Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

Naperville commission recommends updated land use plan for city

A new land use plan to clarify residential zoning in Naperville is headed toward the finish line after the planning and zoning commission recommended approval of the latest proposal.

The plan — three years in the making — includes requested changes such as three categories for residential zoning to protect the character of existing neighborhoods. It also reduces the number of sites that would qualify for development.

City staff made the changes based on feedback from the commissioners and the city council. The process hit a roadblock in March of 2020 when the planning and zoning commission rejected a proposal because it offered only one category for residential zoning.

Delays also were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and a busy schedule for the planning and zoning commission throughout 2021. The recommended plan will soon head to the city council for final approval with minor adjustments.

“I truly can’t stress enough the need for a master plan,” said Amy Emery, operations manager for the city’s Transportation, Engineering and Development department. “It was needed in 2019 when we started the process.

“Naperville needs a new streamlined document to provide a clear vision for the future,” she said.

A significant change in the proposal is the creation of three residential zoning categories to account for low-, medium- and high-density neighborhoods. The zoning differentiation ensures an area filled with single-family homes wouldn’t have an apartment complex built next to it unless the city approved rezoning allowances to a developer.

“If someone were to come forward with a proposal like that, they’d really have to justify why it was appropriate in that location,” said Sara Kopinski, a member of the city’s planning services team.

In addition to the limitation of development sites, there’s an increased focus on sustainability with the new plan.

Emery stressed many of the plan’s goals remain unchanged from its original vision. A focus on senior and affordable housing remains, along with recommendations for commercial areas.

Comments are closed.