Why a corridor plan? When communities plan in isolation -- or not at all -- they miss the considerable benefits of planning in collaboration with their neighbors. Watch our video.
Land Use Committee Meeting #3 View the meeting slides and other documents from the July 21st meeting. View materials.
With its population growth significantly exceeding forecasts, Lake County has seen traffic congestion become acute. In 2009, residents approved a non-binding referendum in favor of extending Illinois Route 53 north to Illinois Route 120 -- known as the Illinois Route 53/120 project. In 2010, the region’s award-winning GO TO 2040 comprehensive plan included the project on its highest priority list, and one of only five new major capital projects for the region to pursue, citing performance measures that show this facility as “ranking highest among all projects in its effect on regionwide congestion."
In 2012, the Illinois Route 53/120 Blue Ribbon Advisory Council recommended creation of a 21st Century urban highway. This modern boulevard would have a smaller footprint to minimize potential negative impacts while protecting the natural environment and preserving the character of Lake County.
As recommended by the Council, tandem committees have been formed to examine feasibility. The Land Use Committee is staffed by CMAP, and the Finance Committee is staffed by the Tollway, with Lake County assisting in the staffing of both. This site is dedicated to the Land Use planning effort. For information about the Finance Committee or the Illinois Route 53/120 project in general, click here.
The Blue Ribbon Advisory Council recommended creation of a corridor plan that integrates land use, transportation, economic development, and open space. As the official planning agency for the seven counties of metropolitan Chicago, CMAP is uniquely qualified to lead the land use planning effort, whose Land Use Committee is co-chaired by Aaron Lawlor (Lake County Board Chairman) and George Ranney (Metropolis Strategies President and CEO), with membership drawn from the leaders of municipalities affected by the facility, the Lake County Board, the county’s economic development interests, and the environmental community. To a significant degree, the extent of collaboration between these stakeholders will determine how quickly the proposed project can become reality.
This effort will culminate in mid-2015 with a broad land use strategy for the entire corridor, along with specific land use plans for approximately 12 areas that are anticipated to undergo significant change as a result of the facility. The committee will be asked to recommend endorsement of the land use plan by corridor municipalities and Lake County before making a recommendation to the Illinois Tollway Board of Directors on whether the Illinois Route 53/120 facility should proceed.
When communities plan in isolation -- or not at all -- they miss the considerable benefits of planning in collaboration with their neighbors. A better approach is to consider "corridors" that integrate land use and transportation for improved mobility, quality of life, natural resource protection, and sustainable economic development.
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is working with Lake County and communities in the corridor along a future Illinois Route 53 and Illinois Route 120, as recommended by a Blue Ribbon Advisory Council of the Illinois Tollway. This corridor planning process is engaging municipalities to plan for the potential market-driven development that can result from such a major transportation infrastructure investment, as well as the potential impact on quality of life and the environment.
This animation depicts the potential results when three neighboring communities do not plan collaboratively. They are intersected by a major highway that brings increased traffic congestion, disinvestment in existing towns, and depletion of natural resources. Infrastructure costs more but is less efficient and effective. Each community's character changes in unpredictable and often unpleasant ways.
A more positive future can be achieved through the power of collaborative corridor planning. By working together to guide development, communities reap numerous rewards:
What this animation can't show is the actual corridor planning process. It involves patience and cooperation on the parts of municipal leaders, residents, businesses, and other stakeholders. The best way for each to achieve each community’s unique vision is to work closely with its neighbors and transportation implementers to maximize mobility and economic development while minimizing negative effects such as increased congestion and loss of open space.
Through the Illinois Route 53/120 Corridor Land Use Plan process (and the Illinois Tollway's parallel financial planning process), the residents and businesses of affected Lake County communities can -- in partnership with their municipal leaders -- define their vision for the future. As the planned extension moves toward Tollway approval and construction, those communities can reap the rewards for generations to come.
To get involved, please contact us.
The land use plan will consider a planning corridor within the area roughly bound by Lake Cook Road on the south, I-94 on the east, IL 12 on the west, and the Chain O’ Lakes on the north.PDF map
The Blue Ribbon Advisory Council provided the following specific guidance for development of the land use plan:
Note that this land use planning effort will not decide final alignments for Illinois Route 53/120. The preferred alignment and property impacts will be assessed as part of a future phase.
Without adequate prior planning, new roadway development can often bring unwanted results because of a rise in traffic, disruptions to environmental systems, and lack of forethought about desired future land uses. The Corridor Land Use Plan should help ensure that, in addition to relieving congestion, the Illinois Route 53/120 project will integrate and preserve open space and natural areas, increase access to transit, promote effective development, and enhance economic development.
By reflecting the conscious choices of residents and their elected leaders, the land use plan will achieve results far more beneficial to communities than if land uses were determined only by market forces. The land use plan will protect community assets -- including vital natural resources and quality of life -- and identify opportunities to improve recreation, transit, and economic development. It will balance individual communities’ specific desires with broader strategies for quality of life and economic prosperity in the municipalities, in Lake County, and in the region as a whole.
The land use plan effort will include public engagement specifically designed to involve residents, business owners, and others in a conversation about the corridor land use plan. A number of public workshops will be held in various locations throughout the corridor for the duration of this phase of work. This website will include interactive components in the future to allow for the public to provide input.
To stay informed via email updates, contact Elli Cosky.
