Last year, residents took an active role in that planning, sharing their feedback online and at community forums to help shape the future of the Route 59 corridor.
Now, the village is being recognized for the project, known as its "Vision for Division." The project has been chosen as the American Planning Association's 2013 Community Outreach Award Winner.
"We're thrilled about it," Mayor Mike Collins said. "For a long time, we didn't plan ahead." Now, the village is being proactive about the future, he said, "So we're moving forward."
Beginning with the launch of the Vision for Division website last September, community members were tasked with sharing their thoughts on the future of Division Street (Route 59) from Main Street to Union Street. At the heart of the issue was whether the area should remain a business transition district (BTD) or make the shift to a higher-traffic commercial corridor.
Most came to the consensus that the idea should remain BTD, but expressed dissatisfaction with the existing development pattern at the corner of Main Street and Route 59, along with a wish to build on Plainfield's hometown atmosphere. In addition to the more than 100 comments on the website, residents also cast votes for their favorite concepts from consulting firm CivicArtworks and attended community forums on the topic. Click to read more about what residents had to say.
The project also used Facebook and Twitter to elicit feedback from residents.
"We can't just have the trustees and the mayor's office make all the decisions, so it was nice to get the input from the residents," Collins said.
The American Planning Association also commended Collins and the board of trustees for their commitment to public involvement in the planning process.