Land Use Plan
Land Use Plan
WILLOW CREEK TOWNSHIP COMPREHENSIVE LAND USE PLAN
Willow Creek Township has adopted in this Comprehensive Land Use Plan, a long range policy for future land development and preservation. Once adopted, this plan will guide decisions on managing growth and change within the Township.
PURPOSE AND INTENT
It is intended that this Plan present the unique characteristics, qualities and vision of the Township. It should supplement the Lee County Comprehensive Plan and provide guidance to citizens and officials with special emphasis on conditions and issues in Willow Creek Township. To be effective this plan should continue to be evaluated by community representatives and amended on an on-going basis as needed no longer than 5 years.
Willow CreekTownship is located at the extreme east end of Lee County. The Township's northern boundary is adjacent to Alto Township; the western boundary is adjacent to Viola Township while the southern boundary is adjacent to Wyoming Township. Willow Creek Township is 36.0 square miles. Most of the land is rolling and is used for agriculture. Cemeteries in Willow CreekTownship are: TwinGrove Cemetery, Norwegian LutheranCemetery, and Ellsworth Cemetery. The only village in Willow Creek Township is the Village of Lee: approximately half is located in Lee County and the other half in DeKalb County.
The population of Willow Creek Township is 700 as of the 2000 U.S. Census.
Willlow CreekTownship has two churches, one bar/restaurant, an auto repair shop, a souvenir shop, a grain business: Maplehurst Farms, two of the three livestock facilities in Lee County: Lakeview Farms and Hilleson Farms, and a fertilizer business: Hintzsche Fertilizer Inc.
Our agricultural land is our most abundant and important economic and natural resource. Our main crops include corn, soy bean and hay. According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, Lee County is one of the State's top producers of corn. It will be important for Willow CreekTownship and Lee County to continue to support agriculture as a critical component of its economy and culture.
There are particular areas of the County that present unique opportunities for economic development. The Lee County Comprehensive Plan identifies these areas as "Detailed Planning Areas" (DPA). Detailed plans for land use, community character, utility provision, storm water quantity and quality management and economic development are needed before substantial development is approved in these areas. These areas should be reserved for high-quality, high-tax base uses.
Willow Creek Township has one DPA, the US30/I39 Interchange. This Interstate interchange also has potential as a generator of economic development, but should also be viewed as a limited resource (only four I39 interchanges exist in the County). According to the Lee County Comprehensive Plan, this DPA shows areas of economic development at the quadrants surrounding the interchange and agriculture preservation for the balance.
Businesses that create jobs for the community and are compatible with the area are encouraged. Acceptable businesses should be directed to locate in the DPA or adjacent area as well as adjacent to or within the Village of Lee.
Businesses that overburden the natural resources and or current infrastructure of Willow Creek Township are discouraged.
GOALS FOR WILLOW CREEK TOWNSHIP
- Protect the Health, Safety and Quality of Life of Residents
- Protect Agricultural Land
- Preservation of Rural Character
- Protect Natural Resources and Unique Beauty
PROTECT AGRICULTURAL LAND
Discourage non-agricultural development through continued use of the LESA system, zoning regulation and subdivision regulations.
Agricultural lands shall be those historically farmed with farming defined as production of any crop grown for profit and not restricted to row crops. Such crops shall consist of, but not be limited to, any grain or row crops, berries, nurseries, pastures, trees, orchards and vegetables. Farming shall include, but not be limited to, the humane raising of cattle (beef or dairy), pigs, sheep, horses, or poultry of any kind. Agricultural lands shall also include woodlots, wilderness and wetlands.
PRESERVATION OF RURAL CHARACTER
Willow Creek Township discourages development in areas that cannot be cost effectively served with municipal utilities such as sanitary sewer, water and storm sewers, sidewalks, street/road maintenance, parks and schools/bus routes and police and emergency services.
Willow Creek Township supports the County's objective to focus and direct growth toward areas in which public services are currently available or can be extended at reasonable cost. The spread of residential development outside of an established service area would strain the ability of the Township to deliver necessary services and increase the financial burden to taxpayers.
The Village of Lee exists within the Township with established services. All residential development should be directed to the Village of Lee. This should minimize conflicts between urban and rural uses and preserve the aesthetic character of our rural country- side.
PROTECTION OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND UNIQUE BEAUTY
Essential planning objectives for Willow Creek Township are to preserve waterways, floodplains, wetlands, woodlands, steep slopes, wildlife habitats, scenic vistas and historical areas. Additional planning objectives are to further protect groundwater, air quality and to encourage the cleanup of contaminated sites that threaten the public health, safety and welfare within the Township.
FUTURE LAND USE RECOMMENDATIONS
Agriculture should remain the dominant land use within Willow Creek Township. All producing soils should be preserved for agricultural use. Residential development should be discouraged from agricultural areas and directed to the Village of Lee where there are existing services to support this type of development.
The only land to be available for non-farm development should be those parcels suitable for residential or commercial zoning and which meet all County guidelines and Willow Creek Township criteria as set forth in this Plan.
Willow Creek Township supports appropriate alternative energy when it coincides with its stated goals to protect the health, safety and quality of life of Township residents; protect agricultural lands; preserve the rural character; protect natural resources and the unique beauty of the Township.
Adopted: June 8, 2010 Willow Creek Trustees
Prepared by Willow Creek Planning Commission and submitted June 8, 2010