Springfield IL Comprehensive Plan 2017-2037

The Springfield City Council is set to deliberate on the proposed Comprehensive Plan on Tuesday, December 19.

Comprehensive Plan 2017-2037 CoverSince May of 2016, the City of Springfield, the Regional Planning Commission and a committee of citizens have been working on a new Comprehensive Plan. You may have participated in one of the public input opportunities that were provided.

The comprehensive plan provides guidelines for preferred land use within Springfield.  

Having a valid comprehensive plan is important because it is used by the Planning & Zoning Commission and City staff when evaluating zoning variances and making recommendations to the City Council. The City Council, when a zoning variance comes before them, should follow the plan or else risk legal action against the City for inconsistencies.

In addition, the plan can be the starting point for changes in city ordinances and zoning rules and for creation of economic development incentives that would further the plan.

The new plan, as written, has multiple beneficial aspects for residential neighborhoods in Springfield, and for Springfield as a whole.

The last comprehensive plan was adopted in 2000 by the City Council with 20 amendments that had NO evaluation or comment from Regional Planners, from City planning staff or from the public. The proposed plan has been created based on your input, on the expertise of our regional planning commission, and on citizen participation through a rigorous process that considered an extensive amount of data and planning projections.

ICON supports the comprehensive plan as written, without extensive amendments that may harm residential neighborhoods far into the future.

On Thursday, November 16, the Planning & Zoning Commission (P&Z) will be presented the new plan and will consider what changes, if any, they will recommend to the Springfield City Council.

The Springfield City Council will consider approval of the new plan on December 19, 2017.

What can you do to support residential neighborhoods in Springfield?

We are asking you to contact your alderman and tell them that you support the new comprehensive land use plan as written, without amendments. Any amendments considered by the council should have Planning & Zoning Commission and City staff review and commentary AND be available for citizen review and comment BEFORE BEING VOTED INTO THE PLAN. 

We also welcome your attendance at both the P&Z meeting on Thursday 11/16 at 5:30pm in the City Council chambers and at the (future) City Council meeting. You do not need to register to speak at the special P&Z meeting. If you wish to  speak before the council, either as a representative or as a member of your neighborhood association, in support of the the plan, you must register to speak before the council 24 hours in advance by emailing the City Clerk, or filling out this form.

What you can say to your alderman

We are providing talking points below if you wish to use them when talking to your alderman:

  • I support the new comprehensive land use plan as written, WITHOUT AMENDMENTS. Any amendments considered by the council should have Planning & Zoning Commission and City staff review and commentary AND be available for citizen review and comment BEFORE VOTING TO AMEND THE PLAN.
  • I support the new comprehensive land use plan, especially the policy for a “compact and contiguous” Springfield what would prevent sprawl and save tax dollars from being spread even thinner over more area for infrastructure maintenance and city services. (page 24)
  • I support the new comprehensive land use plan, especially policies for special development for legacy neighborhoods, neighborhood centers and opportunity areas. (page 28)
  • I support the new comprehensive land use plan, especially development sensitive to established neighborhoods, including infill development incentives and protecting residential neighborhoods. (page 32)
  • I support the new comprehensive land use plan because following it would provide benefits to the city that are nearly equivalent to a 5% increase in growth. (page 41)

Ordinance to require a City Council supermajority (2/3 vote) to override recommendations by Planning & Zoning and City Staff

Also suggested was an ordinance, rejected in 2000, that the City Council would require a supermajority vote to approve any zoning request that was contrary to the plan and for which P&Z and staff recommended denial. ICON will consider such an ordinance.

City of Springfield Comprehensive Plan

Download the DRAFT plan as of 10/10/2017…
(PDF, 94mb, prints full-size as 11″x17″)
Download the DRAFT appendices as of 10/10/2017…
(PDF, 21mb, prints full-size as 11″x17″)
More information on the City of Springfield website…



Springfield ICON presented the proposed Comprehensive Plan to member and friends on October 30.

Bonnie Drew, Deputy Mayor of Springfield
Molly Berns, Assistant Director, Springfield and Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission
Mark Mahoney, City of Springfield Public Works Director, member of Comprehensive Plan Committee
Joe Gooden, City of Springfield Planning and Zoning Commission
Carol Kneedler, Comprehensive Plan Committee Member

Bonnie Drew introduced the Comprehensive Plan, and Molly Berns provided an extensive review of the process. Speakers answered questions related to the plan. Many questions were related to the impact of the plan on older neighborhoods (creating and adopting neighborhood land use plans by reference into the Comprehensive Plan, neighborhood centers, historic districts, infill development), but also the effect of the plan on city aesthetics, sprawl, growth and economic development.

Speakers emphasized the importance of informing aldermen that residents support the plan and ask for it to be passed with provisions benefiting residential neighborhoods.