Land use planning is a function of municipal government that provides a mechanism for orderly and desirable development as well as preservation of existing desirable physical elements of the Village.
Winnetka Futures 2040 Comprehensive Plan
On April 18, 2023, the Village Council approved an ordinance adopting the Winnetka Futures 2040 Plan as the Comprehensive Plan for the Village of Winnetka. A comprehensive plan is a long-term vision for the community that serves as an official policy statement to guide the community’s future.
The plan is a culmination of the community’s work, which started in the Fall of 2019, just before the onset of the pandemic. The work on the plan was put on pause while we all adjusted our daily lives during the earlier days of the pandemic, which provided us with the opportunity, through the work of our consultant team, to hear a second time from residents, business owners, institutions, and the development community through a series of focus groups, stakeholder meetings, meetings with Village boards and commissions, and Jefferson Dinners. In addition, we held two community open houses both in-person and online to provide community members an opportunity to share with us their vision for Winnetka. The Commission itself spent thirteen meetings working on the Comprehensive Plan; all of which were open to the public. In addition, the Commission held two joint meetings with the Village Council to discuss work on the plan. Through all this community outreach and public meetings, a Plan was prepared that represents community members’ vision for the Village’s future.
Winnetka Design Guidelines
In 2001 the Village adopted detailed Design Guidelines (PDF) which provide guidance for the architectural design of buildings, as well as the design and placement of parking, open space, and other elements in Winnetka’s Commercial Business Districts. The Guidelines are intended to assure that new development and/or alterations of existing structures reflect an understanding of, and relationship to, the immediate surroundings and established Village-wide character. Guidelines also provide recommendations for appropriate design of multi-family residential uses and institutional uses.
The Guidelines form the basis for evaluation and review of alteration and new construction proposals by the Winnetka Design Review Board to determine whether such projects should receive the required Certificate of Appropriateness.