This Comprehensive Plan is a guide that can help the Burr Ridge fulfill its vision. Implementation of its recommendations will require the use of a variety of approaches that can generally be grouped under three categories: organizational resources, legislative tools and financial techniques.
Because no plan implements itself, the most important organizational resource is people. Someone must take action in response to a plan’s recommendations. Even widely endorsed ideas must be given the commitment and resources to bring them forth into reality.
Recommendations without active support groups are seldom enacted. In Burr Ridge, several groups will need to continue to be involved in furthering the Comprehensive Plan’s 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.
However, the Village Board is probably the most critical group in ensuring that Burr Ridge continues to grow and prosper in accordance with the spirit of the Comprehensive Plan. The Village Board passes the ordinances which enable recommendations to go forward and approves their financing and support. Ultimately, any of the Plan’s recommendations must come before this body and be supported before any serious action can be taken. Village Trustees must not only subscribe to the values behind the recommendation but also to the merits and timeliness of its details.
The power to authorize the ordinances that translate the Comprehensive Plan’s land use policies into reality is vested with the Village Board. Chief among these is the Zoning Ordinance that regulates the use of all land within the Village’s municipal boundaries. Examples of other ordinances that can help to improve community appearance and further the Plan’s recommendations include the Subdivision Ordinance, property maintenance codes, tree preservation ordinances and sign regulations. Such regulatory powers are an important means of shaping planning and development recommendations.
The Village Board can help to further economic development policies through the use of tax increment financing, where appropriate, or support of available industrial tax incentives when necessary to attract an industrial user to the Cook County portion of Burr Ridge. Tools such as conservation easements designed to protect the community’s natural environment or sales tax rebates for retail uses, particularly in County Line Square, may also require legislative action by the Village Board.
9.3 Financing Techniques
Carrying out Comprehensive Plan recommendations involves more than controlling and guiding the private development that takes place in the community. Translating plans into action often means spending public dollars. Not surprisingly, desired physical improvements often exceed available financial resources.
The Village’s annual budget is the primary example of how funds for specific community improvement projects are allocated. Sales and utility taxes are the primary revenue source for the Village. However, other funds that can be used for a variety of purposes include the Village’s share of sales and hotel/motel tax revenues, motor fuel tax funds, development fees and periodic state and federal grants.
One of the best ways to achieve incremental progress toward physical improvements is through a long-range capital improvement program. Such a device allows projects to be spread out over a period of years in accordance with community priorities and anticipated funding. Capital improvement plans allow scarce resources to be allocated and interrelated projects coordinated to maximize the community’s investments in its future.
Burr Ridge has historically been able to make considerable progress in achieving its physical improvement objectives through developer-financed improvements and development fees. However, at some point the pace of development will slow, and the Village will have to develop other means to finance desired improvements. A capital improvement program will be a key tool to guide these decisions.
As a relatively young still growing community, most of the infrastructure including streets, sewers and water lines is not yet in need of major maintenance or replacement. Similarly, most of the existing development is in good physical condition. However, at some point in the not too distant future, Burr Ridge will make the transition from a developing collection of subdivisions to a mature suburb. When this transition takes place Village officials will need to begin to take a new look at how community development issues are addressed.
Burr Ridge has already begun to experience the “tear down” phenomenon, with small older homes on large lots being replaced with larger homes. In many cases, such large lots, originally developed under county zoning, are being subdivided to reflect current zoning. Moreover, the Village should anticipate future private interest in redeveloping some of the older commercial property in the community. The Zoning Ordinance should be revised to assure that redevelopment results in new buildings that reflect the community’s values.
Rather than deciding appearance and site issues for new development, the Village will increasingly be faced with the challenge of ensuring that redevelopment enhances the image of Burr Ridge as a prestigious community. Rather than determining where new roadways should go, the Village will have to address which roadways will be resurfaced or rebuilt. There are many challenges that lie ahead. This Comprehensive Plan provides a useful tool for meeting these challenges.