HB 2358 (Winters): Local Legacy Act - Metropolitan Planning Council

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HB 2358 (Winters): Local Legacy Act

The Local Legacy Program is a comprehensive resource protection program that provides incentives to counties and municipalities to form partnerships to inventory their natural, agricultural and cultural resources; create a resource protection plan; and implement the plan.

Summary

The Local Legacy Program is a comprehensive resource protection program that provides incentives to counties and municipalities to form partnerships to inventory their natural, agricultural and cultural resources; create a resource protection plan; and implement the plan.

How it would work

The Act establishes an interagency board (the Local Legacy Board) to administer the program composed of the directors of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, and the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

Counties and municipalities interested in participating in this program will form a steering committee composed of three county board members, three elected municipal officials and five public members. The committee will develop a strategy for conducting an inventory of natural areas, farmland and cultural resources, and will oversee the development of a Resource Protection Plan. Funds will be available to the partnership for technical assistance in conducting its inventories and developing its plan. Once the committee approves the plan, it will recommend its adoption to the county board and the municipalities within the county. Municipalities and counties that adopt the Resource Protection Plan will be eligible for grants to acquire land to preserve resources that have been identified.

Purpose

Illinois has a rich natural and cultural heritage. Whether historic sites, natural areas, rich farmland or other prized resources, every county has treasures worth preserving for the future. As counties and municipalities grow, they often do not have opportunities to consider which resources are most important to them. Consequently, they may inadvertently imperil a historic structure, sever a potential natural corridor, or fragment farmland into unsustainable remnants. This program provides incentives to county-municipal partnerships to preserve their heritage.

  1. The program encourages municipalities and counties to exchange information, develop a shared vision and coordinate preservation efforts.
  2. The program is locally driven. County-municipal partnerships will form to decide how to conduct their inventories, which resources to preserve and how to preserve them, and whether to apply for grants for resource protection.
  3. The program is incentive-based. Counties and municipalities may choose not to participate in the program.
  4. Funds to preserve farmland will not involve the use of eminent domain.

Supporters

  • Openlands Project
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Business and Professional People for the Public Interest
  • Metropolitan Planning Council
  • Conservation Foundation
  • Northwest Municipal Conference
  • Forest Preserve District of Will County
  • Save the Prairie Society
  • Illinois Environmental Council
  • Sierra Club
  • Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois
  • The Nature Conservancy

For more information contact Joyce O'Keefe at 312/427-4256, ext. 236 or JOkeefe@openlands.org

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