ELMHURST – Elmhurst’s Development, Planning and Zoning Committee made a couple changes to the proposed plan for rezoning the downtown area of the city after extensive discussion at a meeting July 10 at City Hall.
At the meeting, Assistant City Manager Michael Kopp presented plans that illustrated the adjustments the Zoning and Planning Commission suggested making to the 2016 Elmhurst Downtown Plan.
Aldermen Mike Honquest, Noel Talluto and Mark Mulliner, who serve on the committee, agreed to allow 50-percent lot coverage instead of 40-percent lot coverage in the neighborhood transitional zone for attached, single-family homes, Kopp said. Non-attached single-family homes still would be at 30-percent lot coverage, he said.
The aldermen also changed the zoning from outer core to central business outer core residential district for the parcels of land on Haven Road between Schiller and East First streets, across from the townhomes. These parcels would have conditional office use on the first floor, and upper floors would be zoned for multi-family residential spaces.
“I think the most important thing in the whole process was that the city had ample opportunity for the public to give their input, and their input was taken into consideration. And the changes on the fringes of the downtown zoning, if you look at what it was from the start to what it is today, the input from the public was highly regarded and used to develop the map that you see today,” Kopp said.
Talluto said she thought the process was successful in reaching the goals of the City Council and will result in further progress for the downtown area, which will benefit all residents.
“I think we’re ending up in a place that is going to be a very good step forward for the city of Elmhurst and … for anyone to understand our zoning in that downtown area,” she said.
Talluto said having a zoning plan that is clear is important for progress to be made.
"If their zoning is confusing and hard to navigate and always requiring an applicant to go through a variation process, it makes it inordinately difficult and costly to have people come in to open new businesses and to progress the city forward," she said.
Houseal Lavigne Associates, the firm hired to update the 2006 Elmhurst Downtown Plan, conducted focus groups, an open house, community surveys and a community workshop in 2015 and 2016 to gauge the interests and needs of the Elmhurst community in terms of rezoning.
The City Council approved the revised Downtown Plan in June 2016, and city staff had presented several amendments to the implementation of the 2016 plan at two open houses March 9 and 13 at City Hall.
After receiving community input, staff prepared modifications, which were made to the proposed map and text amendments and presented to the Zoning and Planning Commission at the public hearing March 23. The commission then discussed the modifications in April before presenting them to the Development, Planning and Zoning Committee.
The committee's report will be presented July 17 to the City Council. If the council approves the changes, then there will be an ordinance in two weeks and that rezoning will be put into place, along with any changes that are made by then, Kopp said.
Information about the downtown rezoning process and amendments is online at elmhurst.org/downtownrezoning.