LITTLE VILLAGE — The city’s Department of Planning and Development released a Spanish version of their Little Village Industrial Corridor Modernization plan this month and is continuing to accept comments from residents of the Southwest Side neighborhood.
The Little Village framework plan aims to address future land use, transportation and sustainability in the area, according to the draft plan.
The city’s Department of Planning and Development was originally set to present the Little Village Industrial Corridor plan to the Plan Commission on Feb. 21, but the project pitch to the key commission was postponed.
Now, more than a month after the scheduled vote, Kevin Bargnes, Department of Planning spokesman, said: “In response to community feedback, DPD will continue to review data and coordinate with the [Chicago Department of Transportation and Chicago Department of Public Health] before taking the draft framework to Plan Commission.”
The Department plans to update residents when an updated timetable is available, Bargnes said in an email.
In January, residents criticized the Little Village plan, saying it failed to reflect their urgent request to keep more polluters from coming to the area and impacting the health of the Little Village community.
Residents and members of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization lobbied for the Department to delay the vote so residents could further review the plan and evaluate how it would impact the surrounding community.
Ahead of the February Plan Commission meeting, Bargnes said the department was “unable to confirm aldermanic availability.”
The Little Village Industrial Corridor is currently located in four wards — Ald. George Cardenas’ 12th Ward, Ald. Ed Burke’s 14th Ward, Ald. Ricardo Muñoz’s 22nd Ward and a tiny portion in Ald. Danny Solis’ 25th Ward. The offices of all four aldermen weighed in on the new Little Village draft plan, according to the report.
Retiring and embattled Ald. Muñoz and Ald. Solis have been mostly absent from City Hall since January.
Muñoz, who was charged with domestic violence for allegedly attacking his wife on New Year’s Eve, had been in rehab. Muñoz has only returned once to City Hall to offer his support to a tax break for a controversial distribution facility at the former Crawford Coal plant.
Solis has not returned to City Hall since it was revealed he was an informant for the FBI in late January. Before cooperating with the Feds, Solis was investigated for receiving sex acts at massage parlors, the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra and campaign contributions in exchange for ushering deals through City Council.
Alderman-elect Michael Rodriguez of the 22nd ward said he planned to be actively involved in Little Village Corridor Modernization discussions.
According to the document, the objective is to keep the Little Village Industrial Corridor an “employment center,” improve transportation around the corridor and “incorporate best practices for new development … to improve economic, environmental and social conditions.”
The plan was created by the city’s Department of Planning and Development, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Health with input from community organizations. The city hosted three meetings to gather community input over the summer.
Last fall, city officials approved Hilco Development Partners plan to build a one-million square foot distribution center at the former Crawford Coal Plant — property that sits within the Little Village Industrial corridor. The plan to build a distribution facility has sparked opposition from the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization and other environmental justice organizations.
The Department of Planning will be accepting public comment on the draft plan at DPD@cityofchicago.org.
The full plan in Spanish can be read here.
The full plan in English can be read here.
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