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Waterfront 2030

About the Waterfront 2030 Plan

In conjunction with residents and lakefront experts, the Winnetka Park District developed and adopted the Winnetka Waterfront 2030 plan in 2016. This plan is meant to serve as a conceptual guide for future projects that preserve and enhance our five beaches.

Elder Lane + Centennial Project

Board Meetings

This project may be discussed during board meetings. View board meeting agendas and minutes by clicking the button below.

Lakefront Workshops

The Winnetka Park District is continuing to engage with Winnetka residents for comments, questions, and design input within a workshop format to finalize the Elder Lane Beach + Centennial Beach improvement plans.

Click the button below to learn more and view a proposed schedule for lakefront workshop meetings.

Once lakefront workshop meeting dates are finalized, they will be added to our board meeting schedule here.

Documents

View documents regarding the Elder Lane + Centennial Project below.

Document authored by the Winnetka Park District staff for meeting with State Representatives Robyn Gable and Laura Fine June 10, 2021:

Document authored by the Winnetka Park District staff presented to the
Winnetka Park District board of commissioners August 26, 2021:

Document authored by the Winnetka Park District staff presented to the
Winnetka Park District board of commissioners September 9, 2021:

Document authored by the Winnetka Park District staff for meeting with
legislator representative for Senator Durbin October 5, 2021:

Document authored by the Winnetka Park District staff for meeting with
legislator representative for Senator Duckworth and legislator representative for Congresswoman Schakowsky October 6, 2021:

Document authored by the Winnetka Park District, Property exchange agreement for 261 Sheridan Road (Winnetka Park District and The Orchard 2020 Revocable Trust) presented to the Winnetka Park District board of commissioners:

Documents authored by the Winnetka Park District staff for the Illinois
Department of Natural Resources and United States Army Corps of Engineers
staff:

Document authored by the Winnetka Park District staff presented to the Winnetka Park District board of commissioners March 24, 2022:

Document authored by The Lakota Group presented to the Winnetka Park
District board of commissioners March 24, 2022:

Document authored by Shabica & Associates presented to the Winnetka Park
District board of commissioners March 24, 2022:

Documents authored by Shabica & Associates, Inc. and / or the United States
Army Corps of Engineers required for the permit application for Elder and
Centennial Breakwater Project:

Documents authored by Shabica & Associates, Inc. and / or the Illinois
Department of Resources required for the permit application for the Elder and
Centennial Breakwater Project:

Document authored by The Park District Risk Management Agency for the
Winnetka Park District, submitted to the IDNR and USACE for the permit
application for Elder and Centennial Breakwater Project:

Documents provided by Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Office of
Water Resources (part of the permit process):

Documents provided by United States Army Corps of Engineers (part of the
permit process):

Documents provided by Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (part of the
permit process):

Elder Lane + Centennial Open House hosted by Winnetka Park District May 7
and May 11, 2022 (540 Hibbard Road, Winnetka Illinois 60093) for any
community members to attend:

Documents Presented and Represented to the Winnetka Park District board of
commissioners June 9, 2022:

Revised Elder Lane and Centennial breakwater plan as presented by Orchard
2020 to the Park Board of Commissioners June 16, 2022:

Public comments opposing the Elder / Centennial Beach Project (the “Project”) as received by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (the “IDNR”). The Project details were sent to the IDNR in the permit application submitted by the Winnetka Park District (IDNR Permit #C20220006). Via a June 10, 2022 email to the IDNR from the Winnetka Park District, the Winnetka Park District formally requested to withdraw the permit application.  The IDNR formally withdrew the permit application June 14, 2022.  The public comments opposing the Project were aggregated by the IDNR before sending the public comments to the Winnetka Park District:

Public comments supporting the Elder / Centennial Beach Project (the “Project”) as received by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (the “IDNR”).  The Project details were sent to the IDNR in the permit application submitted by the Winnetka Park District (IDNR Permit #C20220006).  Via a June 10, 2022 email to the IDNR from the Winnetka Park District, the Winnetka Park District formally requested to withdraw the permit application.  The IDNR formally withdrew the permit application June 14, 2022. The public comments supporting the Project were aggregated by the IDNR before sending the public comments to the Winnetka Park District:

