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

On Monday, December 13, the Village Board of Trustees and Planning & Zoning Commission held a unique joint meeting to go over a draft of the Comprehensive Plan, proposed for adoption early next year.  The current draft is nearly final, and reflects the culmination of comments received at many public meetings, formal hearings, and open houses throughout 2017.  It also reflects the technical work of Ratio Design, the consultants utilized (thanks to a grant won by the Village) to research community conditions (e.g., on economic development, transportation needs, etc.), draft the Comprehensive Plan, and oversee the process.

For residents interested in knowing more, below are questions and answers about the process and the document itself.  Part I is below, with more questions & answers to come in the coming days.

 

  1. What is a comprehensive plan?

Strictly speaking, the State of Illinois defines a comprehensive plan or “comp plan” as a land use “plan for the present and future development or redevelopment of the municipality.” However, a comp plan often becomes the Village’s key strategy document. Since few localities have a strategic plan – and nearly all have a comp plan – the comp plan serves a dual purpose laying out the fundamental strategies and specific land use recommendations for the community.

 

  1. What does the state require for comp plans?

Illinois law requires that a comp plan contain at least the following elements:

  1. A statement of authority to prepare and adopt the plan
  2. Background data and analysis
  3. Documentation of stakeholder’s interests
  4. Vision statement
  5. Evaluation of the selected plan
  6. Future land use plan including transportation, housing, economic development and natural resources
  7. Implementation plan.

In addition, a comprehensive plan may include other elements such as community facilities and historic preservation.

 

  1. How does the Village’s Comprehensive Plan differ from other communities’ comprehensive plans?

The Brookfield Comprehensive Plan document is unique in having very specific, practical strategies that can be implemented in the near future. To be sure, like other communities it has a vision statement and it lays out broad goals for the community, but it is also a “real world” document that has practical, useful guidance for policymakers to consider. To cite three examples, the Brookfield Comprehensive Plan has (a) multiple strategies to strengthen stormwater management and (b) expand our economic development program such as creating a downtown development entity (used in Naperville and elsewhere) and (c) includes an Implementation Matrix for putting the plan concepts into effect. Additionally, according to the Village’s planning consultants Ratio Design, Inc., the Village’s plan differs in terms of the process being very open with multiple opportunities for public comments at all phases of the process.