Village of Winthrop Harbor Adopts New Transit Zoning Regulations
May 21, 2014
Chicago – The Village of Winthrop Harbor Village Board adopted new zoning regulations for the area around the Metra station in the community, located along 7th Street and Sheridan Road.
These new Transit-Oriented-Development (TOD) zoning regulations allow and encourage transit-friendly development in the downtown area, as recommended by the Winthrop Harbor Station Area plan, funded by the Regional Transportation Authority's (RTA) Community Planning program. The plan recommends ways the Village could approach the redevelopment of its business district using the Metra station as an anchor and maximizing the proximity of the Village’s downtown area to Lake Michigan. Along with the implementation of other recommendations in the plan such as nautically-themed streetscape improvements, Metra parking expansion and a new warming shelter, these new zoning regulations make Winthrop Harbor’s TOD area shovel-ready.
“Our Village is fortunate to be the home of the largest inland marina in the U.S. We’ve been working for years to develop the North Point Marina into a sustainable and ecologically sound development. The expertise the RTA assistance made available to us will go a long way toward turning this goal into a reality,” said Winthrop Harbor Mayor Robert Loy. “The RTA team’s professional assistance was essential every step of the way and we know our work with them will continue until we have the type of TOD in the Village that enhances the tourist experience, while improving the economic climate for our citizens and taxpayers.”
The new zoning regulations focus on guiding the design and character for future development in the downtown area, establishing zoning standards and encouraging the development of a pedestrian-friendly environment. Additionally, these new form-based regulations streamline the approval process for potential projects that follow the standards set forth in each of four newly created zoning districts.
"The RTA is so pleased to have contributed to the Village of Winthrop Harbor’s growth,” says Leanne Redden, RTA Acting Executive Director, “Its efforts to implement the Station Area Plan we supported is exactly the type of transit-oriented improvement we work to bring to riders and residents throughout the RTA region.”
This is just one of many TOD planning projects funded through the RTA’s Community Planning Program. To date, the program has completed more than 90 TOD plans since the late 1990s using a combination of RTA, local and federal funds, totaling nearly $10 million.
For more information about the RTA’s Community Planning Program, visit www.rtachicago.org/cp.