Land Use Plan

The proposed land use for Burr Ridge is shown in Figure 3: Future Land Use Plan. The land use plan reflects the Village of Burr Ridge’s vision for its future development and largely continues existing development patterns. It is based on four major goals which are articulated in the Goals and Policies chapter, as follows:

  • Maintain the existing spacious residential environment characterized by high quality housing and low density neighborhoods in a wooded setting.
  • Facilitate commercial and industrial development within the framework of the existing business and industrial parks so as to strengthen and maintain property values and provide a strong tax base for the Village.
  • Preserve and enhance the natural wooded character of the community.
  • Develop new growth areas with high quality, low density residential uses, consistent with the character of the Village.

4.1 Residential Development

Burr Ridge is a relatively young community and most of the housing stock is relatively new. More than half of the total housing stock, consisting of 2,958 residential buildings in 1998, was built between 1970 and 1989, while another 22% of the total is less than 10 years old. Approximately 90% of the housing in Burr Ridge is owner-occupied.

The majority of Burr Ridge can be categorized as single family residential on a variety of lot sizes. Large lots, which are approximately one acre or more in size, are located throughout the Village but more prominently between German Church Road and 79th Street, just east of County Line Road, and areas surrounding the intersection of Plainfield Road and County Line Road. Smaller single family lots tend to be located in the southern portions of the Village, west of County Line Road and south of 81st Street, and in the Babson Park neighborhood located north of Interstate Route I-55, between County Line Road and Madison Street. These lots are generally one-half acre in size.

Townhouse developments are found throughout the village and include Carriage Way, Chasemoor, Chestnut Hills, Tartan Ridge, Oak Creek and the King Bruwaert senior housing development.

The few traditional multi-family residential developments within Burr Ridge are located along Carriage Way, just east of County Line Road and on Garfield Avenue between 79th Street and 81st Street. The congregate care facilities located in Burr Ridge are also considered multi-family residential for purposes of land use classification.

It is proposed that the predominantly single family developments be maintained and encouraged, with limited expansion of, appropriately located, non-single family residential developments. 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.

Future residential developments should maintain, preserve and create additional wooded areas and other natural features, giving special consideration to topographical and floodplain conditions. Innovative design for residential site development that is sensitive to existing topography and natural features should be encouraged. In certain instances, the Village will consider allowing a transfer of density to achieve such development. Distinctive and upscale residential developments with high architectural quality should be promoted.

Residential uses should be buffered from existing or proposed non-residential uses by landscaped screening or transitional uses. The Zoning Ordinance designates transitional districts that serve as a buffer between residential and non-residential uses, and ensure that future growth of non-residential uses do not negatively impact residential areas. These transitional zones should be developed consistently with the provisions in the Zoning Ordinance. Utility line right-of-way or easements can also be used as buffers and can, in limited instances, accommodate a pedestrian-bike linkage between park areas.

4.2 Commercial and Industrial Development

Industrial use is the second largest land use category in Burr Ridge, a reflection of easy access to major transportation thoroughfares. There are seven business parks in the Village, specifically, Brush Hill Trust, Burr Ridge Corporate Park, Burr Ridge Industrial Commons, Burr Ridge Park (Tower Drive), High Grove and the Hinsdale Industrial Park. The majority of these parks can be found just north of I-55, both east and west of County Line Road, and south of I-55, both east and west of Madison Street.

Office uses are concentrated in the Burr Ridge Corporate Park, north of I-55 along the west side of County Line Road, and South Frontage Road near 83rd Street and Robert Kingery Highway. Larger office buildings are concentrated in the Burr Ridge Corporate Park.

Small professional offices and a funeral home are found on the west side of County Line Road between I-55 and 77th Avenue in the T-1 Transitional zoning district. The T-1 Transitional district is intended to provide a buffer between commercial uses along Frontage Road as well as in the Burr Ridge Corporate Park and the single family residential uses located south of 75th Street and west of County Line Road. The office buildings in the T-1 Transitional district have been designed with residential architectural features to achieve this transition.

Two hotels are located along Frontage Road near the Interstate Route I-55 and County Line Road interchange. A hotel is planned for a site in the Burr Ridge Corporate Park and another hotel is planned for the Oak Grove Subdivision located at the northwest interchange of I-55 and County Line Road. These hotels cater to business travelers to the Burr Ridge area as well as serving as one of the first upscale hotel locations west of Midway Airport. Burr Ridge hotels also frequently accommodate overflow convention traffic from Chicago.

Most retail uses are found in the County Line Square shopping center located within the Burr Ridge Corporate Park and to the south of 83rd Street along South Frontage Road. Retail uses are geared to the convenience shopping needs of residents and office workers and include restaurants, a local mini-mart, a dry cleaner and a florist.

The existing industrial parks and commercial developments should be maintained and enhanced to appropriate standards for a continued 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 village residents. Development plans and guidelines for both these areas are discussed in the Subarea chapter of the Comprehensive Plan.

4.3 Open Space

The three primary natural features in Burr Ridge include woodlands, steep slopes, and floodplains. These are related to the Des Plaines River and the creeks that run throughout the Burr Ridge area.

Woodlands are one of Burr Ridge’s strongest assets and help to define the community’s natural character. These areas provide a scenic and rural quality to the community and help blend the higher density residential subdivisions with large five acre lots scattered throughout the Village and its planning area. The majority of the woodland areas can be found in the southern portion of Burr Ridge, in and around the floodplains and steep slopes. They are especially concentrated in the German Church Road area, which is relatively undeveloped. These woodlands should be maintained and preserved, especially by the future development of the German Church Road subarea.

