It’s nearly here! Join us tomorrow (August 29th) at 6pm at Village Hall (510 Green Bay Road) for Winnetka’s Downtown Master Plan Preview Party. We’ve come such a long way over the past year thanks to the input, insights and guidance of Winnetka residents, business owners, Village Officials and the dedicated Project Steering Committee.
Swing by Village Hall between 6-7pm tomorrow to enjoy cake and refreshments, chat with Steering Committee members and project consultants, and view a series of boards showcasing Draft Plan recommendations and findings. Stick around following for the final Steering Committee Meeting, starting at 7pm.
Thanks to everyone who came out to listen and share ideas at Monday evening’s Steering Committee meeting. The focus of the night was on taking the four Redevelopment Sites highlighted at the February Workshop to the next level. As noted at the meeting, the development scenarios were refined and detailed to indicate more design character and development considerations such as height, unit count, pedestrian access, street amenities and parking.
Lessons Learned: In translating the concepts first seen by the Steering Committee to more detailed sketches, a number of factors came forward. These lessons are fundamental to the future of each site and useful to understanding in evaluating them. While at one level perhaps straightforward, they are basic to future development in Winnetka – whether publicly or privately directed.
Redevelopment of existing parking lots creates the doubled edged sword of eliminating existing parking and creating the need for additional parking.
No site can be developed in a vacuum. In addition to potential off-site impacts, adjacent and nearby sites should be considered as opportunities to create a larger development site or meet the need for parking, outdoor seating, passive recreation, etc.
Development is best done in a coordination with adjacent owners or government bodies to prevent adverse impacts and identify potential win-win opportunities.
The sites will continue to be refined based on comments and feedback received at Monday’s Steering Committee meeting. If you were unable to attend the meeting, links to the materials and presentation are provided below; share comments relative to such via the ‘Idea Zone‘.
Based on discussion at the February Steering Committee meeting, Winnetka’s four development scenarios have been refined and detailed to indicate more design character and development considerations such as height, unit count, pedestrian access, street amenities and parking. The Steering Committee will be asked to review the illustrative concept plans and further discuss how well each reflects the Visions Statements they approved for the business districts. Once finalized, the scenarios will allow the Downtown Master Plan to translate plan objectives into standards for development.
Last week’s visioning session with the Village Council provided another step forward in refining what exactly the issues and opportunities are for Winnetka’s business districts. The evening began with a brief overview of plan items to date presented by Erin Cigliano, project planner with Teska Associates. The summary included outreach components, website statistics, meeting overviews, documents, and next steps. Click here to view the presentation.
Following the presentation, Michael Blue, project principal with Teska Associates, introduced a group visioning exercise. Existing conditions statements were read for each of the three districts: Downtown Elm, Hubbard Woods, and Indian Hill. The statements were approximately 4-6 sentences in length and focused on the primary elements that make up each district’s look, feel, and use. Following such, council members discussed what was right, wrong and missing about each statement and what components should be focused on when considering the future, i.e. drafting of the 2025 vision statements.
Thanks to all who contributed thoughts via the ‘Idea Chalkboards’ stations in Downtown Elm Street and Hubbard Woods. Due to the dropping temps and impending snow flurries, the boards were removed following the Thanksgiving weekend. Installed on October 23rd, the sharing stations were in place for over 5 weeks and the feedback was plentiful! Village officials took photos of the chalkboards daily and when full, wiped them clean for more thought bubbles to appear.
Relative to desires, the ideas reiterated the most demonstrate similar themes to the feedback relayed at the Public Workshop (held November 16th at North Shore Country Day) and the comments streaming through the project website. The primary themes are highlighted via the colorful ‘Wordles’ shown below. The larger the word the more times it was written – thus making it a priority. Also, please note although it is not reflected in the Wordle, let the record show that we too would LOVE to see Bill Murray in Downtown Winnetka, but that request may be slightly outside of our control.
Keep sharing ideas!
Visit the ‘Idea Zone’ to post and view the 30+ ideas submitted by fellow Winnetka residents and business owners — and stay tuned! Future workshops are planned in both February and March to discuss development of the post office site and other key properties.
Greetings all — thank you for visiting the project website for Winnetka’s Downtown Master Plan. This is an exciting time! Much has been done to date relative to prior planning efforts (the 2020 Comprehensive Plan, Design Guidelines, ULI Survey, etc.). Now comes the time to connect past actions and findings as look towards the future. We will schedule regular meetings to ensure optimal engagement — above all, use this website to provide us with feedback, thoughts and comments 24/7. Tell your neighbors!