Council President John Belcik, center, discusses the neighborhood plan at the McKinley Park Development Council meeting on Wednesday, October 16, at the McKinley Park field house.

Neighborhood Plan Solicits Penultimate Feedback at Development Council Meeting

Published October 18, 2019

The McKinley Park Development Council offered the latest peek at the rapidly developing plan for the McKinley Park neighborhood at its meeting on Wednesday, October 16, in the gymnasium of the McKinley Park field house. As one of the final steps of community assessment and feedback for the plan, the session featured audience members reviewing key plan goals and related ideas for specific initiatives.

"We want to know what you guys want to see," said development council president John Belcik. He walked the group of close to 50 attendees through the process of plan review: placing green or red stickers to indicate support or disapproval for specific initiatives, writing new ideas and feedback for plan goals and discussing neighborhood issues with fellow attendees and meeting facilitators.

McKinley Park Development Council meeting 20191016 members attendeesMeeting attendees review a neighborhood plan goal with the support of council members and meeting facilitators.The neighborhood plan project has been underway since early 2018, when the council started working with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) after winning support through CMAP's Local Technical Assistance program. With the agency's help, the council has worked through a process of community meetings, surveys, steering committee meetings and other outreach to assess current conditions, solicit feedback and develop plan recommendations.

A Plan for McKinley Park

The end result will be a guide for the McKinley Park neighborhood based on best practices in urban planning, current conditions and community feedback. The Wednesday session solicited final ideas and gave residents a chance to prioritize already-developed elements of the plan.

To date, the neighborhood plan has coalesced into a number of key goals, all of which were featured at the meeting. These goals include: Preserve Neighborhood Diversity, Modernize the Central Manufacturing District, Enhance and Expand Parks and Recreational Opportunities, Revitalize Commercial Corridors, Promote Equitable Transit-Oriented Development and Create a Resilient Community.

In addition, CMAP has announced they will add specific traffic and pedestrian planning study for six key intersections in the McKinley Park neighborhood. These include the intersections of South Archer Avenue and South Leavitt Street, and South Ashland and Archer avenues: both heavily trafficked areas next to the neighborhood's El stops. Also under study is the complex intersection at South Western Avenue and West 33rd Street.

The full and final plan is slated to be released this winter, Belcik said. The McKinley Park Development Council Meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 20, at Aquinas Literacy Center will present the final draft of the plan for community assessment. All interested adult residents are encouraged to attend, he said.

McKinley Park Development Council meeting 20191016 John Belcik announcementDevelopment council President John Belcik talks through the process of neighborhood plan assessment at the meeting in the gymnasium of the McKinley Park field house.


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