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Design committee discusses master plan for Clarendon Hills

CLARENDON HILLS – Despite its relatively small size, the Village of Clarendon Hills is complex.

On one hand it is known as a quaint family town, but at the same time there is a want to bring in more business and modernization.

Clarendon Hills is in the middle of addressing its downtown master plan update, which calls for an enhanced downtown area with improved pedestrian shopping and a range of new residential opportunities.

However, as residents have voiced in previous workshops, there is also the want of continuing small town charm, sufficient green space and a family friendly neighborhood.

On Tuesday, the downtown master plan design committee met at village hall. As the design committee, members take on the role of trying to figure out how to enhance the downtown area with better signs, landscaping, architecture and then mix that with the small-town environment present today.

In layman's terms, this committee did not have the easiest task in generating design ideas that would please everyone, because you end up usually pleasing no one. But on Tuesday, it was about getting as many people and ideas involved as they could.

"I think our job is to provoke conversation at these meetings and get people to say what is good or bad with what we come up with," said Chairman Mike Abraham.

The committee, which has been meeting since April, is now looking to collect photos and conduct research on what type of structures they would like to see in town, including anything from bike racks, to business signs to what areas they would like to see as green spaces.

There is also making sure enough people come into town to make it economically successful.

"It can't just be ascetically pleasing and look cool; it has to bring in foot traffic," said Annie Horton-Krug, member of the committee.

One suggestion was to bring in business and develop the area around the Metra station to improve shopping in Clarendon Hills while commuting by train.

Design is just one of the committees that is working to present a plan for the future of the village. Others include steering committee, joint committee, land use committee and economic development committee.

Abraham said at one point members of these committees will get together to share ideas and culminate one recommendation that includes everything, which will eventually be brought to the village board for presentation.

The next design committee meeting will take place July 23.

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