Carpentersville pushes ahead with Old Town plan
By Erin Sauder For The Courier-News July 11, 2012 11:24AM
Brian Helbig of West Dundee pedals across the Main Street bridge Wednesday in old Carpentersville. July 11, 2012 | Michael Smart~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 13, 2012 1:51PM
CARPENTERSVILLE — Assistant Village Manager Joe Wade says this week’s Village Board approval of a plan for improvements to the Old Town Area is “a turning point for Carpentersville.”
Blueprints for the Old Town Area project include mixed-use development, traffic flow improvements and linking the Fox River Trail to other area forest preserves, including Raceway and Brunner woods.
“Over time, and with some patience, this could be a really large improvement for the entire community,” Wade said.
The plan, nearly a year in the making, is a cooperative effort among local residents, business and property owners, and community stakeholders, with guidance from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, or CMAP.
Carpentersville officials were fortunate to apply for and receive a grant from CMAP to help them draft the long-range plan that will guide the area’s future growth and focus on implementation, Wade said.
“Those grants are very competitive, so that was quite an achievement,” he said.
The village’s next step is to work with staff and the board to develop a capital budget for implementation of the plan.
“We recognize this is something that won’t be done overnight or even in the next year or two,” Wade said. “The longer term issues, trying to connect the Fox River Trail to Raceway Woods and Brunner Forest Preserve, could take 10 to 15 years.”
Officials are excited not only about the possibility of attracting businesses to the Old Town Area, but also improving quality of life by enhancing the riverview, connecting the bike trails, and easing traffic concerns, particularly on Washington and Main streets.
“That’s a difficult area because we have vehicles, but also a number of cyclists using the path and pedestrians coming in and out of the Otto (Engineering company) plant,” Wade said. “There’s a lot of movement there. That’s one of the things we’ll give some attention to.”
He said he is excited about the Old Town Area project.
“At the end of the day, we really have a plan that’s addressing all of these things and provides us with a vision of what the area could look like in 10 or 15 years,” Wade said.
More information about the plan can be found at www.cmap.illinois.gov/carpentersville.