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December 31, 2014
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Annual Kane County Planners' Forum Carries on a 40 Year Tradition
Planning professionals meet to discuss hot topics, celebrate successes and have fun

Planners enjoy morning festivities at the Fishermen's Inn
A remarkable tradition continued December 12th as planners, architects and engineers who live and/or work in Kane County gathered at the Fishermen's Inn for the 40th Annual Kane County Planner's Holiday Forum. This luncheon style event is held each year to promote networking, enable the sharing of knowledge, spotlight innovative plans and celebrate planning achievements in Kane County. What began as a small gathering of seven 
Mid-morning game tests planners' development skills
planners in 1974 now attracts between 80 and 120 guests! This event--which isn't sponsored by any local government--is hosted by Kane County planners and their colleagues from county municipalities. Each year the event changes venues in part to help showcase planning and redevelopment successes in the county's 30 municipalities. While the Forum is by far the largest event, Kane County planners have also hosted golf outings, canoe trips and bike rides to promote networking among planning professionals who live and/or work in Kane County.
Kane County Planner Matt Tansley explains the rules of the game "Settlers of Kane"

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Forum, this year's program featured a retrospective look at the last forty years of planning and it highlighted big ideas going forward including: water quality, locally grown foods, the evolution of the Randall Road / Orchard Road corridor, healthy sustainable communities and the Kane County Planning Cooperative. 

Each year the event features a planning themed game, food collection for a local food pantry (attendees donated 147 pounds of food this year) and awards for an outstanding plan and planner. This year the Kane County 2040 Green Infrastructure Plan won the 2014 Plan of the Year and Geneva's Community Development Director, Dick Untch took home the award for Planner of the Year!

If you are a planning professional and are interested in attending the event next year, sponsoring the event, or simply learning more about the event, please contact Kane County Executive Planner, Karen Miller via email or phone at (630) 232-3418.

Mark VanKerkhoff and last year's award winner, Jackie Forbes, present Dick Untch with the 2014 Planner of the Year Award
Mark VanKerkhoff presents Karen Miller and Tim Mescher of the KC Planning Div. and Dennis Dreher of Geosyntec Consultants with the Plan of the Year Award for the KC Green Infrastructure Plan

pic...Submit a Picture to Illustrate Your View of Health in Your Community

As part of the Kane County Community Health Assessment, we are inviting everyone to participate in our Photovoice assessment. A picture is worth a thousand words and we are gathering pictures that capture your view of health in your community. You can upload pictures to our special Photovoice Facebook page or send them via email using a link on the Kane County Health Department's Photovoice page. Let your voice be heard!

Please contact Jackie Forbes if you have any questions.
South Elgin Plan Wins Award from Congress for the New Urbanism-IL!
Congratulations to the Village of South Elgin Bike & Ped. Plan Project Team

The South Elgin Bike & Pedestrian Plan has won the Congress for the New Urbanism-Illinois' Region: Metropolis, City and Town Award! This plan--which was supported through funding from CMAP's Local Technical Assistance Program--promotes investment in public transportation, walking and biking as key strategies to implement the Village's 2030 Comprehensive Plan, the Kane County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, CMAP's GO TO 2040 Plan and other regional plans. The South Elgin Bike & Pedestrian Plan, which was adopted in June of 2014, was guided by a Steering Committee with broad representation from the Village, CMAP, business owners, residents, the Kane County Division of Transportation and local transit agencies. 

The plan was innovative as it used GIS to compare the levels of mobility across transportation modes. This procedure enabled the Village of South Elgin to assess the existing and proposed bicycle and pedestrian networks in the Village with an unprecedented degree of accuracy. This practice and plan can be looked at as a model of excellence in the region.

For questions about this plan or its implementation, please contact Marc McLaughlin.

Kane County Board Endorses the Union/Virgil Ditch Watershed Plan
Watershed Plan Provides Road Map for Improving Local Water Quality

Beginning in the summer of 2012, local residents, community leaders, representatives of governmental agencies, organizations, businesses and others, led by DeKalb County and Hey & Associates, participated in meetings and provided input to inform the development of the East Branch of the South Branch Kishwaukee River / Union Ditch / Virgil Ditch Watershed Plan.

This watershed plan outlines strategies for protecting and improving local water quality and thus the quality of life for those that live, work and play within the watershed. The policy recommendations of the plan focus primarily on actions that local units of government and property owners within the watershed can take or adopt that may protect and improve water quality.

The executive summary and entire Union / Virgil Ditch Watershed Plan can be found here!

For questions about the plan, contact Kane County Executive Planner Karen Miller via email or at 630-232-3418.

STAR Communities Explores the Possibility of an Accreditation Program
Survey Will Gauge the Interest of Sustainable Professionals...Are you Interested?

STAR Communities is exploring the possibility of an accreditation program for sustainability-related professionals who want to show competency in the STAR Community Rating System. The STAR Community Rating System is the first national certification program to recognize sustainable communities. Local leaders use STAR to assess their sustainability, set targets for moving forward and measure progress along the way. 

STAR Communities would like you to help them gauge the general level of interest in pursuing a STAR-branded professional accreditation by completing a short survey of 28 questions.

Kane County Planning Cooperative
Brett Hanlon, Land Use Planner - (630) 232-3491 - hanlonbrett@co.kane.il.us or kcplancoop@co.kane.il.us
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