Plan Commission Transitions with New Chair, Members

Plan Commission Transitions with New Chair, Members

The season of change at the Village of Northbrook continues with a number of transitions on the Plan Commission. Beginning with the June 15 meeting, longtime Commissioner Steven Elisco has been elevated to the role of Commission Chair, and two new commissioners bring legal expertise to the panel.

Elisco, owner of Elisco Design Architects, has served on the Plan Commission since 2008. That long tenure has encompassed a number of significant Commission projects, including the establishment of special zoning districts, the 2010 Comprehensive Plan, and most recently the Affordable Housing ordinances.  Major developments like The Lodge of Northbrook, the Gateway Northbrook downtown townhomes, the NorthShore 770 apartments and retail center, and the Northbrook Court project have all been part of Elisco’s Commission experience. He is also a past Chamber Board Chair and Treasurer.

Elisco foresees the Plan Commission pursuing initiatives proposed in the Village’s Climate Action Plan and new steps to improving downtown, along with anticipated future developments at the former Grainger and Green Acres sites. The first major public hearing for the new panel, scheduled for July 20, will cover possible Zoning Code amendments to determine whether or not ADUs should be allowed in Northbrook Single Family Residential Districts.

One of his central goals for the Commission is ensuring that the Village communicates its expectations for developers throughout the application process. “It’s all about clarity,” he notes. “I don’t want people to expend time and money without knowing what we as a village find acceptable.” He points to the Village’s preliminary review process before the Board of Trustees as a unique opportunity for developers to get feedback on proposals before making a major investment.

The Plan Commission also welcomed two new members at its June 15 meeting, filling seats vacated by the departures of former Chair Marcia Franklin and Commissioner Ihab Riad. Keri Halperin, a resident of Northbrook since 2009, is an attorney with a background in employment law and corporate ethics. She currently is Deputy General Counsel for Capgemini, a global provider of technology services to businesses. Halperin’s term runs until April 2025.

Attorney Ken Walden brings expertise in Fair Housing and ADA accessibility law to the Commission. He is Managing Attorney for Access Living, a Chicago-based advocacy organization that promotes independent living and civil rights protection for people with disabilities.  A 20-year resident of Northbrook, he was inspired by the Village’s recent work on affordable housing to get involved with local government. His initial term on the Plan Commission runs until April 2022.

Information about upcoming Plan Commission meetings, including agendas and links to video recordings, can be found on the Village website.