Illinois Compiled Statues, Chapter 60, gives townships the right to develop comprehensive plans through township plan commissions. Seneca Township began this process in 1998 by establishing the Seneca Township Planning Commission.
The Seneca Township Land Use Plan is a general guide for land use and development in the township. The Plan is a policy document and does not directly regulate the use of land in the Township. The Plan is generally implemented through the application of ordinances such as the McHenry County Zoning Board of Appeals and the Zoning Ordinance should be referenced to determine allowable land uses and zoning requirements for properties located within Seneca Township. The Land Use Plan does not preclude and individual from requesting zoning changes for properties located within the Township. However, a zoning request, which is not in conformity with the adopted Seneca Township Land Use Plan, may require an extraordinary majority for approval by the McHenry County Board. Therefore, the Plan should be used as a guide for potential land use changes and associated zoning requests in Seneca Township.
In 1993 the McHenry County Board adopted the McHenry County Land Use Plan: Year 2010 (Update 2010 Plan). The purpose of the 2010 Plan is to provide a guide for development and land use in the County. The McHenry County 2010 Plan Township Land Use Plan adopts the 2010 Plan objectives and goals. However, the Seneca Township Land Use Plan relates to a smaller area than the 2010 Plan and thus is more detailed in addressing land uses in the township.
In preparation for the development of the Seneca Township Land Use Plan the Township Plan Commission developed a land use survey for township residents and property owners. The survey was sent to over 800 mailing addresses. A copy of the resident land use survey and the survey results are included as part of the Seneca Township Land Use Plan. The resident land use survey formed a basis for future land use goals, objectives and designations contained in the Land Use Plan. Both the Township Planning Commission and Township Board wish to thank all who participated in the resident land use survey.
The Plan is to be used as a whole; no one part is meant to be used alone. The Land Use Plan provides for the orderly development of land uses in the Township. Without the Plan, piece meal development could occur in an appropriate manner and location, which could cause land use conflicts. Development consistent with the Plan will be in harmony with the character of Seneca Township and enhance the existing as well as the future land uses in the Township.