Joint venture to help Will develop a land use plan
From Submitted reports April 3, 2011 4:12PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
JOLIET — New partnership with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning will help Will County develop a land use and infrastructure plan for Fairmont in an unincorporated area of the county.
The year-long joint venture is part of CMAP’s new initiative to provide planning assistance to local communities. Will County is one of 64 local governments, nonprofits and intergovernmental organizations identified for the first wave of projects.
Steve Lazzara, senior planner for long-range projects, said a CMAP senior planner will be assigned to the Will County Land Use Department on a part-time basis. The county applied for the program at the end of January.
“His role will be very succinct in that he will work on that one specific project — a sub-area plan for the Fairmont Area,” said Lazzara, who will be the project manager when the work begins in late April. “The plan will address land use, infrastructure, economic development, public open space, etc.”
The county has a comprehensive plan referred to as the Land Resource Management Plan which dictates planning and land use decisions in unincorporated areas.
However, Lazzara explained, in cases such as Fairmont, the areas take on urban characteristics. Through this program, the county will establish a more detailed, sub-area plan for its LRMP.
“If successful, this could serve as a pilot for other projects,” said Lazzara.
Will County Executive Larry Walsh said applying for the partnership with CMAP seemed logical.
“CMAP had already used the Fairmont area in a visioning exercise in which they produced renderings and sketches of how the Illinois Route 171 corridor could be improved going through the Fairmont community,” he said.
“In addition, CMAP’s Future Leaders In Planning program is already under way in Fairmont. The program has high school students from around the Chicago area exploring what impact infrastructure improvements — such as a sidewalk — could have on the area. This partnership seemed like a natural extension of those two exercises.”
As project manager, Lazzara will work with the CMAP planner. Other Land Use employees will also work on the plan as needed.
Once completed, the sub-area plan will have to work its way through the county board’s planning and zoning, and land use and development committees and then get approval from the full board to become part of the management plan.
The initiative is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as part of the federal interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities.