Survival Land Grabbing

Land grabs are occuring around Chicago suburbs, as towns try to steer development and pay for service and infrastructure costs.
September 7, 2003, 5am PDT | Connie Chung
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According to area planners, municipalities are annexing nearby unincorporated land "at a rate not seen since the 1950s....With expansion in the region winding down, towns are grabbing the remaining unincorporated land within their borders so they will have some say in the direction of future development....In Illinois, municipalities use annexation to grow because land-use power rests predominantly with local governments and not with counties and townships....Municipalities also annex land to share the growing costs of fire protection, water and sewer services among a wider pool of taxpayers, officials said. Municipal officials also use promises of better services, water and sewer in particular, as leverage in negotiations with reluctant property owners."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Thursday, September 4, 2003 in The Chicago Tribune

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