Friday, June 24, 2022 the Winnetka Park District board of commissioners unanimously consented to share redacted closed meeting minutes related to the Elder Lane + Centennial Project from January 10, 2019 through April 28, 2022:

Public comments regarding the Elder / Centennial Beach Project (the “Project”) as received by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (the “USACE”). The Project details were sent to the USACE in the permit application submitted by the Winnetka Park District (USACE Permit #LRC-2021-00454). Via a June 10, 2022 email to the USACE from the Winnetka Park District, the Winnetka Park District formally requested to withdraw the permit application. The USACE formally withdrew the permit application June 14, 2022. The public comments regarding the Project were aggregated by the USACE before sending the public comments to the Winnetka Park District:

News

View all News posts regarding our lakefront by clicking the button below.

Proposed Plan

Below, you can find the rendering of the previously proposed Elder Lane + Centennial Design Development Plan. Currently, a revised proposed plan is under development, and will be shared here once available. 

To view the previously proposed virtual reality concept video, click here.

Completed Projects

Lloyd Beach

  • New breakwater system
  • Beach replenishment
  • Bluff restoration in the upper and lower park areas (removed invasive vegetation, planted new native vegetation, conducted controlled burns)
  • New boardwalk extending from the beach house to the parking lot
  • South beach access ramp improvements
  • Fenced-in motorized boat storage renovations
  • New / relocated non-motorized boat racks on the south beach
  • Boat launch repaving

Tower Road Beach

  • New staircase from parkland to beach
  • New ADA lookout at top of bluff
  • New overlook platform along staircase
  • Upper parking lot entry plaza and sidewalk renovations
  • Bluff restoration (reinforced against erosion, removed invasive vegetation, planted new native vegetation)

Elder / Centennial Beaches

  • Property exchange agreement complete with the functional transaction expected in next few months
  • Design and engineering of new breakwater system and bluff improvements at both beaches
  • New boardwalk
  • Bluff restoration (reinforced against erosion, removed invasive vegetation, planted new native vegetation)

Community Involvement

The Winnetka Waterfront 2030 plan was officially adopted in 2016. Community engagement was a critical component of the planning process, from beginning to end. Community engagement was approached in a number of ways throughout the process, including:

  • The establishment of a citizen’s advisory committee – the Lakefront Advisory Committee
  • Stakeholder interviews and focus group discussions
  • Web-based surveys
  • Public open house meetings
  • Public board meetings

February 2014

The Winnetka Park District Board of Commissioners votes to move forward with the development of the Winnetka Waterfront 2030 Plan. The first step of the development process included an “Engage” phase of 12-15 months to garner community input and feedback.

July 2014

Lakefront Advisory Committee Formed
An advisory committee comprised of ten Winnetka resident volunteers was vetted and selected. The committee members were selected based on their expertise in a wide-range of lakefront topics and were tasked with guiding the planning process by participating in 14 advisory committee meetings (open to the public), providing feedback on draft project deliverables, and attending public meetings.

January 2015

Focus Group/Individual Interviews

The Lakefront Advisory Committee and Park District staff identifies more than 200 candidates for stakeholder interviews and focus groups. Of these 200 candidates, more than 85 were interviewed. The candidates represented a variety of interests, including: the Village Winnetka Board of Trustees, the Village of Winnetka Environmental and Forestry Commission, Village of Winnetka staff, the Winnetka Parks Foundation, park district staff from neighboring communities, local institutions, community organizations, lakefront property owners, boat beach users, dog beach users, and swimming beach users. Conversations with stakeholders were based on eight questions about issues and opportunities related to park maintenance, operations, programming, and facilities. Responses were recorded using a survey tool.

February 2015

Open House 1: Existing Conditions Assessment

Key public feedback: enthusiasm from the community about planning for the future of the lakefront.

May 2015

Open House 2: Design Concept Alternative Review

Key public feedback: There was support expressed for reconsidering the existing use of beaches, including the reuse of Maple Street Beach as a dog beach. The only exception was the proposal of transforming Lloyd to a swimming beach, which was not preferred by most participants.

July 2015

Open House 3: Draft Concept Review #1
Key public feedback: There was strong opposition expressed at this meeting in regards to converting Maple Street Beach to a dog beach.

