Sugar Grove officials present community feedback on village’s updated comprehensive plan

Sugar Grove residents hope to see the village pursue development where it previously has made investments in infrastructure. They also would like to protect open space, but are receptive to growing incrementally at a neighborhood scale.

Walter Magdziarz, community development director for the village of Sugar Grove, shared the feedback while presenting a progress report regarding the comprehensive plan to the Village Board at the Jan. 17 meeting.

The village of Sugar Grove has partnered with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning to create an updated comprehensive plan. The plan the village is using was approved 18 years ago. Amendments were made in 2014 and 2018.

“The consultant took information from the community and tried to identify what the community vision is,” Magdziarz said. “There were three distinct tracks, if you will, that pervaded all the community comments and what people felt were important.”

The first is to build on and connect with what’s already available in Sugar Grove.

“The vast majority of people recognize if we’re going to be a place that’s fiscally stable and sustainable, then we need to put development where we made investments in infrastructure,” he said. “That’s not to say that new infrastructure shouldn’t be built, but I think the community recognized the need to be more judicious about where we place future investment decisions, and where we already made those, we need to exploit those and maximize those investments.”

The second is to grow incrementally at a neighborhood scale.

“I think it’s safe to say that the folks that participated in community events and even online events are not necessarily opposed to growth or even change in the community,” Magdziarz said. “It’s the space and the scale that seems to be critically important to them. And in conversations with folks at public events, it’s clear people are satisfied and comfortable with their neighborhoods and what they consider to be their neighborhood, and if the community continues developing in the future, it needs to be at that scale.”

The third is to maintain the character of the village through its open spaces.

“The amount of open space and the character of the open space that you have in the community, and around the community, is critically important and valued by residents,” Magdziarz said. “The consultant demonstrated how that has and will continue to form future development in the community and will contribute to developing at a neighborhood scale going forward.”

Overall, Magdziarz acknowledged there hasn’t been many revelations in the process.

“I think what we’re finding is the community is confirming many things that have already been done and want to see continue going forward, if not expanded upon,” he said. “Folks really want, and I hesitate to use it again because it’s overused, but they like the small town feel, the small town character and want that carried over to the businesses that are here, primarily retail and restaurant classes so that is consistent.”

Creating destinations in Sugar Grove for community gatherings and entertainment has been deemed important by community members who also would like to see much-improved connectivity, while continuing to protect natural resources and open spaces.

“The community seems to be comfortable with higher density developments in the proper locations,” Magdziarz said. “Higher density is not out of the question, so that’s a good thing because that creates a lot of opportunities.”