The Mission of Kane County Government is to be accountable to its citizens in providing innovative and high quality government services in an economical, fair, professional, and courteous manner to enhance and protect the health, welfare, and safety of those who live and work in Kane County.
Being an innovative and strategic leader in providing essential and effective public services in a fiscally prudent manner; Being good stewards of the natural and economic resources that make up our unique urban and rural communities; Adapting to, and providing, governmental services to a growing and diverse population; Promoting and environment that advocates health, welfare and safety; Encouraging and valuing citizen communication, input, and involvement in governing so that residents are proud to call Kane County "home".
Kane County is one of the collar counties surrounding the Chicago metropolitan area and lies on the western edge of the northeastern Illinois region. The county is approximately 520 square miles in area and has an estimated 2014 population of 527,306 for an overall population density of 1,014 people per square mile. By the year 2040, the expected population is 789,295, representing a potential increase of 261,898.
The most notable natural feature in Kane County is the Fox River. The headwaters of the Fox River are in southern Wisconsin and flows over a rocky bed from Clinton until some distance below the southern line of Kane into Kendall County. The largest cities in the county, Aurora ( also the second largest in Illinois with an estimated 2014 population of 200,456) and Elgin (with an estimated 2014 population of 111,117), grew up along the Fox years ago when energy harnessed from the river supported a variety of industries. In addition to having a thriving commercial base, farming has long been a way of life and important economic activity in Kane County. In an effort to preserve the rich agricultural heritage, the County Board approved purchasing agricultural easements as part of the Kane County Farmland Preservation Program and the Federal Farmland Protection Program. This commitment has resulted in 5,298 acres of farmland being protected and funded for protection.
Since 1980, Kane County has experienced periods of rapid growth. In 1994, the county adopted the Conceptual Land Use Strategy, which identified three areas. This strategy was updated and reaffirmed in 2003 and 2010. The three areas include the Sustainable Urban Corridor (the eastern portion of the county), the Critical Growth Area (the middle portion of the county that is experiencing the most development pressure), and the Agricultural/Food, Farm, Small Town Area (the western portion of the county) where agricultural uses are the priority.
In 2012, the Kane County Board adopted the Kane County 2040 Plan. Kane County is recognized as the first county in Illinois to integrate health into a comprehensive plan. The 2040 Plan envisions Healthy People, Healthy Living, Healthy Communities in Kane County by advocating for a future where:
• The built environment promotes, rather than restricts, physical activity and mobility for residents of all ages
• All residents have convenient access to safe public parks, active recreation opportunities and open space areas
• Access to healthy food choices, clean air and a safe water supply is not restricted because of where people live or social/economic factors.
• Planning for healthy results is standard practice for local governments
• Healthy living is a part of our local culture and the current trends in obesity and other chronic diseases have been reversed
• Kane County’s residents are the healthiest people in Illinois
The Kane County Planning Cooperative was created as the central core of the 2040 Plan’s implementation strategies. The Cooperative is staffed primarily with county planners from three departments – Development, Health and Transportation – but receives support from a myriad of local and regional planning partners. The mission of the Cooperative is to encourage education and information sharing related to planning and to assist with local planning decisions. The innovative collaboration between the three sectors of the Cooperative has received state and national awards and serves as a model for other governmental agencies, a tool to capture and distribute funding and technical assistance and an all-encompassing planning entity that has Kane County in the best possible position to implement the smart growth principles that are leading to improved health outcomes. The Planning Cooperative is integral in achieving the goal of having the healthiest residents in Illinois.