Comprehensive Plan

To view the entire Comprehensive Plan, go to the Document Center under the Community Development folder.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The 1999 Village of Burr Ridge Comprehensive Plan presents land use and development policies for the incorporated portions of Burr Ridge and areas that may be annexed to the Village of Burr Ridge in the future. The land use plan reflects the Village of Burr Ridge’s vision for its future development and largely continues existing development patterns. The Comprehensive Plan addresses residential, commercial and industrial development, open space policy, community design, community facilities, new growth areas and transportation issues. It also provides guidelines for enhancing and maintaining the overall physical and environmental character of the Village.

Since the incorporation of the Village of Harvester in 1956, and the formation of the Village of Burr Ridge in 1962, Burr Ridge has sought to guide its own destiny as an upscale community with a strong rural character. Burr Ridge has grown as a bedroom community with a character that is distinctly different from its neighbors. Implementation of the Comprehensive Plan is intended to protect the Village’s residential character and ensure the continuance of a strong tax base which will enable the Village to maintain and improve existing levels of service and public facilities for its residents. In doing so, Burr Ridge will be able to achieve its community vision.

COMMUNITY VISION

A plan should begin with a clear vision of what it hopes to accomplish. In the case of the Burr Ridge Comprehensive Plan, that future is described in the following statement.

Burr Ridge is a high quality suburban community with low density neighborhoods characterized by distinctive homes in natural wooded settings. Our Village accommodates residents who seek a sense of privacy in a tranquil environment. We desire to enhance the Village’s physical beauty, keeping Burr Ridge a very special place.

PLAN RECOMMENDATIONS

The Comprehensive Plan identifies goals and objectives intended to help achieve this vision. These are supported by the following specific plan recommendations. 

Residential Development

Future residential developments should maintain, preserve and create additional wooded areas and other natural features, giving special consideration to topographical and floodplain conditions. The existing general pattern of housing types and low densities should be maintained, consistent with the underlying zoning. Future residential developments should be encouraged to have lot sizes of 30,000 square feet or larger.

Commercial and Industrial Development

The existing industrial parks and commercial developments should be maintained and enhanced to appropriate standards to sustain a strong tax base for the Village. The development of vacant parcels within the Burr Ridge Corporate Park should be facilitated. However, commercial uses that have minimal traffic impact on surrounding residential areas should be emphasized. County Line Square should be renovated and developed with a wide range of neighborhood and convenience shopping or community uses, consistent with the needs of Burr Ridge residents.

Open Space

Conservation easements should be encouraged as a method of preserving existing open spaces and wooded areas within Burr Ridge. A conservation easement is a legal agreement a property owner makes to restrict the type and amount of development that may take place on his or her property. Conservation easements should be actively encouraged along the County Line Road corridor and in the German Church Road subarea. The Village of Burr Ridge may serve as a qualified organization for receiving easement donations and, in appropriate circumstances, should consider doing so.

New Growth Areas

The Village should actively seek appropriate boundary agreements with neighboring communities and annex the unincorporated parcels within its existing boundaries. These new growth areas should be integrated with the existing fabric of the Village. Plans should be developed to maintain and improve older county subdivisions that have been or will be annexed into Burr Ridge.

The Burr Ridge Corporate Park Subarea

The Burr Ridge Corporate Park occupies one of the most prominent locations in Burr Ridge. Located adjacent to the Interstate Route I-55 and County Line Road interchange, the Corporate Park presents many visitors with their first image of Burr Ridge. Office is the preferred use for most of the remaining vacant land. This use represents a departure from the underlying L-1 Light Industrial zoning that is currently in place for a major portion of the Corporate Park. While office uses are allowed under the present zoning, industrial uses area also permitted which are not consistent with the development pattern that has been encouraged in the Corporate Park since its annexation into the Village of Burr Ridge. Consequently, the Village should rezone land to appropriate office classifications to reflect existing uses and accommodate desirable future developments.

