders, a local real estate developer; former village trustee C.P. Hall; and consultants from the firm urban planning firm CodaMetrics.