Managing Municipal Growth
As the economic recovery continues, many municipalities are again beginning to face the challenges presented by municipal growth. While not at the pace of the mid-2000s, growth is still continuing with no plans of slowing down. Along with this type of growth come concerns with rapid population growth, suburban sprawl, environmental protection, quality of life and related liability issues.
While many cities, towns, villages and counties have prepared comprehensive plans, it’s important for them to consider several areas that can otherwise lead to a multitude of liability issues:
- Affordable Housing
- Economic Development
- Regional Transportation
- Property Rights
- Permit Processing
- Environmental Protection
- Land Use
- Open Space and Recreation
A comprehensive plan is the starting point for any planning process and the centerpiece of local planning. Development regulations (zoning, subdivision and other controls) must be consistent with comprehensive plans. Failure to comply with these elements of municipal growth can not only lead to costly liability claims, but also lead to regulatory fines and penalties.
Since 1985, Illinois has adopted the Local Land Resource Planning Act. This important legislative initiative added strength to the ability of counties and municipalities to engage in intergovernmental planning activities and to develop joint land resource management plans that address critical land and water resource issues.
A few of the largest exposure areas for public officials liability insurance includes zoning approval or denials, improper granting or denying of permits and licenses and land use and contract disputes. These lawsuits can be extremely costly and devastating to a local municipality’s budget. Proper municipal planning and the use of a comprehensive plan can provide the structure necessary to avoid costly litigation and insurance claims. If you have questions about planning, contact an ‘A’ Team member for answers.
- 5 Public Liability Exposures for Municipalities
- Risk Transfer for Municipalities: Understanding How and Why
- Top 10 Environmental and Regulatory Exposures
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