Q&A on the Village’s Proposed Comp Plan (Part III)

With the draft Comprehensive Plan nearly finalized, the Village Board expects to take action on the matter in January. There is still time for residents to attend and provide input Comp Plan, and the following questions and answers provide a useful resource to see what’s “under the hood.”  In addition, you can go to our special web page (http://www.ratiodesign.com/Brookfieldcp) and the Facebook page called “Brookfield’s Plan” to learn more.


1. What is the Vision Statement as required by state statute?

The Comprehensive Plan states that Brookfield will be a community that:

  • is accessible to all generations,
  • offers affordable and quality housing,
  • supports small business,
  • values economic vitality, and
  • is welcoming and inclusive.

Additionally, it says that Brookfield “celebrates its rich history that contributes to pride of place. We are connected to the region through train and trail; value our natural resources; and prioritize a more sustainable quality of life.”


2. What is the core statement about future land use?

At the heart of every comp plan is a statement or set of guidelines regarding future land use.   Accordingly, the Brookfield Comprehensive Plan spells out a vision for future land use (depicted in a map, see page 63), along with goals, objectives and strategies to help realize that vision. For example, Goal 1 (page 64) has several accompanying objectives and strategies as noted below:

  • Improve the appearance and competitiveness of retail and commercial shopping areas in existing commercial nodes in the Village.
    • One of several objectives tied to Goal 1 is: Encourage high-quality site development and amenities in commercial areas by enforcing existing zoning and developing form-based code
      • One of several strategies is: “Uniformly regulate signage while providing for the identification of Village businesses.”


3. What are some key strategies currently utilized and newly proposed for encouraging more economic development?

Currently, the Village has an economic development strategy based upon the existing Village plans (the Master Plan and TIF Plans for Ogden, Congress Park and 8 Corners). This strategy utilizes legal tools available to non-home rule town such as TIF Districts, parcel assembly using cost-efficient techniques such as the Cook County no-cash bid program, and other tools. The Comprehensive Plan calls for their continued use.

Under the proposed Comprehensive Plan, new recommendations for consideration include:

  • Incentives to encourage high school graduates to return to Brookfield (e.g., encourage more RBHS and LTHS graduates who leave town for college to come back to Brookfield)
  • Expansion of existing signage programs for improving the appearance of business signs (via incentives, code enforcement)
  • Explore establishing a downtown development entity to do further marketing/event planning on par with similar downtown organizations in Naperville, Elmhurst, Evanston and Downers Grove.


4. What are some key recommendations for advancing public art in Brookfield?

Public art and beautification in general is a priority of the Village Board and the commissions that advise the board (the Beautification Commission and Conservation Commission). The Comp Plan recommends considering public art and/or other improvements at gateways to the Village (see p. 51 of the Plan), reviewing benefits and costs associated with smaller and temporary public art installations versus larger and permanent ones (p. 53), working with businesses and others to install interactive and temporary public art projects on the facades of vacant buildings (p. 67), and beautifying Congress Park with landscaping and/or public art (p. 143).


5. There are separate Design Guidelines that complements the Comprehensive Plan. What is this to be used for?

The Village was fortunate to get some “extra” guidance from the Village’s consultant on this project. This resulted in a separate document concerning the design of building and public infrastructure in four business districts (downtown, 8 Corners, 31st Street corridor and Ogden Avenue). This will be helpful in certain situations – for example, if the Planning & Zoning Commission is tasked with reviewing a special use permit for a new structure, this would give some well-crafted criteria for Village staff to rely upon and expedite permit reviews. Additionally, it will be helpful in devising better standards for signage and streetscaping.


6. What is the “shelf life” of a comp plan?

Comp plans often last about 10 years before it becomes necessary to update. Brookfield enacted a similar master plan in 2004.