LIBERTYVILLE TOWNSHIP CASEY ROAD LAND USE PROJECT
In December 2015, a long-term agricultural license expires on the 303 acres and Township officials welcome residents’ opinions as they begin to explore options for the parcels. The parcels are featured in several comprehensive planning documents adopted by the Township Board including the 2013 Liberty Prairie Reserve Master Plan and the 2008 Bull Creek-Bull’s Brook Watershed Plan.
Last December, the Township created the Casey Road Land Use Advisory Committee to assist with information collection and analysis. Led by Township Supervisor Kathleen O’Connor, the committee includes representatives from Libertyville Township, Conserve Lake County, Lake County Forest Preserve District, Lake County Stormwater Management Commission and Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Additional expertise is coming from such groups as the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The Advisory Committee, including Township Open Space staff, recommends the Township employ an environmentally sensitive combination of farming and restoration practices that transitions over time to a restored landscape of native prairies, wetlands and savannas. It advises a phased approach that uses both corn-and-bean farming and hay farming in ways that reduce impact to soil and water quality while generating income to support restoration efforts. The approach is intended to provide the Township the flexibility needed to take advantage of grants and other cost-saving measures without exceeding its staff’s capacity and financial resources.
"This is a visionary yet pragmatic conceptual plan that honors the wishes of our residents as well as the region’s guiding plans and the site’s conservation easements," said Kathleen O’Connor, Township Supervisor. The Casey Road Land Use Advisory Committee, chaired by O’Connor, includes representatives from Libertyville Township, Conserve Lake County, Lake County Forest Preserve District, Lake County Stormwater Management Commission and Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The Township’s Board of Trustees is expected to approve a final concept by this October.
The 2nd public open house was held on Thursday, June 19 from 5 to 8 p.m. Draft conceptual design exhibits were displayed. Public comments were accepted until Friday, July 18, 2014.
Through public referendum in 1985, Libertyville Township was the state’s first township to establish an Open Space District. Today it protects and manages over 1,500 acres of open space including two properties that are of such ecological significance that they are included in the Illinois Nature Preserves System and are stewarded with help from volunteers.