2002 Downtown Strategic Plan Background
2002 City Council Members
Community Development Services Department
2002 Downtown Plan Steering Committee
Work on the Downtown Strategic Plan began in early 2000 with the selection of Camiros, Ltd. as the primary consultant. Camiros, Ltd. is a city planning, development and design consulting firm based in Chicago. They have significant experience in developing redevelopment plans for downtowns in many different cities across the state. The agreed upon scope of services included establishing the framework for downtown, creating a vision, developing strategies, and producing a final plan.
Along with the selection of Camiros, Ltd., a thirteen member Steering Committee panel was appointed by the Mayor to direct and oversee the work of city staff and the consultant. The Steering Committee has met regularly since the beginning of the process and is proud to present this draft as the result of the effort.
The following summary gives a chronology of the work put into developing the plan.
Kick-off Meeting – May 16, 2000
Mayor Satterthwaite introduced the newly appointed Steering Committee and reviewed the expectations and goals of the effort. Les Pollock from Camiros, Ltd. introduced the consultants and described the framework for the plan.
Key Person Interviews – May 16-17, 2000
In an effort to get initial reactions to downtown and what the main issues are, Camiros conducted interviews with key stakeholders in the downtown. These stakeholders included private property owners, business owners, city officials, county officials, as well as representatives from the Urbana Free Library, the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln Square Mall, Busey Bank, and First Illinois.
Town Hall Meeting – July 27, 2000
The Town Hall meeting was a public forum held to get input from residents on what is needed downtown. Over 100 people attended and participated in an exchange of ideas. Participants were also given an overview of the process and given instruction on how to stay involved.
Visioning Session – September 27-28, 2000
Over the course of two meetings, the Steering Committee participated in a visioning process to develop a vision of what downtown Urbana could be. The Steering Committee identified current weaknesses downtown and discussed what changes need to be made to make downtown successful again. The end product of these meetings is a vision statement described on page 17 of this report.
Strategies Workshop – December 7, 2000
At this meeting of the Steering Committee, Camiros presented development strategies for different areas of downtown. These strategies were based on ideas discussed at previous meetings and the Town Hall meeting. The concept of mixed-use development along North Broadway was highlighted at this meeting.
Plan Concept – May 15, 2001
At this meeting, an overall plan concept was presented to the Steering Committee. The Plan Concept report illustrated the strategies discussed in the December 7th meeting and supplemented them with text describing the rationale behind the suggestions. This document also established the six primary initiatives for downtown.
Draft Plan – August 28, 2001
A draft plan was presented to the Steering Committee at this meeting. This draft contained all the illustrations and text from the Plan Concept plus a new Action Plan matrix which further described what concepts should be considered, how they could get completed and what priority they should have.
Public Open House – November 15, 2001
A public open house was held at Lincoln Square Mall on the evening of November 15th. At this open house, all the illustrations of the draft plan were presented along with the Action Plan matrix. Staff was on hand to answer questions about the plan and to give background for the concepts presented. Materials were on display in the mall for one week over the busy Thanksgiving weekend.
Public Hearing – January 24, 2002
On January 24, 2002 the Urbana Plan Commission conducted a public hearing to consider the plan. The Commission took testimony from individuals on the plan and ultimately voted to recommend to City Council that the approve the plan with some minor text revisions. The vote was a unanimous 5-0 decision.
City Council Adoption – February 4, 2002
On February 4, 2002 the Urbana City Council considered the recommendation of the Plan Commission and unanimously voted to adopt the Downtown Strategic Plan as an amendment to the City’s Comprehensive Plan.
*** The illustrations shown in this plan are conceptual and are intended to generally illustrate how the specific recommendations of the plan could be carried out. All design concepts shown are subject to modification as projects are proposed and implemented.***