Kane County has long sought to use cutting-edge planning policies to achieve land use and development patterns that balance orderly urban development with priority land preservation. Through its Development and Community Services Department, Kane County has implemented strategies to advance its 2040 conceptual land use strategy, which envisions a sustainable pattern of development and growth and conservation. As municipalities have sought to attract infill development, the County has simultaneously worked to preserve land through its Farmland Protection Program. Since 2001, the County has invested Riverboat funds and federal matching funds to protect almost 6,000 acres across several dozen farms. Kane County’s “Growing for Kane” program, adopted in 2013, supports land protection and other incentives for farms of any size throughout the county that are producing food.
Kane County and CMAP are partnering on a Local Technical Assistance project to explore policies and programs that can help foster growth and new investment in previously developed areas of the county while preserving priority lands. The project will look beyond ways to generate additional revenue for current land and easement acquisition programs, looking broadly at new market-based and “transfer of benefits” approaches that can drive land preservation while stimulating development where it is most appropriate.