MORRISON – Whiteside County Board members voted Tuesday evening to, at long last, adopt the county's first comprehensive plan.
The plan, which has been in the works since August of last year, has gone through many iterations as it made its way to final approval, with opportunities for public comment and input along the way.
The idea behind the 5-year plan is to guide the way the county functions over the course of the next 20 years with regard to land use, economic development, transportation and housing, among other areas.
The planning process was overseen by MSA Professional Services – the work of which was funded by a $250,000 Illinois Disaster Recovery grant.
At the beginning of the process, organizers mailed 6,000 surveys to county residents and also posted the survey to WhitesidePlan.com, in hopes of getting feedback, which they did.
Feedback was also provided during a number of public meetings, though they were sparsely attended; throughout the plan's evolution, there was never any hint of controversy.
Included in the plan are recommendations to expand the use of the Whiteside County Airport; develop a countywide bike and pedestrian plan; protect and preserve rural cemeteries; protect and preserve wetlands, woodlands, and other sensitive ecosystems by mapping them and identifying them on site plans and preliminary plats; and periodically survey residents about public transportation.
It will be reviewed every 5 years.