|WHY KENDALL AND WHY NOW?
- Kendall County has high quality natural resources that
are worth preserving. The Fox River and two State Class A streams run through Kendall County, and many other high quality natural resources have been identified, including several State Natural Area Inventory Sites.
- These high quality natural resources are under threat
of destruction due to rampant development and sprawl. Kendall County is the fourth fastest growing county in America; its population is projected to increase more than 223 percent by 2030. On average 2,000 acres of open space is converted to development each year in Kendall County.
- Kendall County residents are concerned about sprawl
and support open space and natural areas protection. Taxpayers passed a forest preserve open space referendum in 2002 for $5 million by a 64 percent vote. Polling and survey data all show a high concern for too much development in Kendall County and the resultant loss of open space and natural areas, water quality degradation and increase in traffic. Data showed a very strong interest in preserving open space. Click here for more information about the Public Awareness Campaign. In February 2007, the Kendall County Forest Preserve District voted to add a question on the April ballot regarding support for a $45 million open space referendum.
- Elected officials support the protection of Kendall's
natural resources and want sustainable development. Municipal and county officials are trying to pass ordinances that protect natural resources from the impacts of development, but need more education and training. The political support is strong for the protection of open space and natural areas and water quality.
- There is a need for a county-wide, coordinated effort
to protect open space and natural areas. Development is occurring at such a fast pace and there is little time, money and technical resources for comprehensive open space and natural areas preservation planning. Although all of the individual efforts are important, PKN looks for logical connections of open space between communities, utilizing existing plans, and encourages the sharing of resources. The only way to preserve the amount of land necessary to protect our natural resources for future generations is to plan comprehensively through intergovernmental cooperation and public-private partnerships.
Why Protect Kendall's Open Spaces and Natural Areas?
Quality of Life:
Open space and natural lands play a very important role in preserving the quality of life in Kendall County. Residents expect their homes here to be good investments for their future. They value clean water, clean air and a healthy environment, and love to hike, bike, camp, fish and enjoy natural areas minutes from home. Homes located in esthetically pleasing settings have a higher value.
Concern for Growth:
Kendall County is the fastest growing county in Illinois and the fourth fastest growing county in the country. Residents are very concerned that their communities will become as overdeveloped as those farther to the east and will have similar traffic congestion and related problems. Growth-related issues such as traffic, controlling development and preserving open space and natural lands are considered to be the most important problems facing Kendall residents at the present time, according to recent surveys.
Open space can help protect our drinking water sources. It's much cheaper to protect groundwater recharge areas and watershed lands now than to pay to clean up polluted water later. Also, protecting greenway lands along streams and rivers preserves water quality.
Land is being developed at an all-time high rate of speed with plans underway for even more. We must act now to preserve remaining open spaces and natural lands in Kendall County for our children and grandchildren before the land is too expensive or lost forever. The time to act is now.
Cost, Property Taxes:
Preserving open space now can keep property taxes from skyrocketing later. Development causes an influx of people requiring schools, roads and other services that raise taxes. Public money used to purchase open space is a small price to pay and a good investment that protects the ones we've already made in homes and communities. Open space is the ultimate tax cap.
Open space provides natural flood control. The more building and concrete there is, the more flooding and expense. Open space allows rain water to soak into the ground and provides natural flood detention.