Growing Towns Want More of Kane County Incorporated

Article excerpt

Byline: David R. Kazak Daily Herald Staff Writer

For now, at least, most of Kane County is still county land. Not St. Charles land. Not Elburn land. Not Hampshire or Gilberts land.

But should the 28 cities, towns and villages within Kane's border have their way, more than two-thirds of the county would be inside the towns' borders.

A panel of Kane County development leaders Tuesday learned this when they saw, in one glance, what the towns are planning, thanks to some creative map work by the Kane County Development Department.

On the draft map, a final version of which has yet to be made public, every town's comprehensive plan was overlaid onto a map of Kane County. Towns use comprehensive plans as guides for growth, showing where leaders want homes, industry and commercial development.

Most often, so-called comp plans show a town's aspirations - how big it wants to be and what development is welcome.

In Kane, those dreams, if they ever become reality, will consume a surprising amount of unincorporated county land.

Single-family homes are projected to take up 53,570 acres. Agriculture land use will still be abundant, even within town borders, making that the second most projected use at 42,119 acres in the growth plans.

Recreational space will take up 37,444 acres, according to the plans. And money-generating commercial and industrial development? The plans show that would take up 28,185 acres.

The county is 334,031 square acres. For now, little more than 100,000 acres is incorporated, but that number will jump to 213,118 if all the town's plans are followed as presented.

The effect of seeing the communities' expanded, planned borders was startling. …