Thank you for all your emails. It’s taking some time, but we are responding to each email individually. In the meantime, some important clarification is needed.
On Thursday (10/18/2012) the Village President responded to C4CH’s October 15th Village Board meeting request to reject the $18 million Train Station Development Plan (“Plan”). President Karaba commented that the Plan has been “Put to Bed.” C4CH applauds and appreciates this statement.
As the President says that he and the Board “Put the Plan to Bed,” then it should be no problem for the Board to vote and formally reject the Plan at its very next meeting. An $18 million decision should also require a new Downtown Master Plan, updated target market and user needs surveys, as much has changed in the last 6 years.
Unfortunately, the Village Board and Staff actions tell a different story:
The Board has never taken any action to FORMALLY REJECT THE PLAN.
There is nothing in Village records that states that the Plan has been “put to bed.”
Below you will find all the public records (“facts”) that confirm that the Train Station Redevelopment Plan is “alive and well.”
March 19, 2012:
The Board “accepted” the Plan (written by consultants that referred to the obsolete 2006 Downtown Master Plan when economic conditions were substantially stronger):
(a) $18 million in taxpayer money that will fund:
(b) Basic improvements (lighting, repaving, warming shelters)
(c) Pedestrian underpass (with two elevators)
(d) 3-story parking garage
(e) Additional commercial space
- The Plan states that grant money should be available for the Short Term phase.
- The Plan states that the Short Term phase precedes the Long Term phase of The Plan.
- The Village-drafted grant applications state that the improvements sought are “Interim” and are part of The Plan. The Plan was also part of the grant application.
- The Village had prominently displayed the Plan on its website (until 10/18/2012).
It is clear the Village is implementing the Short Term phase. The President actually writes that the Village is pursuing this “interim” phase. “Interim” means transitory and temporary, prior to the Long Term phase.
C4CH has a detailed Position Paper about the many reasons why the Board should reject the Plan. The C4CH Position Paper also offers numerous positive ideas about how to improve the train station while keeping it within a scope reflective of our Village. The C4CH Position Paper was offered to the Board on 10/15/2012.
Over the past year, C4CH has provided residents with reasonable ideas, credible facts, and alternatives for the community to consider. Again, we thank you for your continued support. Future updates will discuss the Electric Aggregation Referendum on November 6th and the April 9, 2013 elections for Village Board, Park Board and School Boards.
- Resolution for Grant
- Memo ITEP Grant Application
- Grant Application Questions
- Summary of Public Involvement
- Local Assurances
- ICC Cover Letter
- ICC Application
Note: Records summary that the plan is being implemented below
3/19/2012 Land Use Committee Meeting Minutes:
”2. One of the key recommendations of the 2006 Downtown Master Plan was the redevelopment of the area southeast of the BNSF railroad tracks and Prospect Avenue into a mixed-use, transit-oriented design complex. A new train station, additional commercial space and shared, multi-level parking were key features of that concept. Houseal Lavigne Associates was selected to complete the planning of the redevelopment and a Project Steering Committee (PSC) was appointed to study long-range plans for redevelopment. Due to concerns with the current commercial market and the challenges to generate the required public and private funds, the PSC determined that the long-term plan for the site is not feasible at this time. The PSC revised its study to focus on an interim developmentconcept for the site. Dan Gardner of Houseal Lavigne Associates highlighted concepts from the PSC’s final report for the train station redevelopment plan for Board consideration and approval.”
3/19/2012: Village Board Minutes – Acceptance of the ENTIRE Plan (5-0-1)
6.3 Acceptance of the Final Report of the Train Station Redevelopment Plan study to guide further efforts to improve and redevelop the area- OMNIBUS VOTE
5/18/2012 Memo from Village Manager and Staff to village Board:
“As you are aware, the Village recently completed and accepted a Train Station Redevelopment plan that includes long-term site redevelopment, as well as an interim proposal to improve the safety, functionality and aesthetics of the station.”
5/21/2012 Land Use Committee Minutes:
1. The Village Board recently approved the final report submitted by the Train Station Area Redevelopment Plan Committee regarding an interim development concept to improve the safety, accessibility, and aesthetics of the commuter train station. Staff is preparing an application for a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program to help meet those objectives. The grant application requests funding for a pedestrian underpass, bicycle shelters, warming shelters, and improved landscaping. This phase of the long-range redevelopment project is estimated to cost between $5 and $6 million. Staff will also be seeking a grant from the Illinois Commerce Commission’s Crossing Safety Improvement Program. Trustee Reid noted that this project will be financed entirely through grant funding and that there will be no cost to the Village. A resolution was presented for adoption that supports the grant request from the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program.
5/21/2012: Village Board resolution approved for a grant request to implement the Short Term Phase of the Plan (5-0-1)
6.5. Adoption of a Resolution Supporting an Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program Grant Request – OMNIBUS VOTE
Village’s Grant Application to ITEP:
“The Train Station Area Redevelopment Plan was developed with funding from RTA and West Suburban Mass Transit District and input from the community, Metra, Pace and RTA. The long-term plan calls for a new station, mixed-use development and parking facilities. The planning process includes interim improvements to the site that would not conflict with future development opportunities. Elements of this interim plan are included in this grant application.”
Village Grant Application to the ICC:
“The Village received a total of $100,000 in grant funding from RTA and West Suburban Mass Transit District to create a site redevelopment plan, which is included with this application. Given the current market condition, the plan includes interim improvements that are compatible with future redevelopment.”
Village Website Before It Changed 10/18/2012
“The planning process developed a revised long-term site redevelopment plan, as well as an interim plan to guide improvements to the site that would not prohibit future redevelopment. The Village is currently seeking grant funding forg Ann Street. The plan also incorporates a pedestrian underpass to improve accessibility to parking along Burlington Avenue.”
The Plan Itself, p. 4:
“As mentioned, following review and discussion of the Long-term concept plan for the Station Area Development, the Project Steering Committee and Village staff concluded that while the plan was very good and reflected the ultimate vision for the site, current economic and real estate market conditions do not favor pursuing redevelopment at this time.”