(505 ILCS 5/2)
(from Ch. 5, par. 1002)
Legislative findings and intent.
It is the policy of the State
to conserve, protect and to encourage the development and improvement of
its agricultural lands for the production of food and other agricultural
products. It is also the policy of this State to conserve and protect agricultural
lands as valued natural and ecological resources which provide needed open
spaces for clean air sheds as well as for aesthetic purposes. Agriculture
in many parts of the State is under urban pressure from expanding metropolitan
areas. This urban pressure takes the form of scattered development in wide
belts around urban areas, brings conflicting land uses into juxtaposition,
creates high costs for public services, and stimulates land speculation.
When this scattered development extends into productive farm areas, ordinances
inhibiting farming tend to follow, farm taxes rise, and hopes for speculative
gains discourage investments in farm improvements. Much agricultural land
in Illinois is in jeopardy of being lost for any agricultural purpose. Certain
of these lands constitute unique and irreplaceable land resources of Statewide
importance. It is the purpose of this Act to
provide a means by which agricultural land may be protected and enhanced
as a viable segment of the State's economy and as an economic and environmental
resource of major importance.
(Source: P.A. 81-1173.)