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updated: 1/18/2018 5:36 PM

Libertyville to revise future planning guidelines

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  • The vacant former Foulds pasta company on East Church Street in Libertyville may be better suited for residential and commercial uses as the village revises its long-range plan.

      The vacant former Foulds pasta company on East Church Street in Libertyville may be better suited for residential and commercial uses as the village revises its long-range plan.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 

In a sense, the potential future of Libertyville is getting an overhaul as villagewide plans to address stormwater, parks and development will all be going on at the same time.

An extensive study to determine how best to curb flooding is well along, and the village board this month approved a contract for a parks master plan.

Up next is an update of the comprehensive plan, which basically sets priorities and is used as a guide for development proposals, zoning and other matters. The last overhaul was in 2005.

Since then, for example, two parking garages have been built downtown and more than $75 million in private investment made in the area, according to village documents. Motorola also moved from its massive campus, which has been repurposed as a multi-tenant business park.

"We've learned since the recession lots has changed," Village Administrator Chris Clark said. "It's a good time to put some plans in place for the long-term perspective."

Four planning firms have been interviewed and a recommendation and contract is expected to be ready for village board action in February, according to John Spoden, community development director.

"It's been 12 years. Obviously, there have been a lot of changes in the community and the market," said Spoden, who was in the same post for the 2005 version. "We're looking for a clear vision for development opportunities."

Once underway, the process is expected to take up to 18 months. Gathering input and feedback from property owners, residents and others will be among the first orders of business.

"At the beginning, it's really getting information from the public -- what would they like to see that we don't have," Spoden said.

Currently, proposals for a specific property that differ with the comprehensive plan may require zoning changes or other variations. That process could be streamlined if the plan were revised to reflect current village priorities.

For example, the former Foulds macaroni factory is zoned for industrial use but may be better suited to a mix of residential and commercial, Spoden said. "Our east side industrial area is in flux," he said.

Other areas to consider in planning are along Milwaukee Avenue between Route 176 and Rockland Road; the golf learning center/driving range at the Libertyville Sports Complex, which is available for development; and the former Motorola campus.

Existing uses won't be the only focus. The Mallory and Meier farms west of Route 45, for example, each have 80 acres available for development.

"There are an inordinate amount of opportunities for growth," Clark said. "Having a (comprehensive) plan in the post-recession environment is really important."

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