By Bob Balgemann


MACHESNEY PARK – Village officials want future developments to be of good quality and aesthetically pleasing.

Given that, the village board recently adopted design standards for multi-family residential structures. The goal is to ensure that “a quality looking product is built for prospective owners/renters and to maintain property values within the village.”

With that having been done, the village now is looking to be certain future commercial developments are of the same quality.

After discussion, the planning and zoning commission voted 6-0 on May 23 to recommend approval of the most recent text amendment to the zoning ordinance. The planning and economic development committee (PED) followed suit at its June 6 meeting. Next stop will be the village board Monday night for first reading.

Planning and zoning coordinator Carrie Houston told members of the PED approved commercial design standards will apply to all new buildings constructed in the commercial neighborhood, commercial community, commercial general and office zoning districts.

Those standards also will apply to existing buildings in those districts that undergo improvements. Those revisions include renovations, reconstruction and painting or exterior facade treatments for which at least 25 percent of the surface area is affected by the improvements.

For existing buildings, she said only the standards for applicable design elements will apply.

The intent of the new design standards is “to elevate the standard of the built environment in the village…,” according to a memorandum from village staff. “The standards have been written to attract quality, aesthetic developments that raise and maintain property values in the village.

“These minimum design standards offer flexibility in order to recognize business identities that influence the look and feel of commercial development.”

The new design standards, which represents “many months of work” by village staff, legal representatives and planning and zoning commission members.

Also June 6 the PED recommended approval of a name change.

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