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Press Release - Whiteside County Comprehensive Plan Workshops

Written by  Tue, January 01 2014

 You have been invited to participate in one or both of the following workshops, part of the Whiteside County Comprehensive Plan process. These are public meetings, open to anyone. Your participation is requested due to your knowledge of and/or role in these issues. The meetings will be facilitated by planning consultant MSA Professional Services.

Land Use Workshop

January 23, 2014, 7:00-9:00 pm

Odell Public Library

307 South Madison Street, Morrison

This workshop will be focused on Whiteside County land use policies. This comprehensive plan will establish, for the first time, a clear guideline for County officials to use when zoning changes and land divisions are requested. The plan will indicate where and how new development may be approved. The workshop is intended to foster discussion that will inform the plan.

Specific questions and topics to be discussed:

               • Residential Development

                     o Are there any existing rural residential developments in the county as especially appropriate or inappropriate in their design or location?

                    o For any rural subdivisions, should the County either encourage or require       conservation designs that hide the homes from the existing roadway?

               • Land Use Conflicts

                     o What are some examples of incompatible land uses that have been allowed to occur too close to each other?

                     o Are there any changes that should be made to County ordinances to reduce land use conflicts?

                     o We have specifically heard concern about rural businesses in or near residential subdivisions. The likely solution is zoning ordinance changes to set performance standards on any business activity in such a setting. What are appropriate limits on vehicle parking, customer traffic and parking, and signs?

               • Farmland and Open Space Preservation

                       o Consider the map of the county. Excluding floodplains, are there areas where you would prefer not to allow new development of any kind? Where and why?

                      o County residents have indicated strong demand and support for job growth strategies. What is the appropriate balance between preservation of prime  farmland and economic development? When should job growth trump soil and farmland preservation? Always? Never?

                       o Which soils should be protected from development?

       • City/Village Growth areas

                       o Will the County simply defer to city/village land use planning where it is known? If not, where and why would the County allow development inconsistent with municipal preferences?

Economic Development Workshop

January 24, 2014, 9:00-11:00 am

Rock Falls City Council Chamber

603 W. 10th Street, Rock Falls

This workshop will be focused on economic development and job growth strategies in the county. This is the issue of greatest interest and concern among county residents, based on the results of our county-wide survey. This workshop will be used as an opportunity to explore the relationship among the various economic development entities in the county and their opportunities to collaborate in new ways and through new initiatives. The discussion will reference the findings of last year’s regional economic study (Promoting Prosperity in Northwest Illinois) and seek consensus on practical implementation steps.

Specific questions and topics to be discussed:

               • Job Creation and Job Loss

                   o What’s working? What are the job creation success stories over the past 5 years, and what explains those successes?

                   o What’s not working? What types of jobs have disappeared over the past 5 years, and what are the commonalities among those losses?

               • Workforce Education

                      o In what ways is the system working well to prepare and provide employees that meet employer needs?

                     o In what ways are job seekers unprepared for the employer needs?

                     o What can be done to better prepare workers?

               • Transportation

                     o Airport – Is there unrealized potential here? What is the potential?

                     o Rail – Is there demand for improved rail service or access? What is the unrealized potential?

                     o Highways – What changes are needed, if any, to support job growth?

               • Coordination and Collaboration

                      o What should the county’s role be in economic development, as compared to current practices.

                      o Are there unrealized opportunities to pool resources in the pursuit of job growth?

Questions about this meeting or the comprehensive plan should be directed to Betty Steinert, Whiteside County Economic Development, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,  815-772-5182,  200 East Knox Street, Morrison, IL  61270