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posted: 10/17/2012 12:09 PM

Housing plan for Buffalo Grove elicits no reaction from trustees

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  • Passengers board the Metra commuter train at the Buffalo Grove Metra station. A study suggests pursuing housing opportunities that would appeal to younger populations in the area around the train station.

       Passengers board the Metra commuter train at the Buffalo Grove Metra station. A study suggests pursuing housing opportunities that would appeal to younger populations in the area around the train station.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer 200


If the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) was looking for feedback to its draft recommendations for its project Homes for a Changing Region, Buffalo Grove was definitely the wrong place.

Buffalo Grove trustees Monday listened as a representative from CMAP, Jonathan Burch, delivered recommendations specifically tailored to Buffalo Grove.

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Literally. They just listened.

Not a word was spoken by trustees, although Village President Jeffrey Braiman thanked Burch for his presentation, which he called "very informative."

The reaction of the board was a stark contrast to the reaction of the village board in Mount Prospect, which a week earlier engaged CMAP in an hour-and-a-half of discussion on the recommendations and CMAP's data.

In fact, Buffalo Grove officials were considerably more animated Monday night when it came to discussing the size of bathrooms at a proposed gas station renovation.

Village Manager Dane Bragg did make reference to one of the recommendations the village already has in place -- a rental licensing program.

"We're happy to have the rental licensing program in place and get that started and certainly look forward to working with CMAP in the future to further develop these strategies that they have come up with," he said.

CMAP is one of the agencies working with Buffalo Grove and the other communities in the recently formed Northwest Suburban Housing Collaborative -- Arlington Heights, Palatine, Mount Prospect and Rolling Meadows -- on the project. The project's goal is to reach solutions for those communities to the housing challenges facing them over the next 30 years.

Burch's presentation suggested Buffalo Grove continue to explore opportunities at the Town Center and "Main Street" initiatives.

"In particular, we think that the areas near the train stations may be better for younger populations, while areas along Lake-Cook Road, if you choose to explore them, would be better perhaps for senior housing or for opportunities for baby boomers who are looking to move out of their existing single-family homes into something smaller."

He also encouraged trustees to think about opportunities around the Buffalo Grove Metra station. This would include infrastructure improvements such as sidewalks and bike paths to connect nearby areas.

Other recommendations were more general and were touched on last week in the presentation before the Mount Prospect village board. One issue Burch addressed was condominium foreclosures, with recommendations that included mapping and monitoring foreclosures.

Burch also suggested creating a condominium registration program to give the village better contacts within the condo complexes.

CMAP is expected to complete the draft plan for review by the members of the collaborative in November. The project is scheduled for completion by February 2013.

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