Kane County, located in northeastern Illinois, is part of the seven-county metropolitan Chicago region. Kane County has an area of 524 square miles and has a current estimated population of 530,847 (July 2015; U.S. Census Bureau). About 40% of the County is incorporated within 30 municipalities. The 30 municipalities account for more than 90% of the County’s population (456,779 of 515,269 based on the 2010 census). The majority of the incorporated (and most heavily urbanized) area is located in the eastern third of the County and centered around the Fox River.
Analysis of 2013 CMAP Land Use data indicates that 32% of the County has been developed, while 50% remains in agriculture and 10% is utilized as open space. Kane County contains several thousand acres of natural areas and environmental resources, the most notable of which is the Fox River. Other natural areas include streams, floodplains, wetlands, and woodlands, which provide habitat for many rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals. The County also contains vast areas of hydric soils, indicative of historic wetlands and slow draining landscapes. Much of the agricultural land and many of the rural developments in central and western Kane County are served by agricultural drain tiles.
According to the Kane County 2040 Plan (published in 2012), the population of the County is expected to increase by 51%, or an estimated 270,000 residents. This will require significant new development throughout the County, particularly within the critical growth area which parallels the west side of the Fox River. Revising the Kane County Stormwater Management Ordinance is necessary to regulate these new developments in a way that will address the recommendations outlined in the County’s 2040 and Green Infrastructure Plans as well as meet new requirements established by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II program.