Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Greene, Richard P.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Geography


Land use; Rural--Illinois--McHenry County--Planning; Land use--Illinois--McHenry County--Planning


Policies concerning the protection of agricultural land are made at the local level. In Illinois, expansion of the urban area into once rural lands has created a complex land-use management system. Competition among the local governments for land drive changes in policies, which in turn impact neighboring communities. Land-use policies are often developed without thought as to their impact outside the jurisdiction. The focus of this study is to assess the extent of the impact that does occur. Chapter 1 is an introduction into the present-day system of land-use management in Illinois. Background information is given on the land management hierarchy, along with a brief description of the study area, McHenry County, and the central questions to this study. The specific questions that will be addressed are: 1) do local land-use policies contribute to the urbanization process; 2) if local government policy decisions promote urban growth, do they impact neighboring jurisdictions, and 3) what conclusions concerning the design of future land-use management systems can be drawn from the information extracted from this study? Background information on the factors that influence the conversion of farmland is presented in Chapter 2. Each level of government has a different perspective on the loss of agricultural land. This perspective is driven by the factors that are most important to them. Discussion of the importance of these factors is essential to understanding how policies affect land development. In Chapter 3 the research methodology, analysis of the data, and the subsequent results of the study are presented. Simply stated, the research question is: if agricultural land is incorporated into a municipality, will its function change to some urban use? A temporal study of the annexation patterns, coupled with the land-use management policies and tools, are presented. Insight into a community?s land-use policy is gained through the study of the annexation activity. Application of the tools used to enforce the policy are seen in the annexation patterns. The final chapter, is a summary of the study. Its focus is on answers to the three questions posed in Chapter 1. One of the conclusions drawn from this study is that land-use management policies do have impact outside their jurisdictional boundaries. Based on this conclusion, to have an effective landuse management program requires planning to be done in a coordinated, subregional context. The current approach to regional planning lacks the coordination needed to be effective.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [54]-56)


vi, 86 pages




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