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BLOOMINGTON - East-side property owners will not see a moratorium from the McLean County Board on how their land can be developed.

The county's land use and development committee unanimously voted down a resolution that would have amended the county's comprehensive plan to include at 2,500-foot-wide corridor that runs from Interstate 55 near Towanda to Interstate 74 near Downs.

Because the committee defeated the motion, it will not go on to the full County Board.

"I just hate to think that one night these people go to bed and the next morning they wake up to find a note that there is a moratorium restricting their use of the land," said board member Bette Rackauskas. "This is as close to communism as you can get without actually taking the land."

Committee Chairman George Gordon could not vote on the motion but said he also would have voted against changing the comprehensive plan.

The vote by the committee comes about a week after the land use committee and the county's transportation committee held a public hearing on the proposed east-side highway.

About 15 people spoke during the meeting and their comments overwhelmingly opposed putting the corridor on comprehensive plan maps because it in effect would put restrictions on how their land could be developed.

The corridor where a proposed east-side highway could be built has been mapped on the city of Bloomington's comprehensive plan. The town of Normal is considering adding the corridor map on its comprehensive plan now under review.

Board member Paul Segobiano led the discussion against putting the corridor on the county's comprehensive plan. But he and Rackauskas also favored more study of the proposed highway and possible alignments including those that are outside the corridor.

Both wanted other transportation solutions considered to alleviate projected traffic congestion on the east side of Bloomington-Normal.

The county's transportation committee on Tuesday will consider an intergovernmental agreement with the city of Bloomington and the town of Normal to split the local cost to studying the proposed highway.

There is $800,000 in federal money already set aside for a study.


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