Parks and Land Use Probed by 8,000 Household Questionnaire

Yesterday, McHenry County Blog showed the questions being asked 8,000 households about desires and improvements wanted locally.

The survey is entitled,

“McHenry County Healthy Communities 2010.”

Today, we’ll move on the a rating of park/recreation services, something called “local community or village services,” and land use.

Five choices are offered below for two questions. Next is an opportunity to explain why one has rated the services “poor” or “fair,” rather than “excellent” or “good.”

Quality of . . .
28. Your local park district and recreational services
29. Your local community or village services
30. If you rated any of these characteristics above as fair or poor, please tell what is needed or should be improved to make these excellent or good in your community.

Next comes “Lane Use.” Please note that the word “growth” appears only once.

When I was state representative in the late 1970’s, I twice sent out questionnaires to every household with a registered voter asking the question,

“Are you in favor of state and local governmental actions that will encourage population growth in your area?”

In about 1976, the results from my district (all of McHenry County, northern Kane and DeKalb Counties, southern Boone County, including Belvidere, and the far eastern part of Winnebago County, largely unpopulated at the time) was 58% “No.”

About two years later, the negative feedback had increased to 80-some percent–86%–I think.

2030 Land Use Plan (Click to enlarge)

A similar question would have been useful here, especially considering the recent 2030 Land Use Plan fight.

Incidentally, when sorted by zip code, my survey showed areas which had seen growth didn’t want more, while those who had not grown much wanted to grow.

But onto the questions in this year’s survey:


31-36. Please indicate whether you Agree, Disagree or are Not Sure about each statement.

31. I am pleased with the way that land has been developed in McHenry County.

32. Landowners should be allowed to use their land however they want.

Wetlands in McHenry County (Click to enlarge)

33. I am willing to pay higher taxes to preserve wetlands and other environmentally sensitive areas.34. Maintaining our present natural areas such as forests, prairies or wetlands is more important than acquiring new ones.

35. Preserving open space is as important as residential or commercial growth.

36.Government should require residents to use water conservation practices.

I note with pleasure that question 33 mentions higher taxes will be needed “to preserve wetlands and other environmentally sensitive areas.”

Both costs and benefits should be addressed in a questionnaire like this.

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