Friends of Downtown Genview Statement – Oct 2021

As an independent citizens’ group that exists solely to support the downtown district, our members have participated in each step of the process for Downtown redevelopment. We are now submitting this written statement to expedite further consideration of key provisions to “activate” the streetscape.

A downtown is more than a collection of buildings. The recent Blocktoberfest supported by FDG was an example of all ages coming together to experience this sense of community.

While we have been engaged in the Connect workshops, open house discussions and surveys, we have found much of the public discussion has concentrated on building height technicalities. The proposed Design Standards and Pattern book is a constructive step forward in illustrating for the public the overall architectural character that is desired.

While issues related to building design are important , we believe there are other factors that deserve consideration and expanded attention in the current planning discussions, including the following which have been included in the current proposal.

  1. greenspace
  2. “parklets”
  3. pop-up events
  4. public sculpture
  5. new outdoor dining options

These items have the advantage of being immediately actionable and low cost to the taxpayer. However, the current provisions need clarity and specifics – with advance input from existing businesses and nearby neighbors. 

In particular, we seek clarification on the role of public art as outlined in subsection (e). We, along with potential partners such as the Art League and History Center would be happy to assist by advising on the location and form for murals, sculptures and other enhancements to the downtown.

We believe that these items deserve consideration now so that they can be fast tracked for action as the other, more complex, issues are considered.

Thanks for the opportunity to participate with this input.

Respectfully, FDG / Downtown Glenview, Inc, NFP