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Kane, Campton, South Elgin, awarded $400K for planning help

GENEVA – Kane County and several local municipalities will get a total of about $400,000 in free planning services next year from a regional planning agency to help them better plan for the future and evaluate incoming development projects.

This week, Kane County announced it and the local municipalities, including Campton Hills and South Elgin, had been selected by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, or CMAP, to receive the in-kind services grant.

Under the grant program, known as local technical assistance, CMAP will dispatch its planners to partner with planners in those local governments to help them complete their projects.

Among the local projects, Campton Hills will receive assistance on its work to revise its zoning ordinance, and South Elgin will receive help in drafting a new ordinance to govern development in its community.

Gilberts and Pingree Grove also will receive assistance with their comprehensive plans.

Kane County, however, will be able to use its award to help teach new skills to other planners, both at CMAP and in a local municipality.

Recently, Kane County received a grant from the Pew Charitable Trust to train staff at the county’s Development Department to learn how to perform health impact assessments.

Essentially, the HIAs could be used to determine how a particular development project or policy might either improve or harm the health of people living near the project or within the county.

Mark VanKerkhoff, Kane County’s director of development, said the county used the HIA process to evaluate new policies being developed pertaining to encouraging the production of local fruits and vegetables in the county.

He said the work caught the eye of CMAP, who wanted to partner with the county on a similar assessment project to learn how to do the assessments itself.

The county now is seeking a development project or policy change under consideration by a municipality within Kane County on which to perform the HIA.

“We think this is a great opportunity,” VanKerkhoff said. 

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