Comprehensive Plan


Our Comprehensive Planning process is complete.  On July 9th, 2024 the Jo Daviess County Board approved the updated Jo Daviess County Comprehensive Plan which represents the consensus of the County in 2024 and reaffirms the 2012 Comprehensive Plan.
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The Jo Daviess County Comprehensive Plan is the center-piece of the community development planning process, stating our community’s development goals and outlining public policies for guiding future growth. Citizen input and participation are important components of the planning process. Numerous citizens were involved in the development and evolution of the 2012 Comprehensive Plan, and the consensus of the County is represented in the goals and objectives found in Chapter 9 which offer a solution to the land use issues listed below.

Land Use Issues: 
  • The county's tourism economy is strong. 
  • The agricultural economy has seen increasing pressure from encroachment of development into agricultural areas, rising land values and competition from large-scale operations and foreign markets. 
  • The scenic beauty and pastoral appearance of the county have been identified among the most significant attributes and are the very underpinnings of the tourism economy.
  • Random rural development threatens agriculture, the scenic beauty and other resources. Scattered rural residential development, in particular, has been increasing over the past twenty years, and has in some cases compromised the ability of agriculture to flourish. 
A continued increase in scattered rural residential development will ultimately result in the same problems generally associated with urban sprawl -- inefficient use of large areas of land to house a small number of residents, increased traffic, and excessive energy usage as residents drive longer distances to acquire goods and services. Infrastructure and services required to support rural development (e.g. country road upgrades to accommodate increased traffic; longer routes for school buses, emergency services, fire and police protection) are more costly per housing unit than the same services provided to concentrated development in communities and planned developments. Scattered rural development is not a cost-effective form of development for the county.

The Need: 
  • Creation and retention of good paying jobs. 
  • Diversification of the economy through growth of clean industry and technology-based businesses. 
  • Development which will allow young people to find meaningful career opportunities here. 
  • Support rural ambiance and preservation of productive farmland. 
  • Support tourism through careful, planned use of the land allows for growth and development while preserving the natural beauty and rural character of the county.

By managing development and directing it to areas best able to support it, county revenues can be used more efficiently. The agricultural economy, rural character and scenic beauty of the county, valued by county residents, can be protected to a greater degree. The principles on which this plan are based are not anti-growth, but rather "smart growth.”

Jo Daviess County is rich in resources that contribute to its economic vitality and the quality of life of its residents. The natural resources, historical features and the aesthetic qualities of the area are valued by the county's citizens. Protecting these resources is crucial for the public good and the future well-being of the county. The plan is a living document which should be reviewed and updated as needs and opportunities present themselves to ensure its validity as a reference point for decision making.

Comprehensive Plan 2012 Update - Adopted 11-13-2012.  Please be patient, this is a very large file and depending on your connection it will take some time to load.