Local vacant landowners–especially farmers–should be concerned about a change proposed under the terms of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) which the McHenry County Board will be voting on in the near future. The present McHenry County zoning ordinance allows a farmer or other land owner the opportunity to seek permission to build a residence on a vacant 5 acre parcel which is unsuitable for agricultural purposes. This opportunity will soon be lost unless there is a change to the proposed UDO prior to the County Board taking action on it.
The intent of the current provision was to allow farm families to dedicate portions of their farms for a residential use which could then be used by family members to construct residences on the farms and thereby own their little piece of the farm as long as certain requirements were met. Some opponents of the current law will say that the A-2 zoning was abused by owners who simply changed the zoning on a portion of their farms to spin off a parcel to interested parties seeking to build a residence in the rural areas. However, even well-intentioned families may lose the opportunity if the UDO is changed.
Accordingly, if you have been thinking of taking advantage of the current law for A-2 zoning, you should act now! If a zoning petition is not filed seeking this form of A-2 zoning before the County Board votes on the new Ordinance or if this provision is not changed before the vote, the opportunity to do so will be lost. All land owners should decide immediately if they should seek A-2 zoning. If you have any questions about this very important provision please contact our office and ask to speak with Tom Zanck, Mark Saladin or Tom Burney.