Lisle is asking residents and visitors to participate in an online survey to help formulate plans to revitalize the village's Ogden Avenue corridor, which stretches from I-355 to Naper Boulevard, as well as its downtown.
The questionnaire focuses on how the village can best improve the infrastructure along Ogden and attract more businesses.
Plans for improving the corridor began in 1999 with the Downtown Master Plan, which aimed to integrate the aesthetics of downtown Lisle with the Ogden business sector. Residents and business owners at that time were interested in attracting a larger variety of stores and restaurants, and noted the lack of safe paths for bicyclists and pedestrians.
"Lisle has significantly fewer national retailers and businesses overall in comparison to areas on Ogden (in places) like Westmont and Downers Grove," Lisle Chamber of Commerce President Tom Althoff said. "There are a lot of empty lots and underutilized areas that aren't living up to their full potential, and there are some visual aspects like utility boxes that could be improved upon."
A report analyzing conditions in the corridor cited several potential aesthetic improvements, ranging from more lighting and benches to efforts to seek a more unified look for storefronts.
An independent consultant, Business Districts, Inc., was brought in to help formulate the development plans and in 2010 the village board approved an Ogden Avenue Corridor Plan.
Progress on those plans, however, slowed dramatically with the onset of the recession and the addition of more research into the area.
Since then, there have been additional studies concerning commercial development and the village now is asking for input from both residents and visitors.
"We want as broad a response as possible, so we are encouraging visitors in addition to residents of Lisle to tell us what kind of commercial services they want and the best way to present that," senior planner Katie Helfert said.
Many questions on the survey focus on retail development, with the goal of making significant improvements to the shopping experience.
"At this point, we don't have many large retailers or big-box stores like Mariano's or Walmart that can create a good commercial base where specialty stores can thrive," Althoff said. "And many residents could use a localized pharmacy and some more restaurants."
The chamber also has forwarded the survey to its 315 member businesses and hopes the input will move the redevelopment plans forward.
"I absolutely think the village is moving in the right direction," Althoff said. "I'm very excited that this process is starting in earnest and I'm eager to see the results."
The results will be presented to the to the village board by BDI once the survey is concluded in mid-July. At least three meetings will allow the board to interpret the results over a five- to six-month period and begin to formalize plans and seek funding.
Those interested in taking the survey or being sent email updates on the project can visit villageoflisle.org