The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) is a leader in fostering Transit Oriented Development (TOD) creation in the six-county RTA region and is proud to support the City of Chicago’s passage yesterday of a TOD reform ordinance that enhances incentives to encourage development near transit stations.
The new ordinance expands the size of TOD zones, allowing more growth around Chicago Transit Authority and Metra stations, and eliminates some parking requirements, with the goal of providing more access to transit and affordable housing.
The RTA has allocated approximately $20 million in RTA, local and federal funds through its Community Planning program to more than 178 transit-related projects around the region over the past 17 years. Nearly 70 percent of those projects are TOD plans or in support of TOD plans.
The planning studies that the RTA is funded through the Community Planning program offer staff and resources to grow communities and increase access to transit, a recipe for a win-win for communities and their residents. Our colleagues at the Metropolitan Planning Council worked with City of Chicago officials to facilitate passage of this ordinance and we are pleased that it became the law of the land.
Examples of communities that benefited from RTA staff and resources include:
Village of Orland Park (TOD Complete)
- Transformed its “old downtown” and an adjacent industrial district into mixed-use area anchored by the Village’s 143rd Street Metra station. A 295-unit apartment complex, which opened in 2013, provided new housing with easy access to Metra trains. The RTA supported this project by allocating $50,000 toward the plan – $30,000 from the RTA’s Community Planning program and $20,000 from the Village of Orland Park.
Village of Palatine Plan (TOD in Progress)
- Is establishing a vibrant TOD around its Metra station, with a special focus on the edges of its downtown area. The plan recommendations vary from multi-family residential, commercial and retail development improvements to pedestrian, bicycle, public transit and vehicular circulation around the station, and a revised plan for signage and wayfinding. The RTA supported this project by allocating $100,000 toward the plan – $80,000 from the RTA’s Community Planning program and $20,000 from the Village of Palatine.