Frank Sleegers, Chair - Michael DiPasquale, Member
Recent trends in East Peoria, Illinois have seen new commercial developments replacing former industrial and manufacturing properties as well as naturalized floodplains. Recent development pressures have consumed properties located more inland, leaving the historic downtown compromised as old businesses leave.
The recent increase in large-lot development has compromised Farm Creek as well. Frequent flash flooding in the past led to damming, channelizing, and leveeing of the creek, causing the unwanted side-effects of increased sedimentation and water loads to the Illinois River, loss of floodplain habitats, and an eyesore that characterizes East Peoria as a whole.
Farm Creek is an under-utilized, under-recognized, and almost unknown asset in East Peoria. It sits in a prime location to become an important artery that connects the community. Not only does the creek represent the geological and cultural history of East Peoria, but it has the potential to become a starting point that initiates sustainable development in the city’s future.
Through green infrastructure and ecological urbanist principles, this project aims to restore Farm Creek to a naturalized floodplain as much as possible, and to preserve and rehabilitate the historic downtown while introducing a dense, walkable, well-connected, mixed-use development that includes housing, open space, and recreation in order to address issues with sprawl, congestion, inequality, and poor public transportation infrastructure