CARY – About 50 people came through an open house Thursday at Cary Village Hall to give their feedback on the Fox River Corridor Plan in Lake and McHenry counties.
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and the McHenry County Planning and Development Department are working with other local governments to create a plan to improve water quality, multimodal transportation access, commerce and recreation and open space along the Fox River, according to CMAP’s website.
“This is the first time we’re able to really hear from the public in terms of what they would like to see change in the future or remain the same in the future,” CMAP associate planner Kate Evasic said at the open house.
The project focuses on the Fox River area spanning from Route 176 in Burtons Bridge to Cold Springs Road in Cary, and includes portions of Cary, Fox River Grove, Island Lake, Lake Barrington, Oakwood Hills, Port Barrington, Tower Lakes and Trout Valley.
At the open house Thursday, CMAP representatives were available to answer questions on the plan, and residents provided comments on the strengths and weaknesses of the river in categories such as transportation, natural resources and business and tourism on the river.
Rachel Young, a Fox River Grove resident who has lived on the river in Cary and Fox River Grove, said she would like to see more family-friendly dining on the river and safety improvements to congested areas.
“I just think that the Fox River is a unique recourse that we have here in Chicagoland, and it’s great to see that there’s an organization that’s preserving it and promoting it both for recreational use and environmental use,” Young said.
Some comments written next to maps of the Fox River at the open house included not developing Jack’s Channel to preserve wildlife, and adding bike and pedestrians paths to cross the river at Route 14 and Rawson Bridge Road.
CMAP will review community feedback and identify common themes in what residents have said they would like to see in the area in the next 10 to 15 years.
“Because we’re talking about an area that spans seven villages, two counties, with McHenry County Conservation District land and Lake County Forest Preserve land, it’s going to be a lot of focusing on how the different jurisdictions can coordinate activities,” Evasic said.
A draft of the plan is expected to be completed in August and later would be adopted by McHenry County and possibly Lake County so recommendations can start to be implemented, Evasic said.
The project is funded through the Local Technical Assistance program, which provides planning assistance to communities. CMAP has a $100,000 budget to create the plan, and McHenry County contributed a local match of $20,000, Evasic said.
People can share their thoughts on a survey on the project’s website at www.cmap.illinois.gov.
CMAP created a plan for the Fox River in Algonquin and Carpentersville in December 2015.