Oak Brook to go ahead with residential committee, seeks grant
Updated: October 1, 2012 1:30AM
OAK BROOK — Oak Brook is forming an Ad Hoc Residential Enhancement Committee to try to entice younger families to move into the village.
Along with trying to find ways of bringing younger families to the village, the committee will seek ways to fill vacant homes and to revitalize and enhance Oak Brook’s residential properties.
Recent census data indicated Oak Brook’s population has an older average age than neighboring towns, said Village Manager David Niemeyer. Oak Brook’s median age in the 2010 census was 54.5 years.
By contrast, Oakbrook Terrace’s median age was 41.2 in the 2010 census; Hinsdale’s median age was 41.4; Elmhurst was 40.1.
In addition, the village’s overall population dropped to 7,883 in 2010, from 8,702 in 2000 and 9,107 in 1990; a decrease of more than 13 percent from 1990 to 2010.
In the 2000 census, Oak Brook’s media age was 49.9 years, while in 1990, it was 41.9, according to census records.
The Ad Hoc Residential Enhancement Committee will include seven to 11 members — one or two village trustees, real estate brokers, presidents of homeowners associations, school and park district representatives, and other community members.
The committee will analyze village census data to identify areas of potential enhancements; review and recommend short-term and long-term strategies to improve property values, fill residential vacancies, and to attract new families to the village; and recommend a residential enhancement plan with specific goals and objectives.
Along with a decision to form the committee, the Village Board has agreed to apply for a grant for a housing study through the Chicago Metropolitan Alliance for Planning’s Local Technical Assistance Program.
If the grant is approved, the Chicago Metropolitan Alliance for Planning would offer technical assistance to the village by conducting some studies.
Village Trustee Michael Manzo believes that a lack of a “sense of community” is a major factor in younger families not moving into Oak Brook.
“We need to look into various ideas that can help us to establish a better sense of community,” he said.
Trustee Elaine Zannis had a different take.
“We do no marketing about what we have to offer here, and we need to provide some financial incentives for younger families who are interested in moving here,” she said. “We don’t have a big inventory of homes here. We need to look at providing a financial incentive both for remodeling and for new construction.