2019 Policy Priorities - Metropolitan Planning Council

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2019 Policy Priorities

Our recommendations for state, local and institutional policy change

Other Units of Government

Our county and region’s residents and businesses rely on services provided by local governments, like water service and road maintenance. Illinois’ tangled web of 7,000 governmental units—more than any other state—includes nearly 50 different categories, with 284 municipalities and 1,000 special-purpose governments in the Chicago region alone. MPC improves the efficiency, responsiveness and accountability of all of our government institutions, including those in Cook County and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District

Update Cook County Watershed Management Ordinance

Under the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District’s Watershed Management Ordinance (WMO), developers must address the negative impacts of stormwater runoff (e.g. flooding, erosion, water quality impairments) through the installation of detention and/or volume control practices. Developers can comply with the WMO by installing these features either onsite or on another parcel “offsite”. These offsite controls create future uses for marginal/vacant lands and effective, innovative solutions to stormwater management.

Beyond stormwater management, these offisite controls present myriad economic development benefits: they create private real estate activity in flood prone areas, produce income for communities outside of our region’s urban core, facilitate affordable housing or transit-oriented development, and save developers money.

While this option exists, no detention or volume control have been provided offsite since the ordinance went into effect in 2014. MPC has identified two major reason why developers have not yet taken advantage of these solutions: 1) the current ordinance language is vague and developers don’t know if their projects are eligible; 2) developers need a better mechanism to find potential offsite development parcels.

MPC worked in 2018 with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to begin developing language changes to the WMO requirements and is now pursuing a 2020 deadline for proposing WMO amendments addressing how stormwater credit trading can fully work in Cook County and MWRD’s role in stormwater credit trading.

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MPC 2019 Policy Priorities

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Metropolitan Planning Council 140 S. Dearborn St.
Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
312 922 5616 info@metroplanning.org

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