represents Volume II of the Ottawa, Illinois Comprehensive Plan. This
Volume II document is a detailed Sub-Area plan for Ottawa’s Downtown.
Volume I of the Ottawa Comprehensive Plan includes a Future Land Use Map
and planning goals and objectives covering the area within Ottawa’s corporate
limits, as well as the land areas outside the corporate limits including
the one and one half mile planning jurisdiction. The Volume I, Comprehensive
Plan document also includes five Sub-Area Plans for specific locations
that require a greater level of detail planning. This detailed Sub-Area
Plan, Volume II, is limited to Ottawa’s Central Business District (CBD)
and nearby adjacent residential areas, and includes measures to preserve
and enhance the cultural and historical heritage, while promoting the
economic potential within the downtown. This document will provide direction
to the City of Ottawa to promote a continuous positive evolution of Ottawa’s
downtown in a manner that retains the downtown’s vital role as the heart
of the entire community.
| The intent of
both volumes of the Comprehensive Plan is to provide direction for decisions
related to the future growth and development of the City of Ottawa. The
Plan provides the basis for rational decision-making, but does not replace
the decision-making process, nor does it take the place of the City’s Zoning
and Subdivision Ordinances and other ordinances regulating the use and development
of land in Ottawa. It establishes a vision for development within the community
and describes policies, programs and projects that will enable the vision
to be realized. The Comprehensive Plan helps local officials coordinate
their decisions so they can anticipate how one decision may impact another.
The Plan is also a key reference point and basis for establishing, amending
and interpreting regulatory tools.
As most communities, Ottawa has its own strengths and areas for improvement. Among the strengths that define the City of Ottawa are its rich history, its location in LaSalle County, and specifically the downtown area located at the confluence of the Illinois and Fox Rivers, which provide scenic views and recreational opportunities. Additional strengths of the Central Business District include a very intact inventory of Victorian era architecture with a diverse mixture of retail and office space, numerous financial institutions, city, county, state and federal governmental institutions, as well as a number of churches, civic clubs and several schools adjacent to the downtown area.
A truly unique dynamic of the location of this diverse downtown area is the fact that the south and east boundaries are defined by the confluence of the Illinois and Fox Rivers. This not only has created a physical boundary which continues to keep the historic central business district intact, but has created an opportunity for downtown businesses to remain immediately adjacent to not one, but two substantial recreation and scenic corridors.
As a foundation for planning, goals for the community were formulated to guide the preparation of the Plan. Community goals are general statements that indicate the type of community that is desired. The development of goals and the implementation of policies are the keys to the success of the Comprehensive Plan.
Goals and objectives were formulated using recommendations for the future and information gathered from the community. These objectives and recommendations for future actions have been used to form each element of the plan.
It should be mentioned that in order to achieve some of the goals specified in the Comprehensive Plan, more detailed studies will be needed. These additional studies will provide the necessary detail and direction needed to meet those goals and should be adopted as amendments to the Comprehensive Plan.
The goals formulated to guide the preparation of this planning document for Ottawa’s downtown are: