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December 7, 2001

Governor Ryan Announces Illinois Tomorrow Award Winners

CHICAGO -- Governor George H. Ryan announced that the first “Illinois Tomorrow Awards” highlighting outstanding balanced growth initiatives were presented today.

“These accomplishments are all excellent examples of private and public sectors working together for the long range public interest and improved quality of life in our communities,” said Governor Ryan. “The recipients have put into practice the Illinois Tomorrow principles that my administration has promoted.”

The Illinois Tomorrow principles include reducing traffic congestion; preservation of open space; reinvestment and redevelopment; quality of life; and local government partnership.

“Urban and suburban redevelopment, farmland and habitat protection, and improved public transportation are among the achievements of our first set of award winners. They can serve as role models for other communities,” said Lieutenant Governor Corinne Wood, who presented the awards at a meeting of the Campaign for Sensible Growth in Chicago.

“The communities being honored are leaders in revitalizing older areas and accommodating growth in a way that enhances rather than diminishes quality of life,” said Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director Renee Cipriano.

Five Downstate Illinois award winners will also be recognized at a later date.

A review panel composed of representatives of 12 varied public and private agencies and organizations evaluated the award applications. Awards are in four categories: Development or redevelopment project; policy or planning initiative; natural resource conservation; and state-of-the-art advancements.

Illinois Tomorrow is a balanced growth initiative that is a voluntary, positive, incentive based approach to planning and growth, which focuses on state programs that invest in existing communities by improving job opportunities, infrastructure and quality of life for residents of these communities. The initiative focuses on state assistance for local projects and partnerships with local governments.

Additional details on the winners follow:

Development or Redevelopment Project

  • Holsten Real Estate Development Corporation/The Kenard Corporation:
    Recognized for the North Town Village project, a 261-acre mixed-income development on the site of the Cabrini Green public housing complex in Chicago. Distribution of residents of all income groups throughout the development; placing local residents in on-site construction jobs; providing a variety of educational, employment and family programs to residents; clean up of contaminated soil; and innovative financing and partnerships.

  • Village of Round Lake Beach:
    Recognized for the Meadowgreen Subdivision Rehabilitation. The 208 town homes built in the late 1980s had fallen into disrepair and crime had increased in the neighborhood. The Village worked with a Homeowners Association to establish a TIF to help support renovations of the units and repair the failing infrastructure system to provide a safer and cleaner neighborhood and higher property values.

    Policy or Planning Initiative

  • Northeastern Illinois Regional Transportation Authority:
    Recognized for the Regional Technical Assistance Program to promote transit planning and leveraging partnerships including local communities, the RTA, transit operators and regional planning agencies. Four station planning studies have been completed in Olympia Fields, Orland Park, Westmont and Waukegan.

  • Downtown St. Charles Partnership Inc.:
    Recognized for the Downtown St. Charles Strategy Plan that includes eliminating public surface parking lots in favor of parking structures; encouraging pedestrian traffic and encouraging a variety of downtown uses.

    Natural Resources

  • Kane County Development Department:
    Recognized for its farmland protection program, Kane County has a $5 million annual appropriation to buy farmland or developmental rights to farmland for its protection. The program supports the county’s historic character and rural lifestyle in the Agricultural Corridor and is part of the county’s land use strategy that includes open space and water resource protection and directing growth toward the Urban Corridor.

  • Village of Algonquin:
    Recognized for the Woods Creek Watershed Protection Plan to preserve the watershed in a rapidly urbanizing portion of McHenry County. Land acquisition, a protection ordinance and wetland habitat improvements as well as other educational and planning efforts are underway.

  • Farmland Protection Project:
    Honorable mention for this organization of Boone County volunteers working for farmland protection.

    State of Art Advancements

  • Campaign for Sensible Growth:
    A coalition of more than 160 organizational members, it was recognized for its efforts to encourage balanced growth goals through technical assistance to local governments, project developers and communities and increasing public and government awareness of sensible growth issues.

  • City of Highland Park:
    Recognized for its affordable housing plan including use of community land trusts to support rehabilitation and new construction of affordable housing and preserve existing housing, as well as assistance programs for city employees and zoning ordinances providing set asides for affordable units.


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