We won an initial first step in gaining more recreational space for our community. But the fight is not over.
Last night, the Department of Planning and Development issued a final draft of the Frameworkfor the North Branch Industrial Corridor which includes a new commitment for "at least 10 acres" of open recreational space in addition to the river trails, boardwalks and canal and wetland park areas previously proposed. However, the Plan does not contain a mechanism to secure significant contiguous space. This could resulting in a patchwork of acreage tacked onto large developments. Moreover, without knowing the anticipated population, we cannot be sure that this acreage is sufficient. The Plan states:
"Principle 3.5: Create not less than 10 total acres of publicly accessible open spaces within Planned Developments for sports and recreational activities...."
This was an important accomplishment, and is a direct result of your efforts thus far. But, we must ensure that the guideline language translates into meaningful recreational space for the needs of the 350,000 residents in the greater area and the huge new community that will soon be born on our doorstep.
The next critical step is Thursday, May 18th when the Chicago Plan Commission meets at 10 AM at City Hall, 2nd Floor, 121 N LaSalle, to vote on the city's vision. We anticipate having representatives testify from all the groups who co-signed the joint statementin support of open space. You are highly encouraged to attend and voice your support for a significant recreational park.
Alderman, 43rd Ward
43rd Ward Office Hours: M 9 AM - 7 PM, T-F 9 AM - 6 PM