NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. (Dec. 15, 2017) — The City of North Chicago recently received a prestigious innovation award from the Lake County Municipal League. This award acknowledges municipalities that developed strategic programs to solve municipal challenges and increase the effectiveness of local government. North Chicago’s neighborhood revitalization and blight busting program was recognized.
North Chicago’s program surveyed every property in the city. Then, the identification of “Action Properties” was completed starting with those that posed the greatest health and safety risk to the community. “Action Properties” were initially put into various tracks: (1) Owner to repair and get the property into productive use; (2) Owner to demolish; (3) Abandonment deed – demolition; and (4) Fast-track demolition.
The city demolished 19 properties in 2017. Four properties were voluntarily demolished by their owners. Another ten were put into productive use by working with the owners and crafting an improvement schedule.
Throughout the process the city engaged in a “radical transparency” effort where an external interactive mapping tool was designed to allow the public to view the demolition pipeline and before and after photos. This turned into its own microsite: www.NorthChicagoProgress.org.