Algonquin is moving forward with plans to utilize a federally funded grant awarded by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) for a community planning and development plan.
“This project will help us reexamine existing land uses in downtown Algonquin,” said Algonquin Senior Planner Ben Mason. “We can learn how to improve access to downtown and enhance pedestrian accessibility.”
CMAP, the official regional planning body for northeastern Illinois, recently established the GO TO 2040 plan to help local communities address development factors such as transportation, housing and open space. Algonquin applied for the grant this summer and was recently awarded $90,000 that will be used for a downtown planning strategy.
The development plan will assess current conditions in downtown Algonquin while also taking the future Western bypass into account. “The timing works out very well,” Mason said. The CMAP project “is intended to provide focus and vision for downtown once the bypass is complete.”
The Western bypass is an Illinois Department of Transportation state project and therefore not controlled by Algonquin, though Mason said work on the bypass project is expected to begin in 2012.
In 2008, the Village updated a comprehensive development plan and conducted a streetscape plan to enhance the downtown area with new benches, bike racks and signage.
“This new project will build off those plans,” Mason said. “It will act as a springboard for new implementations.”
The CMAP project will be designed to improve circulation, land use and redevelopment in downtown Algonquin. Mason also said that the village will be providing Algonquin businesses and residents with opportunities to provide input once the project is underway.
“We will talk with the McHenry County Conservation District, the Chamber of Commerce, and any other groups and organizations that have a stake in downtown Algonquin,” he said.
Algonquin is accepting project proposals from consultants and plan to select the finalist in January or February. Work on the planning project is expected to begin in spring 2012.