LANSING | Officials approved a comprehensive plan for the future of Lansing Tuesday which includes hopes for a vibrant downtown and a more robust airport.
Lansing worked with Houseal Lavigne, a community planning consulting firm headquartered in Chicago, to develop a strategy that will dictate aim of village government over the next 15 to 20 years.
"It's really a blueprint, a guide for us to use on community growth and transformation," former village Economic Development Director Kristi DeLaurentiis said. "Using this as a tool and a guide, I think, will serve us well."
DeLaurentiis was part of the project at its start and spoke to the board Tuesday.
A comprehensive plan guides a municipality's land use and development priorities and goals, dictating future policy in an effort to serve long-term objectives. A draft of Lansing's plan can be seen in the documents section of Houseal Lavigne's web site, hlplanning.com.
Houseal Lavigne Senior Associate Doug Hammel presented the document to the board.
"It's not regulatory, like zoning, and it's not a specific capital improvement program, but it should be a policy guide that guides decisions related to regulations related to regulations and municipal investment in infrastructure, community facilities and other things that support local quality of life," Hammel said.
It includes a vision statement for what the village aims to be in the year 2030.
That vision statement calls Torrence Avenue the "spine of the community, welcoming travelers from other communities arriving via the Kingery Expressway." Ridge Road, the statement said, is the "heart" of Lansing in 2030, providing access to downtown.
That downtown area will feature several restored historic buildings, while Fox Pointe and Park Plaza will provide public space for events, festivals and concerts, according to the plan.
Lansing Municipal Airport would see more freight traffic in support of industrial and commercial development with an extended runway, if the plan is seen through. The airport would also attract more corporate and private business.
"Rather than just being thought of as that first community when you come in from the Indiana border, let's brand Lansing as a true destination that people know about before they're driving through town," Hammel said.
The plan has been in the works for more than a year. Workshops were held in January, March and August of 2013, giving residents the chance to have input on the strategy. It was funded by a $100,000 grant from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.
A final three-hour open house was held May 6 to offer villagers the opportunity to review a draft.
"It's not a static document; it needs to be updated," Hammel said. "It's important that you continue to reassess the assumptions and context for the plan."