Plank Road in Elm Grove, seen during June of 2016.
Freeman file photo
ELM GROVE — Small, quaint and
safe are some of the top words that Elm Grove residents associate
with their downtown, according to an online survey administered
earlier this year on the village’s website.
Now, village officials are hoping to find a balance between the
small-town feel they love while revitalizing the downtown area.
The village is working on creating a Downtown Master Plan that will
address bringing in more restaurant and retail options, as well as
Making downtown more pedestrian and bicyclist-friendly is also a
“We’re all sort of confronted with the same thing, which is how do
you address the ability to redevelop and do it in a way that still
fits your community,” said Village President Neil Palmer.
He explained the village is aiming to make redevelopment easier and
to encourage it more.
The online survey found
that residents were most in support of bringing in more commercial
businesses, as well as eating/drinking options.
Housing options were the least popular, but Palmer said
residents now have a better idea of what the village is
actually imagining after months of discussion.
“We’ve defined a very real desire for quality rental
properties by existing village residents who are moving
into a different phase of their lives. They want to get
out of their house, but they want to stay in Elm Grove.
“Right now, there’s really nowhere to rent,” Palmer
Parking is also being considered, especially with the
possibility of housing units coming to the downtown
Some comments provided by residents on the online survey
mentioned that some parking lots are not ideally
designed, which has led to some accidents, as well as an
overall sense of confusion and congestion.
Some potential short-term parking strategies include
timed parking spaces and the creation of pick-up and
drop-off zones for services like Uber and Lyft.
would call the overall response extremely positive,”
Palmer said. “The vast majority of people who either
contact me or other trustees directly are very
supportive of many aspects of the changes being
discussed. We’ve had good, positive critical comments
Palmer said there were concerns on buildings being too
tall in the downtown area, as well as many questions
regarding how much density the village should be
village is awaiting the fourth iteration of drawings and
plans for the conceptual downtown area.
Palmer said an open house is in the near future and
could feasibly be scheduled sometime in mid-July.
think I had an email about two weeks ago that said ‘Why
are you moving so fast? We need to talk about this
more.’ and then yesterday I got one (that said) ‘Why are
you taking so long?’ Maybe that means we’ve hit the
sweet spot,” Palmer said.