The Comprehensive Plan also recommends upgrading and renovating County Line Square to create a well-defined and attractive pedestrian-oriented development. A wide range of commercial developments should be encouraged in County Line Square. The redevelopment and repositioning of County Line Square as an attractive destination-based town center, represents one of the biggest development challenges that will face the Village in the coming years. However, it also represents a unique opportunity for Village officials to act proactively in creating the kind of community focal point that many residents believe is currently missing in Burr Ridge.

The German Church Road Subarea

The German Church Road subarea is located south of German Church Road and east of County Line Road. Most of this area is expected to someday become part of the Village. This portion of Burr Ridge’s planning area contains rolling terrain punctuated by areas of steep slopes, woodlands and floodplains. Portions of this area have developed for residential purposes under Cook County zoning.

Recognizing that Burr Ridge is a community of identified subdivisions, new development within this subarea should take on a specific residential character that is consistent with the lot sizes of surrounding developments such as Arrowhead Farm. It is also desirable that new residential subdivisions take advantage of the unique characteristics of the terrain. This suggests a need for a variety of lot sizes and the consideration of the transfer of density within a traditional subdivision development to preserve open space.

Community Design

The Comprehensive Plan recommends that the Village seek to establish a distinctive visual character for the Village's major gateways and transportation corridors. The principal and secondary gateways leading into Burr Ridge should be enhanced through a combination of signage and landscaping. The signage should be rustic in appearance in order to reflect the desired rural character of Burr Ridge. The landscape material should be native to the area and consist of a mixture of shrubs and perennials with a variety of color and blooming trees. Similarly, streetscape enhancements should build upon the Village's desire for a rural character along the continuous streets that define the main edges of the community.

Burr Ridge has grown as a collection of subdivisions that maintain their own individual identities. While individuality is an important aspect of the community's identity, many residents also want to establish a common Burr Ridge identity. One way to do this would be to encourage individual subdivisions to adopt a common unifying theme or common materials in their entryway signs. Consideration should be given to amending the Subdivision Ordinance to implement this recommendation by establishing a palette of materials or other common elements that must be incorporated into subdivision entrance signage. Older subdivisions should be encouraged to adopt such unifying elements as old entryway signs are replaced.

Transportation and Circulation

Burr Ridge is served by both a local and regional roadway network which allows easy access into and out of the community. Street connections and extensions should be provided, where appropriate, in order to improve residential circulation within the Village. The purpose of these street connections should be to improve connections between residential neighborhoods and not to encourage cut through traffic within the neighborhoods.

Burr Ridge currently possesses a loose network of sidewalks and on-road trails but lacks an overall system of pedestrian and bicycle pathways. The main objectives of the pathway plan are to serve local residents and strengthen the sense of community by connecting neighborhoods to local destinations such as parks, schools, shopping centers and community centers.

Community Facilities and Services

One of the issues that faces Burr Ridge in its effort to establish a clear community identity is the preponderance of overlapping tax districts of the various governmental units and utilities that provide services to Burr Ridge residents. The number of these districts significantly limit a "sense of community" by precluding a common sharing of institutional resources. However, there are also opportunities to build upon elements that create a strong community image. Toward this end, community facilities that serve all Burr Ridge Residents should be encouraged. Specifically, the Plan recommends exploring the potential for providing Village library services to better serve Burr Ridge residents.

IMPLEMENTATION

The Comprehensive Plan is a guide that can help the Village of Burr Ridge fulfill its vision. Implementation of its recommendations will require the use of a variety of approaches, but because no plan implements itself, the most important resource is people. Recommendations without active support groups are seldom enacted. In Burr Ridge, several groups will need to continue to be involved in furthering the Comprehensive Plans recommendations, including the Plan Commission & Zoning Board of Appeals, Economic Development Committee and the Pathway Commission. Other groups may emerge, as specific issues become important.

The Village Board is probably the most critical group in ensuring that the Burr Ridge continues to grow and prosper in accordance with the spirit of the Comprehensive Plan. The Village Board passes the ordinances that enable recommendations to go forward and approves their financing and support. Ultimately, any of the Plan's recommendations must come before the Board and be supported before any serious action can be taken. The Comprehensive Plan provides continuity and a context for addressing the challenges that lie ahead.