Steep slopes are characterized as either moderately sloping or steeply sloping. Slopes that are between 7% and 14% are characterized as moderately sloping while anything with a 15% or greater slope are characterized as steeply sloping. Developing land that is classified as moderately to steeply sloping is generally discouraged due to impacts such as increased surface water run-off and erosion, though these can be mitigated through the flattening of the slopes. While the northern portion of Burr Ridge is relatively flat, the southern portion of the Village is very hilly and contains much slope variation, which can be attributed to Flagg Creek and the Des Plaines River. Future developments, especially in the southern sections and the German Church Road subarea, should be designed to respect the existing land topography.

Floodplains are designated by FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in the Federal Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). Floodplains are defined as those lands subject to inundation by the 100-year and 500-year frequency floods. The 100-year floodplain represents areas that have a one percent chance of flooding every year. This is, however, an estimate, and floods have been known to occur more frequently than the designations suggest. While it is generally recommended that floodplain land not be developed, many of Burr Ridge’s floodplain areas are already developed. The floodplain in Burr Ridge is primarily along the Des Plaines River and along Flagg Creek. The floodplains affect mostly the southern portion of the Village from I-55 south to the Des Plaines River. To prevent adverse impacts on these floodplains, all new development projects should be constructed in accordance with the Burr Ridge Flood Hazard Ordinance.

The preservation of open space is a key concern. Two approaches might be considered to preserve open space include the Subdivision Ordinance, and conservation easements.

Subdivision Ordinance

The Subdivision Ordinance of Burr Ridge includes provisions to enable preservation of open fields, trees and other natural features. Through the Planned Unit Development (P.U.D.) process, developers maybe allowed to reduce required lot sizes by 10 to 20% in order to dedicate land as usable open space for all residents of that subdivision. This concept, known locally as transfer of density, is not expected to result in an overall increase in residential densities, but rather provides a flexible way of accommodating unique physical characteristics of individual development areas.

Conservation Easements

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 are granted by property owners to protect their land or historic buildings from inappropriate development while still retaining private ownership. Each easement’s restrictions are tailored to the particular property and to the interests of the individual owner.

Some specific advantages of a conservation easements include:

  • Ownership Retention: The property owner retains the private ownership when granting a conservation easement on his property.
  • Flexibility: Conservation easements are designed to meet the needs and wishes of the landowners who grant them, while serving the public good by limiting development and conserving open space.
  • Income Tax Deduction: The donation of a conservation easement is an income tax deductible charitable gift, provided that the easement is perpetual and is donated exclusively for conservation purposes to a qualified conservation organization or public agency. Internal Revenue Code Section 170(h) defines “conservation purposes” to include the preservation of open space for significant public benefit. Preservation of open space could be for scenic enjoyment or pursuant to an adopted governmental conservation policy. The value of the easement donation, is the difference in the fair market value of a property with a conservation easement and its value without the easement.
  • Estate Tax Deduction: A conservation easement can often reduce estate taxes. The value of the estate, and hence the estate tax, will be lower by the amount the conservation easement reduces the fair market value of the property.
  • Property Tax Deduction: A conservation easement, by reducing the development potential of a property, may reduce the assessment level and hence the property taxes.

In order to qualify for the above stated deductions, the conservation easement must be a contribution of a qualified real property interest, enforceable in perpetuity, to a qualified organization exclusively for conservation purposes. Organizations that could receive easement contributions include public agencies, land conservation agencies, or historic preservation organizations that are qualified as a public charity under the Internal Revenue Code. The Village of Burr Ridge may act as the qualified organization for receiving easement donations and, in appropriate circumstances, would consider doing so. The donated property must meet at least one of the following conservation criteria:

  • Provides for public access for recreation or outdoor education.
  • Preserves habitat for endangered or threatened species.
  • Contributes to the ecological viability of another park or natural area that is already publicly owned or otherwise protected.
  • Is identified in the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory.
  • Is eligible for the Illinois Natural Areas Registry.
  • Is part of a government policy or plan for the conservation of wildlife habitat or open space, the restoration or protection of lakes and streams, or the protection of scenic areas.

Conservation easements should be actively encouraged along the County Line Road corridor and the German Church Road subarea, in order to preserve their natural and wooded character. Action should also be taken to consolidate and develop a continuous natural open space along the Des Plaines River to define the southern edge of the Burr Ridge planning area.

4.4 New Growth Areas

The planning area generally extends from 55th Street on the north, Madison Street and Illinois Route 83 on the west, Flagg Creek on the east and Des Plaines River on the south. It includes the existing boundaries of incorporated Village of Burr Ridge as well as neighboring properties which could be considered for future annexation. It also includes six pockets of relatively small unincorporated parcels located entirely within the existing Village boundaries. The long term boundaries for the Village of Burr Ridge are depicted in Figure 1: Jurisdictional Boundary Map. Most of the potential annexation areas are designated for residential use. The German Church Road subarea, located in the southeast section of the planning area, represents the largest potential annexation area designated for new residential development. Development recommendations for this area are discussed in the Subarea Plans chapter of the Comprehensive Plan. The annexation area also include some properties designated for open space and industrial use, located south of the Northern Illinois Gas Company right of way and east of the Robert Kingery Highway (Route 83).

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. This might require that previously developed areas be encouraged to conform with Burr Ridge development standards upon annexation. Plans should be developed to maintain and improve older county subdivisions that have been or will be annexed into the Village. Street and pathway connections linking annexed subdivisions to existing Village neighborhoods is discussed in greater detail in the Transportation and Circulation chapter of the Plan.