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Fox Lake downtown plan moves forward

Published: Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013 10:55 p.m. CDT

FOX LAKE – The area around the Fox Lake Metra station is the focus of a development plan set to be adopted by the Fox Lake Village Board on Tuesday.

The Plan Commission held a public hearing on the plan, which was paid for using a $100,000 grant from the Regional Transit Authority, at its meeting Wednesday evening.

The plan suggests streetscape, landscape and facade improvements for the area, in particular the entrances to the village, Route 12 and Grand Avenue. It recommends adding parking to free up the downtown area.

It also gives the village ideas about areas to focus on, including Nippersink Road near Lakefront Park, and suggests possible uses for some of the buildings.

“I thought it was really good,” Village President Donny Schmit said. “What I think right now is that we have enough plans. We need to set them into action.”

The village has applied for a few grants to help fund the implementation.

One way the plan’s ideas may take shape is through a newly revived facade program.

The Village Board allocated $30,000 to the program, which businesses can use to help cover some improvement costs.

The details haven’t been finalized, but one of the criteria that may be added is that the improvements fit into the plan, Schmit said.

Schmit also is looking at ways to streamline the application and approval process, which could take six or more weeks in the past, he said.

The Fox Lake Village Board also will look at the Plan Commission’s recommendation, which would allow medical marijuana cultivation centers in areas zoned agricultural.

Last month, the board gave initial approval to zoning changes that would allow medical marijuana dispensaries as a special use in the M-2, or manufacturing, district, which is on Christopher Way and Sayton Road.

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