The Morton Grove Comprehensive Plan is the Village's official policy guide for physical improvement and development. It considers not only the immediate needs and concerns of the community, but also projects improvement and development 10 to 15 years in the future. The plan is "comprehensive" in both scope and coverage. It addresses the use of land and buildings, the movement of traffic and pedestrians, and the provision of parks, schools, utilities and other public facilities. It also addresses residential neighborhoods, commercial areas, industrial districts, public and institutional lands, and public rights-of-way.
The comprehensive plan establishes the ground rules for private improvement and development. It provides guidelines by which the Plan Commission and Village Board can review and evaluate private development proposals. The plan also provides a guide for public investments and capital improvements, and can help to ensure that local public dollars are spent wisely. The comprehensive plan provides a basis for refining the zoning ordinance, subdivision regulations and other development codes, all of which are used to implement planning policies and recommendations. Finally, the comprehensive plan serves as a marketing tool to promote Morton Grove's unique assets, and it can help to attract new families and desirable new investment and development to the community.
In December 1997, the Village selected a consultant team consisting of Trkla, Pettigrew, Allen & Payne, Inc. and McDonough Associates, Inc. to undertake an update of the Village's comprehensive plan. The planning process consisted of (1) analyzing existing conditions, (2) identifying issues and concerns, (3) establishing an overall "vision" for community, (4) formulating goals and objectives, (5) preparing community-wide plans for land-use, transportation and community facilities, (6) developing and evaluating alternative plans and policies for key "target areas," and (7) preparing final plan and implementation recommendations. On October 11, 1999 the process was successfully completed with the passage of Ordinance 99-46 approving the Comprehensive Plan Update as the Village's official plan.
A strategic plan is a high-level planning document aimed at providing guidance and operational direction for an organization. Adopted in 2015, the Morton Grove Strategic Plan serves as a framework for decision-making over a five year period, examining the current state and resources of the Village, but more importantly, seeking to leverage the unique qualities and assets of the community. By better understanding the issues, opportunities, and influences in the community, the Strategic Plan can effectively prioritize and address the challenges currently facing the Village in order to strengthen and grow Morton Grove.
In 2022, the Village began the process of updating the Morton Grove Strategic Plan with the assistance of the Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University. Village staff, elected officials, community stakeholders, and residents are working to update the community's vision, goals, and objectives to meet the changing needs of the community. The plan update is expected to be adopted in 2023.
Industrial Areas Plan
In 2011, the Village requested and was awarded technical assistance from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's (CMAP) Local Technical Assistance (LTA) Program to create an industrial areas plan to provide direction for the future of Morton Grove's industrial districts. Through the planning process, the industrial areas were comprehensively assessed and alternative scenarios for future development were considered and analyzed. The Morton Grove Industrial Areas Plan was adopted by the Village Board of Trustees in 2014.
Commercial Corridor Plans
Historically, Waukegan Road and Dempster Street have been the Village's most active and successful shopping districts. Without a traditional downtown, these streets have provided the Village's residents as well as regional shoppers with a wide variety of goods and services. However, limited parking, difficult access, deteriorating physical conditions, and increasing competition from area shopping centers are affecting those corridors.
In order to address these problems, the Village hired the Lakota Group to assess the corridors’ land use, real estate market, parking, traffic, streetscape conditions, and overall redevelopment potential.
Waukegan Road Commercial Corridor Plan
With the assistance of Village staff, the consultant team, local businesses, property owners, and local brokers/vendors, a Master Plan was submitted to the Village in November of 1997. Engineering for the enhancements to this Commercial Corridor was completed on 1999. These enhancements received Illinois Department of Transportation approval and were bid for construction in 2000. Construction of improvements, including a bi-directional turn lane, new sidewalks, street furniture, streetlights, and gateway treatments, was completed in 2001.
- Waukegan Road Commercial Corridor Plan, Part 1 (2.7MB)
- Waukegan Road Commercial Corridor Plan, Part 2 (3MB)
- Waukegan Road Commercial Corridor Plan, Part 3 (2.7MB)
Dempster Street Commercial Corridor Plan
A similar planning effort for Dempster Street began in May 2000. During the Village’s Comprehensive Plan update process, Dempster Street between Central Avenue and the Metra-Milwaukee District north line right-of-way was identified as a sub-area that required significant improvement to support commercial activities and enhance the overall image of the Village. Due to the success of the Waukegan Road Commercial Corridor Study, Village officials retained the services of the same design team of McDonough Associates, Inc., and Lakota Group, Inc. to address parking, traffic, streetscape, and land use considerations for Dempster. The Village Board approved the Master Plan, based on input from public officials, residents, staff, the Dempster Street Corridor Planning Committee, and the Illinois Department of Transportation, in August 2001. The Village currently is seeking funding from the Illinois Department of Transportation and other sources to help fund future improvements to this corridor.