Companies Recommended to Lead Joliet Comprehensive Plan Final Vote Goes to Full Council in Late June.

The City of Joliet Land Use & Economic Development Committee met today to discuss and recommend two companies to lead the city’s efforts to complete a long-term comprehensive plan.  A comprehensive plan is a visioning document that guides the choices and civic investments of a community based on the feedback from within that community. Joliet has not completed a long-term comprehensive plan for nearly six decades. Such plans are usually performed every 10 years. 

Committee Chairperson Cesar Cardenas and Councilmen Cesar Guerrero and Pat Mudron comprise the membership of the committee and reviewed and approved the two companies to perform the work.  A final vote will take place by the full city council at a regularly scheduled meeting in late June.

A comprehensive plan update will help Joliet be more strategic in its investments in capital improvements in service to current residents and stakeholders, as well as assist the development of the community and future residents and businesses. 

Mayor Terry D’Arcy stated the main goal of the project was to provide a path to the future. “Our goal among the leadership is not only to figure out what our now looks like, but also what do we do next. We want the involvement of community stakeholders to help us design this path to the future.  In addition, we want participation from the residents to make this plan a success,” added D’Arcy. 

The process to select and move forward with the comprehensive plan began when the city issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) back in October of 2022 and six companies responded to the request.  An Evaluation Committee comprised of staff from five city divisions/departments evaluated and scored each of the qualification’s submittals. 

This analysis included a detailed review of professional qualifications, technical competence and experience, the proposed plan, and other factors including an understanding of Joliet’s challenges and opportunities.  Of the six, three were selected for interviews in early December of 2022.  The Evaluation Committee recommended Lamar Johnson Collaborative which includes a team of experts in the various areas of study needed to complete the long-term comprehensive plan.

City planner and project manager Jayne Bernhard noted that city staff is “excited to now bring forth a project and process that will activate original thought, new approaches and design principles as well as position Joliet for transformative and inclusive growth, sustainable development and economic prosperity.”

The Lamar Johnson Collaborative’s project approach consists of five phases, with each phase including public engagement activities and associated deliverables. Lamar Johnson Collaborative estimates that the project will occur over an 18–24-month timeline.

The project breakdown in five phases: 

  • Phase 1: Evaluate (project kick-off, project branding, data collection, existing conditions analysis, advisory committee and working group meetings)
  • Phase 2: Investigate (key person interviews, community visioning public workshop, key topic area definition and policy framework, advisory committee and working group meetings)
  • Phase 3: Enhance (public workshop on key topic areas, advisory committee and working group meetings)
  • Phase 4: Empower (preparation of draft plan and preparation of subarea plans, advisory committee and working group meetings)
  • Phase 5: Examine (preparation of implementation plan, presentation of final plan, final plan open house)

Based on Joliet’s size (roughly 63 square miles) and the amount of work involved the cost of the project is estimated at $581,000.00 to be paid over the course of the next three fiscal years. 

The second company, Urban3 was also recommended to perform a specialized Economic Analysis as part of the overall comprehensive plan project. This Economic Analysis will evaluate the impact that development has on the city’s finances and infrastructure. This analysis will also enable Joliet to make policy decisions on future developments with the understanding of the overall impacts to the city.

Urban3’s fee proposal for an Economic Analysis is $138,768 which the city anticipates will be funded in part by a grant of $75,000 through the Joliet Arsenal Development Authority (JADA).