Lakemoor adopts long-range plan

LAKEMOOR – Under an updated comprehensive plan adopted Thursday evening, the village of Lakemoor will develop a walkable town center and expand Morrison Park.

The long-range plan was developed by the Chicago Metropolitan Planning Agency through a grant over the last year.

The recommendations made in it could be implemented over the next 15 to 20 years, said Nora Beck, an associate planner with the agency.

They’re designed to utilize the village’s natural resources through more open spaces at the quarries and around Lily Lake and with so-called conservation neighborhoods that preserve wetlands and farmland while still developing new residential areas.

The plan also tries to shift the development mentality away from the old style of putting large commercial businesses on the outskirts of town toward including smaller commercial nodes around town.

Commercial areas at the intersections of Chapel Hill Road and Route 120 and Route 120 and Route 12 could be increased as needed and as the village can handle improving the infrastructure, Beck said.

A central commercial district would be a walkable town center located along Route 120, near Lily Lake, residential neighborhoods and Morrison Park.

“[The plan] is well-balanced,” Trustee Matt Dabrowski said. “It doesn’t overwhelm Route 120 with retail. It focuses on three particular commercial nodes. That way, given our size and our limited staff, we can focus in on those particular nodes.”

Tina Asmus, a candidate for village president, is concerned that the plan pushes out some of the community’s older neighborhoods. Circling areas on a theoretical rendition of what the town center could look like, she said there are currently houses where the drawing shows businesses.

The plan encourages the village to work with the Illinois Department of Transportation when the state route is up for improvements and push for the addition of sidewalks, medians and landscaping to create buffer zones between cars and pedestrians.

That’s further down the road, though. In the next year – a time the Chicago Metropolitan Planning Agency will still be working with the village to connect them to resources and funding – the village can look at updating its zoning and subdivision ordinance and developing community building and design standards, Beck said.

The next step is looking at those ordinances, Dabrowski said. He served as the liaison between the board and the planning agency, mainly because of his experience as the village of Arlington Heights’ planner.

Once Lakemoor officials have started looking at their codes, they can look at other components of the plan, including the downtown and figuring out how large it should be through a market study, he said.

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