Village Initiates Complete Zoning Code Update

Village Initiates Complete Zoning Code Update

Northbrook has retained a consultant to begin the first comprehensive revision of its zoning code since 1988. The new code will be designed to improve processes, clarity, and alignment with the goals of other Village planning documents, including the Comprehensive Plan of 2010 and Climate Action Plan of 2021.

At their September 13 meeting, the Board of Trustees approved a contract with Houseal Lavigne for a year-long project to update the Zoning Code. The proposal submitted by the company stressed the need for modernization of the current code as a way to attract and support future development. 

“Properly drafted zoning regulations can remove unnecessary barriers to investment by providing flexibility for potential developments, offsetting the requirements related to design,” notes the proposal. “In this way, the new zoning code offers an opportunity to make good development easy.”

Goals for the new Zoning Code will include:

  • Aligning with existing Village plans including the Comprehensive Plan, Climate Action Plan, Master Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan (2018), and Affordable Housing Policy (2020)
  • Enhancing user-friendliness with clear language, visual aids, efficient cross-referencing, and descriptive headings
  • Removing procedural barriers that create delays or uncertainty 
  • Updating development standards and use provisions to reflect current best practices.

The process of updating the Code will begin in January 2023, as Houseal Lavigne meets with Village staff, assembles data, and conducts roundtable conversations with the Village Board and Plan Commission. The proposal also outlines a robust process for community input, ranging from online questionnaires to interviews with “key stakeholders” in the business community to be identified by the Village. Opportunities for community engagement are expected to begin in early 2023.