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File #: 17-729    Version: 1
Type: Report Status: Filed
File created: 9/12/2017 In control: City Council
On agenda: 9/19/2017 Final action: 9/19/2017
Title: Receive the staff report regarding potential streetscape improvements along Ogden Avenue from Washington Street to the City's eastern boundary.
Attachments: 1. Hitchcock Report and Renderings, 2. NDP illustrations
Related files: 18-295

CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM

 

ACTION REQUESTED:
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Receive the staff report regarding potential streetscape improvements along Ogden Avenue from Washington Street to the City’s eastern boundary.

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DEPARTMENT:                     Transportation, Engineering and Development

 

SUBMITTED BY:                     Allison Laff, AICP, Deputy Director of TED

 

BOARD/COMMISSION REVIEW:
Not required.

 

BACKGROUND:

Under new business at the August 15, 2017 meeting, City Council directed staff to prepare a report regarding streetscape improvements that could be made along Ogden Avenue from Washington Street to the City’s eastern boundary. 

 

Ogden Avenue - Work to Date

Following the completion of the Ogden Avenue Vision Statement (2006) and a 2-year public outreach process, the City Council adopted the Ogden Avenue Corridor Enhancement Initiative on February 6, 2008.  This plan identified the absence of a Naperville-specific identity, lack of pedestrian amenities, strong automobile-oriented layout, and lack of relationship between the various uses along the corridor as primary issues facing Ogden Avenue.  In response, the plan identified over 50 implementation items intended to “enhance the character and sense of place of Ogden Avenue, while increasing economic viability and improving the sustainability of this service business and retail Corridor”. 

 

Since plan adoption in 2008, the City has completed several implementation items, including the adoption of municipal code amendments to prohibit pole signs and reduce the required major arterial setback; creation of the Ogden Avenue Site Enhancement Initiative (2009) to provide financial assistance for design-related private property improvements; completion of the Ogden Avenue Corridor Engineering Design and Streetscape Document (2010) and related installation of new pedestrian signals, ADA intersection improvements, sidewalk sections to eliminate gaps, and planting of 138 parkway trees along the corridor; and adoption of amendments to the B3 zoning district predominant along Ogden Avenue.  

 

During this same period, several private property improvements have been made consistent with Ogden Avenue plan recommendations, including new construction (Panda Express, Staples, Starbuck’s/Aldi, CVS, etc.) and private installation of gateway features at key east-end intersections. 

 

DISCUSSION:

While many improvements have been made to the east Ogden Avenue Corridor since 2008, concerns continue to be expressed from area residents, businesses, and elected officials related to the vacancies and appearance of this Corridor.   In 2016, the City Council approved a series of performance management goals as the recommended means to move the City forward in the four ends policies areas.  Specific to the “Economic Development” ends policy, the following performance management goal was identified:

 

In order to avoid the appearance of blight and increase retail sales tax, the City will increase overall occupancies at Riverbrook Plaza, Wheatland Crossings, Iroquois Center and Ogden Mall by 10 percent over the next three years. 

 

In strategizing ways to achieve this goal, staff from the City and the Naperville Development Partnership (NDP) revisited recommendations made in the Ogden Avenue Corridor Initiative. This plan specifically recommends a consistent streetscape, as detailed below:

                     

The streetscape along Ogden Avenue is similar to that of many suburbs.  The streetlight standards are IDOT standard fixtures, and pedestrian amenities are limited.  No unique streetscape features exist that distinguish this stretch of Ogden Avenue from other communities… Urban design and streetscaping are recommended to create a character for the Corridor that establishes a sense of place… and make the Corridor more inviting to employee and customers.   

 

The plan recommends the following improvements to achieve a consistent streetscape while maintaining the Ogden Avenue Corridor as a drive-to commercial destination:

 

§                     Enhancements at major intersections identified as “gateways” to the corridor.

§                     Consistent parkway landscape, streetscape and lighting improvements.

§                     Burying of overhead utility lines, where possible.

§                     Minimize the visual impact of utility boxes. 

§                     Upgrade the existing utilitarian roadway lighting to decorative light fixtures that include accessories such as banner arms or artistic icon elements.

§                     Install wayfinding signage indicating the direction to major City landmarks.

§                     Install bus shelters.

 

Illustrations of Proposed Improvements

While prior streetscape designs were developed for the Ogden Avenue Corridor in 2010, staff had concerns that these designs were largely focused on pedestrian-scale improvements that will likely not be functional within the Corridor given its auto-oriented focus.  Accordingly, staff retained Hitchcock Design Group to provide renderings of potential streetscape improvements in a manner more consistent with the recommendations of the Ogden Avenue Corridor Enhancement Initiative. Using these renderings, staff from the NDP also prepared a series of illustrations for the east Ogden Avenue Corridor (see attached for renderings).  The proposed improvements focus on repetition and unique design features as a means to distinguish and brand the east Ogden Avenue Corridor while retaining its focus as an area for convenience commercial uses.

 

Anticipated Cost

Based on preliminary figures, the City and NDP estimate that the total cost to design, construct, and install the proposed streetscape elements along Ogden Avenue from Washington Street to the City’s eastern boundary to be approximately $5 million dollars, as follows:

 

Improvement

Cost

Burying of ComEd Lines

$1,400,000*

Burying of Other Overhead Utilities

$500,000

Entryway Improvements at 6 Major Intersections

$1,400,000

Decorative Streetlights with Metal Banners

$2,800,000

*Paid for with existing ComEd credits

 

The cost of the Ogden Avenue Corridor streetscape improvements is not currently accounted for within the City’s CIP budget.  If there is support for the proposed improvements, it is anticipated that next steps would include identifying potential funding sources, such as the use of a special service area (SSA) to pay for a portion of the improvements if funded by both the City and private property owners.  Following funding support, next steps include preparing engineering drawings for review and approval (including IDOT) and commencing construction in approximately 2019.

 

Open House

Staff has scheduled a public open house for October 10, 2017 (more details regarding time and location to follow) to receive feedback on the proposed streetscape improvements from property owners, tenants, residents, and other interested parties.  Staff will also discuss interest and support for a public/private partnership to fund the proposed improvements with the property owners in attendance; for discussion purposes, staff will present a SSA with 50% City funding/50% private property owner funding.  Staff will provide the results of the input received with the City Council.

 

 

FISCAL IMPACT:

To be determined.