OP planning revisions for downtown quadrant to start August 2

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The Village of Oak Park is expected to begin a public process next month that will culminate in revisions to the portion of Oak Park's downtown plan bounded by North Boulevard and Lake Street, Harlem Avenue and Marion Street.

The revised plan may guide potential redevelopment of the Colt Building on Westgate.

A group of stakeholders, designated by the village board, is expected to begin meeting on Aug. 2, said Village Planner Craig Failor. The group will hold an intense series of meetings every Tuesday night, from 7-10 p.m., through the end of September.

The village is aiming to have the process wrapped up by the end of October, when its put-call agreement with the Taxman/Focus development groups regarding the Colt building property will expire.

All meetings will be open to the public, but the stakeholder group will ultimately decide "how to involve the public" in the process, Failor said. Possibilities include holding forums to gather public input, he said.

The stakeholder group is expected to include chairs of various citizen commissions, two trustees, a representative from Taxman/Focus, and from other various community organizations.

The process will be guided by village staff and the group, but consultants may later be brought in to conduct traffic and financial analyses.

According to the put-call agreement, the village must approve a redevelopment agreement with Taxman/Focus for the property by the end of October, or purchase it for roughly $5 million. The village also has the option to buy the building at any time.

?#34;Katharine Grayson

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