Additional Duties of the Planning Division

The Planning Division performs other tasks, functions, and special projects including:

The Planning Division continues to handle many inquiries regarding potential new businesses in the office districts, commercial districts, and residential districts.

The Planning Division responds to requests for zoning verification letters mostly from commercial property owners (or their consultants) who are selling their property.

The Planning Division continues to administer the Zoning Certificate of Compliance applications for new businesses that are Permitted Uses.

Planning staff continues to maintain a good working relationship with many commercial, office, and residential property owners, both large and small developments receiving valuable input from these property owners.

The Planning Division assists the Village Manager’s office with economic development efforts and initiatives (e.g. potential incentives to a property owner or business).

The Planning Division continues to undertake major Text Amendments to the Zoning Ordinance.  This is done through the Plan Commission.  In addition to the review of all the development projects coming though the Village, the Plan Commisison reviews changes to the zoning ordinance, the most recent were changes to the C-1 Village Center district.  The changes made to the C-1 Village Zoning District updated the Permitted and Special Uses to reflect today’s market;

Continues to work with the Northwest Quadrant stakeholders to discuss possible improvements.

Continues to implement a streamlined zoning approval process to make it as user-friendly as possible.

Planning staff continues to promote the annual Village Center Flower Planter program.

Planning staff is evaluating the recently updated Appearance Review Code. The Appearance Review Commission comprehensive update of the code, included reviewing all sections of the code, looking at other communities’ codes, making the document more user friendly, and using more samples and pictures/visuals in the revised Appearance Code.  Many graphics were used in the revised code to illustrate the high standards of visual quality and compatibility the Village desires.

Planning staff continues to work with the Deerfield Cemetery Commission including the  inspection of the cemetery ground including the memorial pole, headstones, landscaping and fence.

Planning staff assisted the Village Manager’s office with the implementation of the 2017 Special Census.  The Village’s 2017 Special Census resulted in an additional population of 555 persons at the Woodview and AMLI apartment developments in Deerfield.  The revised population for Deerfield is 18,779 as of February 10, 2017.

The Village Planning Division will be participating in the LUCA (Local Update of Census Address) program to review residential addresses from the Census Bureau in order for the Village to get a complete and accurate address list for the 2020 Census.  The Village needs an accurate population count as there is a lot of funding based on the final Census numbers.  Census population counts directly affect how federal and state funding is allocated to communities.  The final Census population counts determine funding from the State of Illinois income tax, and the federal government’s motor fuel tax.  An undercounted population means Deerfield will not get its fair share of those funds so it is important the Village participate to make sure all residential addresses in Deerfield are counted.

Continues to work with the Village Center Commission (VCC) which advances a positive vision for downtown Deerfield and supports the area’s vitality and desirability.  The Commission’s goal is to undertake efforts, programs and partnerships to enhance the downtown’s image, strengthen its economic base, and maintain and improve its attractiveness and accessibility.  As a steward of the downtown, the VCC plays an essential role in keeping the downtown clean, attractive, safe, growing, dynamic, and exciting. The group is an idea commission promoting downtown Deerfield, advocating for Village Center businesses and working closely with the Chamber of Commerce to promote and facilitate public, private and commercial interests in downtown Deerfield. The VCC has been involved in the creation of a promotional brochure targeting prospective businesses and merchants on the many attributes that make the Village of Deerfield a prosperous business location.

Continues to work with One Deerfield Place and the Housing Opportunity Development Corporation (HODC) to best determine how to utilize private funds One Deerfield Place has accumulated for affordable and workforce housing. In the past, One Deerfield Place provided a grant to the Village’s senior housing subsidy program. One Deerfield Place continues to work with the Housing Opportunity Development Corporation (HODC) to help in determining affordable housing funding options.

Continues to update the Department’s page on the Village’s website with current information about public hearings (including the applicant’s plans and staff memos), commissions, forms and applications, sustainable projects in Deerfield, frequently asked questions, etc.

The Planning Division handles the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for many properties that are being purchased. As part of due diligence, many companies FOIA the previous Village zoning approvals for the property and inquire if the property meets zoning codes.  Potential buyers also inquire about redevelopment potential of the properties (both residential and commercial); especially properties with older structures on them.

The Planning Division records documents related to land use and plats of subdivision at the County Recorder’s office.

The Planning Division and Building Division each prepare six-month reports detailing the Division’s activities for the Mayor and Board and present this report at the Board meeting, and staff also posts the Planning Division reports on the website.

Continue to work with businesses in the C-1 and C-2 zoning districts to gain compliance with the window signage regulations (most businesses are in compliance).

Continues to maintain the community banner pole schedule which promotes community events and assisted in the design of the Optimist Tree Sale, Thanksgiving and Green-Up banner.  Staff also ordered new banners to refresh some of the worn banners.

Staff worked with the GIS Specialist to implement additional custom layers in MapOffice and additional improvements to the plat book map. Staff also worked with the GIS specialist to assist with maps for zoning petitions, and various other special projects such as the Village Center Commission promotional brochure and anticipate enhancing the Commercial Availabilities Properties Availabilities.

Staff continued to digitize the recorded documents that are kept by the Community Development Department.  The plats of subdivision, annexation, dedications, easements, vacations, and the planned unit developments plats have been digitized for easy reference by Department staff, and also put into Laserfiche increasing document accessibility and staff efficiency.  The next major items for transfer digitization under consideration are Plan Commission minutes and the building files.

Continue to stay up-to-date on current planning issues and trends and current building codes and topics. This includes attending seminars, conferences, webinars, and reading appropriate literature, background materials and documents.  When appropriate, seek advice of planning consultants as needed for various planning issues facing the Village.

Planning staff assists with Historical Society assistance (historical documents and photographs).

Continue to keep the Village’s website current and up-to-date for items dealing with the Planning Division and Building Division, especially information about upcoming public hearings, forms and applications.

In previous years, planning staff has worked with Ad Hoc Committees such the Northwest Quadrant Unified Task Force, Window Sign Committee, the Tear Down Task Force, Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, and the Downtown Merchants Committee.  The many hard hours of these dedicated committees have helped shape a bright future for the Village.