NORMAL — After a quiet public comment period, residents have one last chance to share their thoughts on Normal's direction for the next generation.

Normal City Council is set to approve the town's new comprehensive plan, which maps out development priorities through 2040, during its next meeting 7 p.m. Monday on the fourth floor at Uptown Station. Each council meeting includes a public comment period before any action.

"We've really received not a lot of comment, even though (the plan has) been out there to the community (for a month)," said City Manager Mark Peterson on Friday. "Many of the comments have been supportive and positive. ... There were a few questions we were able to answer."

The plan, developed over two years by town staff, elected officials and residents with the McLean County Regional Planning Commission, lists housing; economic vitality; health and sustainability; infrastructure and public safety; humanitarian and social aspects; and relationships with Illinois State University as high priorities for Normal going forward.

Town Planner Mercy Davison will speak about the plan and the related Regional Housing Study, also released this fall by the regional planning commission, before Monday's vote.

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"Normal, like the surrounding region, is generally overbuilt," according to the comprehensive plan. "The town needs to close gaps between housing demand and supply by responding to changing demographics and through a commitment to smart growth."

That could mean moving away from traditional, single-family detached homes, many on the outskirts of town, toward other types of units within Normal's established boundaries — steps that not only help residents afford housing but cut urban sprawl and infrastructure costs.

In other business, the council will consider approving:

• Two measures to resubdivide Northland Commercial Subdivision, a northeast Normal development including Menards and Destihl Brewery. Peterson said the changes will help Menards reconfigure its property to improve traffic in the pickup area behind the store.

• A new five-year lease for the Ecology Action Center. The nonprofit is based in a house at 202 W. College Ave., next door to Normal Public Library.

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Follow Derek Beigh on Twitter: @pg_beigh


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