Antioch seeks public input on its 20-year vision
Antioch is seeking public input as village officials consider what the community can or should be in 20 years.
The process to hone and adjust the vision, known as a comprehensive plan, begins at 6 p.m. Monday with a public workshop at village hall, 874 Main St.
"It's really a starting point," said Michael Garrigan, community development director. "I don't want this to be a monologue, I want it to be a discussion."
Village officials last adopted a comprehensive plan in 1991. While it has been periodically tweaked, much has changed in the economic and development landscapes without extensive revisions.
"My hope is I get input from residents this document is on the right track," Garrigan said of the draft plan. "I know it's going to change."
The 83-page proposed plan is packed with historical and current information as well as expected trends and suggested actions in a variety of areas, such as housing, downtown retail, business development and natural resources.
Generally, it envisions the population doubling from roughly 14,000 to as much as 30,000. A key aspect of the plan is preserving open space and connecting and capitalizing on what Garrigan described as the "emerald necklace" of forest preserves, lakes and natural areas.
One of the goals in the proposed plan is to create a new regional entertainment hub by revitalizing downtown and promoting the extensive natural resources in and around town.
"We have a lot to work with," Garrigan said.
The document builds on the "Antioch Community Vision" plan adopted in 2015.
"They like the small town character -- it doesn't feel like your typical built-out suburb," Garrigan said of community sentiment.
"The biggest problem we'll have is if we double the population, how do you maintain that character? That's the rub."
Residents recognize the importance of the downtown area in defining that character, he added. Other observations emphasized the importance of open spaces, creating new pedestrian and recreational connections along with preserving the natural resources of the area.
Garrigan said he'd rather have a plan with suggested actions that can be implemented rather than one that gathers dust.
"The goal of this document is to go beyond the generic boiler plate language and bubble land use map that too often defines most Comprehensive Plans," the draft reads. "The goal of this document is to portray the village's long-term plan in descriptive visionary language that will provide a road map for decision-makers in the future."
Other goals include attracting sustainable commercial and light industrial users with good-paying jobs and creating an extensive network of bike and pedestrian connections to link neighborhoods, the downtown and the open space network.