Joliet City Council OKs Companies for Comprehensive Plan

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The City of Joliet has approved two companies to perform the city’s comprehensive plan, laying the groundwork for future development the next 10 years.

Joliet has not completed a long-term comprehensive plan for nearly six decades. Such plans are usually performed every 10 years.

Lamar Johnson Collaborative and Urban3 were chosen following an almost two-year process. A
comprehensive plan is a visioning document or blueprint that guides the choices and civic investments of
a community based on the feedback from within that community.

City officials say the plan will also help Joliet be more strategic in its investments in capital improvements in service to current residents and stakeholders, as well as assist the development of the community and future residents and businesses.

Mayor Terry D’Arcy thanked the council for supporting the initiative and the staff who spent countless
hours bringing the project to the council floor.

“This will be our blueprint for the city moving forward,” stated D’Arcy. “It has been in the works for a long time but now we have the opportunity to work together as a community to plan our future.”

The Lamar Johnson Collaborative’s project approach consists of five phases, with each phase including
public engagement activities and associated deliverables. Lamar Johnson Collaborative estimates that the project will occur over an 18–24-month timeline.
The project breakdown in five phases:

Phase 1: Evaluate (project kick-off, project branding, data collection, existing conditions analysis,
advisory committee and working group meetings)
Phase 2: Investigate (key person interviews, community visioning public workshop, key topic
area definition and policy framework, advisory committee and working group meetings)
Phase 3: Enhance (public workshop on key topic areas, advisory committee and working group
meetings)
Phase 4: Empower (preparation of draft plan and preparation of subarea plans, advisory
committee and working group meetings)
Phase 5: Examine (preparation of implementation plan, presentation of final plan, final plan open
house)

Based on Joliet’s size (roughly 63 square miles) and the amount of work involved, the cost of the project
is estimated at $581,000 to be paid over the course of the next three fiscal years.

The second company, Urban3 was also recommended to perform a specialized Economic Analysis as part of the overall comprehensive plan project. This Economic Analysis will evaluate the impact that
development has on the city’s finances and infrastructure.

This analysis will also enable Joliet to make policy decisions on future developments with the understanding of the overall impacts to the city.

Urban3’s fee proposal for an Economic Analysis is $138,768 which will be funded in part by a grant of
$75,000 through the Joliet Arsenal Development Authority (JADA).

Finally, the plan includes a variety of meetings to engage the community according to a presentation at
Monday’s Pre-Council Meeting by City Planner and Project Manager Jayne Bernhard.

“The Lamar Johnson Collaborative proposes a planning project and process that includes a variety of outreach and engagement activities,” explained Bernhard. “They will be meeting residents through a wide variety of meetings including actively engaging those not traditionally involved in the planning process, including youth, students, non‐native English speakers, shift‐workers and more.”

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