The Brookfield 2020 Master Plan provided several opportunities for local residents to be involved and included in the planning process. Citizen participation was an integral component in the planning process and helped identify issues, needs, priorities and opportunities that were important to the community. This section summarizes the results of work activities undertaken at the outset of the Brookfield 2020 Master Planning process. A detailed summary of each exercise is included in Appendix B – Community Outreach.
- A Project Initiation Workshop was conducted with the Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) on June 18, 2003. The workshop involved members of the Consulting Team, PAC Members, and Village staff. The workshop was a valuable tool in introducing our Consulting Team to some of the community's needs and concerns.
- A series of confidential Key Person Interviews were conducted by the Consultant. Interviews were conducted with 13 individuals having varying interests in and knowledge of the Brookfield community.
- A Community Workshop was conducted on July 9, 2003 at the Brookfield Village Hall. The workshop was well attended by individuals representing a wide range of community interests and viewpoints. Approximately 35 people participated in the workshop.
- A Community Survey was distributed in April 2003 to every household in the Village. More than 2,400 survey questionnaires were completed and returned to the Village. The survey asked questions regarding a wide range of community issues and concerns. Residents were divided into three geographic areas: 1) north of 31st Street; 2) south of 31st Street but north of the BNSF; and, 3) south of the BNSF. The results of the survey are included in the Appendix B – Community Outreach.
The objectives of these work activities were to: a) obtain first-hand impressions of conditions, issues, and potentials that should be considered in the planning process; and b) provide the Consulting Team with an introduction to local views and perceptions of Brookfield and the surrounding areas.
It is important to emphasize that the comments included in this section reflect the views and opinions of a limited number of people within the Community. They should not be interpreted as findings of fact or as conclusions and recommendations by the Consultant. However, the workshops and interviews have indicated: a) several locally perceived problems and issues which are addressed or reflected in the 2020 Master Plan; and b) a number of assets and advantages within the Village which should be built upon and preserved in the future.
Based on the various Community Outreach activities, the following assets/advantages and problems/issues were identified as Community priorities:
- Maximize Brookfield’s strong regional location within the Chicago area.
- Promote Brookfield’s convenient access to transportation networks, including Interstates 290 and 55, Midway and O’Hare airports, and Metra train lines.
- Promote the Brookfield Zoo.
- Protect the affordable and well-maintained housing stock and well-established neighborhoods.
- Support and maintain the strong, well-ranked schools.
- Maintain the friendly, small-town feeling that makes Brookfield a desirable community.
- Plan for needed infrastructure improvements, including roads, alleys, and sewer/water.
- Focus on economic and business development.
- Revitalize Ogden Avenue.
- Examine ways to promote overall community beautification, such as streetscaping, better property maintenance, etc.
- Maintain existing Village services and level of revenue.
- Diminish the role of “politics” and the political climate in Brookfield.