LANSING | Village officials received some outside suggestions recently as to how they could develop the downtown business district to include more businesses while also benefiting local recreation and environmental interests.
Officials hosted a gathering at the Lansing Public Library on Thursday with their counterparts from Olympia Fields and Park Forest, along with representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.
That event followed a Wednesday gathering of those same officials at the East Hazel Crest-based offices of the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association.
Federal EPA officials were on hand to offer advice on how area communities could comply with environmental goals in their future development.
Kristi DeLaurentiis, planning and development director for Lansing, said portions of the program related to her village focused on the downtown business district along Ridge Road, particularly the portion around where Henry and Grant streets intersect with it.
That area has several businesses, along with the downtown clock tower, ample sidewalks, the Pennsy Greenway bike path and a Pace bus line that connects to the Hegewisch neighborhood station on the South Shore commuter railroad line.
It also has the advantage of the post office just two blocks to the west on Roy Street, according to DeLaurentiis, who said Lansing also has an advantage in owning several parcels in that area.
“We (the village) will have some control over whatever development takes place in that area,” DeLaurentiis said, adding that she was pleased to have outside eyes take a look at a two-square-block portion of the village and make suggestions.
The sessions were meant to follow up on hearings held last year by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency on Planning, when officials came to Lansing and allowed residents to offer their own suggestions about what the future version of Lansing ought to look like.
“We’re building off of that,” said DeLaurentiis. “We’re trying to develop a strategy for development of the area.”