Message from the Village President Regarding the Lake & Lathrop Planned Development

May, 15, 2018

Dear River Forest Residents,

I would like to update you on the status of the planned development application for the property at the southwest corner of Lake Street and Lathrop Avenue.  In 2016 the Village Board of Trustees approved a redevelopment agreement that envisions a multi-use project at this site that features commercial and residential spaces.  Through this agreement the developer has agreed to remove contaminated soil underneath certain buildings and in areas in the parkway at this location.  This project is also part of a larger effort to redevelop and rejuvenate Lake Street.  While a redevelopment agreement is in place, the developer must still follow the Village’s planned development process to obtain approval to construct the project.  That approval has not yet been granted.

The Village’s planned development process is fairly straightforward with each step identified in Section 10-19-5 of the Village Code.  When a developer wants to develop something in River Forest they first give the Village Board a very rough idea of what they want to build.  The applicant will then take that idea to the Development Review Board for initial feedback.  Once the ideas are refined the applicant is typically required to host a resident meeting for neighboring property owners to discuss the project and its impact on the immediate area and the community as a whole.  Then, over the course of several weeks, sometimes months, the developer will submit a planned development application with specific information that satisfies the application requirements outlined in Section 10-19-6 of the Village Code.  The Village’s team of staff and consultants review the technical details of the application and then give it to the Development Review Board for a public hearing and public review.  At the conclusion of the hearing the Development Review Board makes a recommendation to the Village Board of Trustees that the application be approved, with or without conditions, or denied.  The final step in the process is for the Village Board to consider the Development Review Board’s recommendation and make a final determination about whether or not to grant approval for the planned development application.

Currently, the developer of the property at Lake and Lathrop is in the technical review stage with the Village.  Once a public hearing has been scheduled a copy of the application will be posted online for residents to see.  Notice of the public hearing will be posted on the property, in the newspaper, on the Village’s website and Facebook page, and written notice will be sent to neighbors that live within 500 feet.  I also include information in our monthly e-newsletter, which you can subscribe to by visiting our website. 

As applications are developed it is important to note that plans often evolve based on input from the community.  So that there is complete transparency, the Village publishes all of this information online well before any decisions are made. Residents are encouraged to keep themselves apprised of the details of the application by visiting the Village’s website.  In the coming days the Village will make it easier for residents to view information regarding each pending application by creating a Guide to Development with specific project links. In the meantime, you can view a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the planned development process. 

If you or your neighbors are interested in learning more about this application, please feel free to contact us.  You can stop in at Village Hall or call one of our staff, myself, or anyone of our Village Board Members for more information.