Crystal Lake Watershed

One of the friends of McHenry County Blog rightly thinks that those interested in Crystal Lake watershed issues should not be packing it in for the winter.

Here’s the email I received:

Development of the CL watershed is still ongoing, but have heard people says that they thought it was “over” due to MCC stalling out on their ballpark plans. You web-writers can say it better than I can, but I have sent out this notice….


A public meeting for the NW Subarea Plan, the City of CL development plan for the CL watershed, is listed for Tuesday, December 11 at 6:30 pm at the City Hall. WE NEED THOSE INTERESTED IN WHAT HAPPENS TO THE CL WATERSHED TO SHOW UP.

The draft NW SUB AREA plan is downloadable at, then click on the Unified Development Ordinance information link on Bottom Left of City’s home page.

This meeting was originally a Planning and Zoning Committee meeting, but as some may recall, Shepley called for the meeting to be a “joint meeting’ of the Council and Planning and Zoning Commssion. It is not clear if he will let Tom Hayden, Planning and Zoning Chair, run the meeting, or Shepley may be running the meeting. Tom typically allows for good public input.

THIS IS the plan to develop the watershed!!

The maps (which are too low a resolution to be readable in many cases) show what the plan of the Mayor and staff is for development.
The staff has indicated that they would be doing “Conservation Development” but we need to see the Conservation Development Ordinance. The UDO information is associated with this, so please if you have time, take time to look at it, but much is “details” and we need a good conservation ordinance which promotes OPEN SPACE (with definitions & credits for increased open space, which will allow for more natural infiltration) and Green linkages pre-mapping (Green infrastructure) throughout the watershed.

We also need the input of Soil and Water Conservation District and actual soils, and Natural areas maps (MCNAI), not just mentions of this as it stands now.

The City staff has been sent the draft of the County’s Conservation Development
Ordinance. We should push to have the city adopt this for the watershed also once it is adopted by County Board some time after January.

Please tell your friends and neighbors to come to this meeting, the City Council
needs to know people are still concerned.

= = = = =
The maps are from the McHenry County Soil and Water Conservation District. All may be enlarged by clicking on them.

The red hatched areas in the top map show the areas where soil is hydric or characterized by considerable moisture.

The red cross hatched area in the second map shows the high permeable soils. At the bottom is the Route 14 part of the larger permeable soil map.

The one with all the numbers shows the various soil types in the watershed. Wouldn’t you think a city ordinance would reference them and what can be built upon them?

The map with all the blue shows the soil leaches. The blue parts indicate intermediate leaching; the red high.

Click to enlarge.

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