On Monday, May 14 at 6pm the Zoning Board of Appeals will hold a public hearing to discuss the proposed district. The meeting will be held at the East Annex, 2434 Vermont Street, Blue Island. The Blue Island Plan Commission has recommended adoption of the U-TOD at its March 14 regular meeting.
The U-TOD district has been proposed since the adoption of the Blue Island Plan for Economic Development (2005) and encompasses the South Station Residential District, Hospital District and Main Street Commercial Area, and the South Main Street Area as found in the Blue Island Plan, as well as the Olde Western Historic District. The new district blends the areas zoned C-1 Central Area Commercial south of Union Street, including Olde Western; C-2 Highway Commercial parcels on Vermont Street between Irving and Division; and R-1 Single Family Residential parcels along Chicago Street and both west of Chatham and south of Vermont to the Cal-Sag and Division Street. Zones have been created within the U-TOD district to preserve Single Family Residential found in the current R-1 district.
Blue Islanders have long enjoyed the conveniences of a central business district and easy connections to public transit. With Transit-Oriented Development, Blue Island is committed to guiding our development so that connections to transit are promoted as one of the many benefits of living our community. For Blue Island residents it’s a quick trip to work or an easy way to reach cultural attractions. It’s also affordable, keeping money in your pocket, and good for the environment too.
Supported by a grant from the Regional Transportation Agency (RTA), Blue Island is poised to consider its first major zoning amendment in nearly twenty years. Working with planners and architects at Teska Associates and Ginkgo Planning, who reviewed all the work of the Blue Island Plan, interviewing stakeholders and both the Blue Island Historic Preservation Commission and Plan Commission along the way, before preparing this final draft for public hearing.
The U-TOD district pays careful attention to the needs of our business community while also laying the groundwork for redeveloping vacant and empty spaces near the Metra Station, such as existing parking lots. New design standards incorporate the work of Blue Island Main Street while providing a new appreciation for the diversity of historic styles in Uptown and Olde Western, with storefronts from the 1850s to mid-century modern. City processes are streamlined in order to support and promote business growth.
Zoning amendments are first presented to Blue Island’s Plan Commission, which makes a recommendation to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for a public hearing. Following this, the ZBA offers its findings to City Council for final consideration.