The McDonough County Comprehensive Plan Committee made some last minute changes before sending the plan to the full county board for its approval.
Most significantly, almost all references to “land use” were removed. Some committee members and the McDonough County Farm Bureau Board of Directors treated the seven letter phrase like a four letter word and feared it would eventually lead to the “z” word: zoning.
Questions about land use dominated the first public hearing on McDonough County’s proposed new comprehensive plan.
About 25 people attended the hearing along with county board members, county government employees, and representatives of the Western Illinois Regional Council, which facilitated the process for replacing the county’s 40 year old comprehensive plan.
Burlington residents still have plenty of opportunities to weigh in on a new “blue-print” for the city.
Development and Parks Director Eric Tysland says it has been at least 15 years since Burlington updated its comprehensive plan. He says this type of document is crucial to future planning and development.
“It looks at all aspects of the city,” says Tysland, “from land-use to streets to infrastructure and public services (police & fire). Basically every aspect of the city is addressed in the plan in one way or another.”
Hancock County is applying for a $125,000 grant to write a comprehensive plan. The federal government set the money aside for 41 counties in Illinois that were declared disaster areas after the flood of 2008.
The state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is administering the $6 million grant pool.
The Western Illinois Regional Council is writing the grant application at no cost. Executive Director Suzan Nash said the plan would dovetail with recent efforts to spur the county's economy.