Victory for "Preserve Farm Land"

By WEEK Reporter

May 12, 2011 Updated May 12, 2011 at 6:30 PM CDT

A victory for a group of Limestone Township residents Thursday.
By a margin of 4 to 3 the Peoria County Zoning Board denied a request by a Washington developer to allow rural residential construction on land off Smithville Road.

It's a debate that's taking place across Central Illinois, how to prevent encroachment on prime farm land without hampering development and that's Thursday's top story.

A group of local residents calling itself "Preserve Farm Land" argued against the proposed subdivision, saying the 17 lots on over 70 acres would create safety issues and result in unnecessary urban sprawl.

The zoning board sided with the residents, primarily because a rural residential classification would allow for more development in the future.

"I think most of the board members felt the intentions of this developer were very well-meaning, reasonable, both sides made great presentations and everyone was credible, but if plans change I think the majority of the board members was that we could end up having a parcel with 70 one acre lots on it." said Troy Roberts, Chairman of Peoria County Zoning Board.

The case will now go before the Land Use Committee on May 24th and will eventually be heard by the Peoria County Board. Washington Trails Edge is the developer.

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