Clarendon Hills to update downtown plan
Students from Clarendon Hills Middle School have been working on projects to come up with ideas to contribute toward an updated Downtown Master Plan being developed by village officials. | Chuck Fieldman— Staff Writer
Updated: January 28, 2013 6:17AM
CLARENDON HILLS — Clarendon Hills is taking a new look at the future of its downtown.
The Village Board gave the go-ahead Dec. 17 to update the village’s downtown redevelopment plan. The village last created a downtown redevelopment master plan in 2006.
“It’s always a good practice to revisit master plans on a periodic basis, every 5 to 10 years,” said Dan Ungerleider, who became community development director earlier this year. “Clearly, the market has changed significantly enough since the last plan was done that it’s time to do this.
Ungerleider said several subcommittees will be created to review previous planning documents and recommend updates, based on current and future community needs. That process is expected to take six to nine months.
“We have a wealth of expertise in our community that we will rely on for this project,” Ungerleider said. “We have a foundation with previous studies that needs to be reviewed and discussed in light of changes in the economy and potentially changes for the village’s vision of downtown.”
The review process will include multiple opportunities for public input and participation.
It’s very important to reevaluate the vision of the community, what it really wants the downtown to be,” Ungerleider said, adding the village will host a vision workshop in the future.
“The new plan will address several things for the downtown, and I’m hoping it builds in the flexibility to attract and put in the types of businesses people here want.”
The Clarendon Hills train station was a major focus of the last downtown plan. Ungerleider said it be part of the new plan.
“The train station is part of downtown, just as Village Hall is,” he said. “I hope to reintegrate it into part of the overall discussion. Clarendon Hills benefits a lot from train ridership, and we want to try to maximize that.
Terrie Walker, president of the Clarendon Hills Chamber of Commerce and owner of All Wined Up in downtown Hinsdale, said updating the downtown plan is a good idea.
“As a small business owner, anything that will make the downtown more attractive to other businesses, as well as shoppers, is a good thing,” she said. “Whether it’s from a beautification standpoint, or whatever, it’s always good to look for ways to make things better.”