RTA begins zoning code projects in Cicero, Riverside

The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) has begun work with the communities of Cicero and Riverside to support zoning code updates through the agency’s Community Planning program.

The projects will seek to help both communities align their regulations with established planning goals to increase transit-oriented development (TOD), walkability, and access to transit.

Cicero Zoning Update
In Cicero, the RTA will support development of a Unifed Development Code to align with the comprehensive plan adopted in 2017 and the Cicero Connections Transportation Plan, completed in 2014 and in partnership with the RTA.

The updated code will guide future development and help preserve the integrity of traditional neighborhoods, encourage infill and redevelopment where needed, protect existing mixed-use districts, support modern TOD practices, strengthen commercial corridors, and realize the best use potential for existing manufacturing districts.

“The creation of this unified development code will help to protect and build around Cicero’s best assets, such as the transportation system, while creating modern guidelines for developing the Town’s opportunity areas,” said Craig Pesek, Project Manager for the Town of Cicero.

The RTA will fund 90 percent of the roughly $100,000 project cost, with the rest covered by the Town of Cicero.

“We are very excited to have received this assistance from the RTA. I am committed to Cicero being a business-friendly community and this zoning update will continue to do just that,” said Town President Larry Dominick.

Riverside Zoning Update
The RTA is working with the Village of Riverside to develop new TOD zoning code regulations for multiple locations in the community, with a focus on the Riverside Metra station area and along bus-served corridors.

Previously adopted planning studies identified the need for updated zoning. The RTA will fund 100 percent of the $35,000 cost of the project and has entered into a contract with the Savoy Consulting, who will be responsible for the project.

“Riverside looks forward to partnering with the RTA to ensure our zoning code incorporates the most up to date best practices for encouraging economic development within the broader context of our historic community,” said Riverside Village President Benjamin Sells.

The RTA is supporting both projects through its Community Planning program, which offers technical assistance and funding to local governments and intergovernmental organizations to address local planning needs that intersect public transportation and land use. Through this assistance, the RTA encourages municipalities in the region to develop walkable and more sustainable communities near transit stations and along transit corridors.