Bears drive plan session to Nov.
By Diana Kuyper Special to The News-Sun October 19, 2012 7:30PM
The public has until Nov. 1 to take an online survey on the Web site lakevilla.wordpress.com
Updated: December 19, 2012 11:55AM
The Chicago Bears on television has postponed Monday’s first public meeting to discuss a Lake Villa downtown development plan to Nov. 13.
“Monday conflicts with a Bears game, and we thought that conflict might impact our meeting attendance,” said Village Treasurer Lori Heitman. “We want to encourage as much public participation as possible in the planning process.”
The public has until Nov. 1 to take an online survey on the Web site lakevilla.wordpress.com and make their own comments about what they would like to see for the future of the village. The comments and results will be compiled and presented at the Nov. 13 meeting at 7 p.m. at Lehmann Mansion, 485 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Village officials are working with consultants to develop a plan for the downtown, along Cedar Avenue, and the “triangle” area bounded by Cedar Avenue, Route 83 and Grand Avenue.
The plan, co-funded by the RTA and the village, will be a “Transit Oriented Development” (TOD) plan, building on the proximity to the Lake Villa Metra Station and other assets of the area including Cedar Lake, Lehmann Park, Village Hall and the post office.
The committee has been looking at other downtowns that have both small historic areas and commercial corridors with particular attention paid to Lake Forest, Grayslake, Antioch and Fox Lake as models for the Lake Villa plan.
“The focus of the plan is to attract economic development, retain and attract local businesses, and support quality housing,” said Heitman, a member of the steering committee.
Heitman said village officials have been working with consultants from the RTA, Teska Associates and Wohlt Group, for months. They hope to have a final plan to present to the public in early 2013.
“Right now, we are looking for public input on the information we have gathered so far and seeking public comment and ideas from our residents,” said Heitman.
The online survey takes five minutes to complete and asks participants to rank their priorities for future downtown services and amenities and to rate their satisfaction about downtown public events and businesses. Residents can take the survey until Nov. 1. There is opportunity on the survey to make detailed comments.
The Web site includes an interactive map where participants can point to a specific area and indicate where they might want to locate housing, bike and pedestrian paths, open space and recreation, and see more economic development. It also includes summaries of steering committee meetings.
“It is a user-friendly and interactive Web site,” said Heitman. “It is a great opportunity for residents to give us their input on what they would like to see for Lake Villa’s future development.”