Online Survey: Winnetka Waterfront 2030 Plan

This web-based survey tool was used to collect feedback during the planning process. 177 people participated in the survey. The survey asked participants for feedback on key concepts presented in preliminary lakefront plans.

August 2015

Winnetka Caucus Council Survey
A survey was administered by the Winnetka Caucus Council provided further insight into Winnetka resident’s preferences related to the future of the lakefront (among a number of other Village-related topics).

September 2015

Open House 4: Draft Concept Review #2

Key public feedback: Concepts were updated, removing the recommendation for a dog beach at Maple Street Beach, and participants were supportive of this change. Concern was expressed over the size and scale of proposed breakwater structures.

Dog Beach Survey
A survey administered by the Winnetka Park District, sent to all current dog beach pass holders. This survey received 117 respondents, and asked about how users currently interact with the Centennial Beach dog park.

October 2015

Open House 5: Implementation Priorities

Key public feedback: While most people support improving the quality of beaches, there is concern among some residents about the appearance and effectiveness of shoreline structures such as rubble-mound breakwaters. Shoreline and beach erosion remains an issue that is not well-understood by the community.

November 2015

Importance of Shoreline Management Discussion + Tour

A tour of the five beaches was conducted by Shabica & Associates. Residents were educated on the changing lake levels and how they have impacted our beaches over the years.

January 2016

The Lakefront Advisory Committee presented the Winnetka Park District Board of Commissioners with a draft version of the 2030 Lakefront Master Plan at the January 21 Board meeting.

Winnetka Waterfront 2030 DRAFT

February 2016

At the February 11 Board Committee Meeting, the Park Board reviewed the draft plan presented by the Lakefront Advisory Committee. At the February 25 Board Meeting, the Park Board adopted the Winnetka Waterfront 2030 Master Plan as a conceptual guide for future planning along the lakefront.

 Winnetka Waterfront 2030

February 2017

The Winnetka Waterfront 2030 Plan is included on the agenda for the February 9 Parks + Beaches Committee meeting. View packet.

March 2017

The Winnetka Waterfront 2030 Plan is included on the agenda for the March 9 Committee of the Whole meeting. View packet.

December 2017

The Winnetka Waterfront 2030 Plan is included on the agenda for the December 7 Committee of the Whole meeting. View packet.

March 2018

The Winnetka Waterfront 2030 Plan is included on the agenda for the March 8  Committee of the Whole and Regular Board meetings.

May 2018

The Winnetka Waterfront 2030 Plan is included on the agenda for the May 10 Committee of the Whole and Regular Board meetings.

August 2018

The Winnetka Waterfront 2030 Plan is included on the agenda for the August 23 Committee of the Whole meeting.

September – December 2018

The Board agrees to add the Winnetka Waterfront 2030 Plan to the agenda for every Regular Board and Committee of the Whole meetings moving forward. Subsequently, the Winnetka Waterfront 2030 Plan has been discussed at all meetings from September through December 2018. To view 2018 archived meetings, or for more information about meetings, please contact our Administrative Office by calling (847) 501-2040.

Throughout 2019, the Board has discussed the Winnetka Waterfront 2030 Plan all Regular Board and Committee of the Whole meetings and will continue to do so for the remainder of the year. To view the meeting packets and minutes,  click here.

March 2019

Open House: Implementation Strategy

Consultants, the park board, and staff took the concepts outlined in the Winnetka Waterfront 2030 plan and developed a definitive implementation strategy for the bluff land at all five beaches and the eroding shoreline at Lloyd Beach. The implementation strategies utilize a tiered approach that allows projects to be executed in smaller and more feasible increments, while still building towards the overall vision outlined in the Waterfront 2030 plan. Two open houses were held to communicate this strategy, and give residents the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments. Both open houses included the same information and followed the same format. Click here to view the results of the open house and online survey.

September 2019

Fall Fest

Park district staff hosted a booth dedicated to the Winnetka Waterfront 2030 plan at its annual Fall Fest event. Information presented to attendees included upcoming projects for bluff improvements across all beaches and shoreline stabilization at Lloyd. Attendees had the opportunity to view the information on their own and/or engage with park district staff to learn more, as well as sign up to receive any future email communications regarding the Winnetka Waterfront 2030 plan.

Learn More

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