June 2nd UpdateFollowing the May 8th Land Use Committee meeting, the consultant team has refined the Study Area Boundary to incorporate suggestions made by the Committee.
An exhibit showing the final Study Area Boundary is shown below. A higher resolution version of the exhibit can be downloaded here. Using the new Study Area Boundary, the consultant team is completing mapping and analysis of existing land use, market, environment and transportation conditions for the Existing Conditions Assessment.
The Illinois Tollway, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), and Lake County are partnering on a combined, two-pronged effort to examine the feasibility of the Illinois Route 53/120 project from a finance and land use standpoint. The Tollway’s feasibility analysis will primarily focus on financing, and CMAP’s efforts will be focused on developing a corridor land use plan. Lake County is involved as a partner on both of these efforts.
The Blue Ribbon Advisory Council (BRAC) recommended the production of a corridor plan that integrates land use,transportation, economic development and open space. New roadway development can often bring unwanted results without adequate prior planning because of a rise in traffic, disruptions to environmental systems, and lack of forethought about desired future land uses. The Council recommends creating a corridor plan that is based on the integration and preservation of open space and natural areas, multi-modal connections, market-feasible development, and congestion relief. Specifically, the BRAC recommended the following as guidance for development of the land use plan:
The study area is roughly bound by Lake Cook Road on the south, I-94 on the east, IL 12 on the west, and the Chain O’ Lakes on the north. The land use plan and analysis will consider the area within a two-mile buffer study area of the IL 53/120 corridor bound by these limits.
The corridor land use plan is being managed by CMAP and guided by a Land Use Committee consisting of representatives of the corridor municipalities and other stakeholders.
The Land Use Committee will participate in and help guide the land use planning effort. At the end of the planning effort, the Land Use Committee will be asked to recommend adoption of the land use plan by corridor municipalities and Lake County before making a recommendation to the Illinois Tollway Board of Directors on whether the Illinois Route 53/120 facility should proceed.
This effort will produce a land use strategy for the entire corridor (not parcel-by-parcel), and more detailed land use plans for areas expected to undergo significant change as a result of the construction of the facility. The plan will also include specific actions for implementing its recommendations.
The committee will be asked to recommend endorsement of the land use plan by corridor municipalities and Lake County before making a recommendation to the Illinois Tollway Board of Directors on whether the Illinois Route 53/120 facility should proceed. It will be up to the municipalities and the county to make land use and other decisions consistent with the land use plan created during this effort.
This phase of work is anticipated to be completed in approximately 18 months, by mid-2015.
The BRAC will serve in an advisory capacity to ensure that the Tollway and CMAP’s efforts remain committed to the recommendations and resolutions set forth by the BRAC. The core team will meet with the BRAC at various points during the current phase of work to keep the council informed of progress and outcomes.
The BRAC process, report, and resolution established a common understanding and agreement about the principles, practices, performance standards, and design standards that should be used for subsequent steps, one of which is the land use planning effort, which was recommended by the BRAC report. Facilities such as Illinois Route 53/120 can have significant impacts on the area through which it runs, and the land use planning effort is intended to prepare adequately and appropriately to address those impacts.
These are distinct efforts, but information and insight will be shared continuously. The representatives of the three agencies and the BRAC committee chairs comprise a core team to ensure coordination. The results of both efforts will inform the Illinois Route 53/120 facility project itself if it moves forward to construction.
Lake County’s population has well exceeded growth forecasts conducted 10-15 years ago. As a result, congestion and accessibility to employment centers in this part of the region is even more real and apparent than it was back then. Subsequently, the project has gained both regional and local momentum as evidenced by its inclusion in the region’s GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan (adopted in 2010) and Lake County’s 2009 approval of a non-binding referendum that favors the project be built.
Shortly after the adoption of GO TO 2040, the Tollway convened the IL 53/120 Blue Ribbon Advisory Council (BRAC) to bring together key project stakeholders (including environmental and transportation advocacy groups, the business community, and elected officials) to determine whether there was regional consensus on the project and whether the Tollway should move forward to develop a feasibility analysis. The BRAC’s work concluded with a resolution and summary report, released in June 2012. Consistent with GO TO 2040, the BRAC’s report recommended innovative design features, financing options, and market-driven, multijurisdictional land use planning. Specifically, the BRAC recommended that CMAP manage the development of a corridor plan that integrates land use, transportation, economic development, and open space (p. 67 of the BRAC Report).
The current phase of work builds on the progress of the BRAC and is intended to identify challenges and create recommendations regarding land use, open space, community character, and economic development before further progress is made with road design and engineering.
The land use plan effort will include public engagement specifically designed to involve residents, business owners, and others with an interest in the project in a conversation about the corridor land use plan. A number of public workshops will be held in various locations throughout the corridor for the duration of this phase of work. This website will include interactive components in the future to allow for the public to provide input.
For questions about the Land Use Plan, contact Kristi DeLaurentiis at firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about the Tollway’s Feasibility Study, contact Cathy Valente at (630-765-0433 or email@example.com).
The Tollway’s Feasibility analysis, which examines financing for the road, assumes construction of the facility would begin in 2018. However, moving towards construction requires completion of the Feasibility analysis and land use planning effort, after which the Land Use Committee will be asked to recommend endorsement of the land use plan by corridor municipalities and Lake County before making a recommendation to the Illinois Tollway Board of Directors on whether the Illinois Route 53/120 facility should proceed.
If you have comments or questions about whether or not the road should be built, please contact your county board representative.