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Land Use

Land use and planning principles are critical to understanding the impact of future transportation investments.

Land Use

The distribution and concentration of people and land uses within the urban area can increase or decrease transportation options for people and businesses accessing goods, services, employment, education, open space, and other resources. Effective coordination of land use development and transportation planning can produce policies and strategies that preserve and enhance valued natural and cultural resources and facilitate healthy, sustainable communities and neighborhoods.

This section provides an overview of local land use information including population density, land use distribution and acreage, and the locations of archaeological and historical sites. Municipal and residential population density are both documented in the following text to help illustrate how the municipalities in the metropolitan planning area have developed since 1990. Population density alone does not provide a complete picture of how different municipalities grow and plan for future development. For a more in-depth picture of local growth practices and policies, see planning documents specific to each municipality.

Population Density

Municipal Population Density

The chart below shows municipal population density for the two cities and four villages within the metropolitan planning area between 1990 and 2010 using land area and population data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Overall, municipal population density within the metropolitan planning area decreased by about 400 people per square mile between 1990 and 2010. The largest decreases were observed in the Cities of Champaign and Urbana, with 1,289 and 1,109 fewer people per square mile, respectively. A smaller decrease of 68 fewer people per square mile was observed in the Village of Tolono. Population density increased in the Village of Bondville and the Village of Savoy. Due to municipal annexations for the purposes of planning and future development, even municipalities with intentions of efficient, compact development could have large undeveloped acreages within their corporate limits that make municipal population density appear incongruous with current development practices or future development goals.

Residential Population Density

The residential population densities shown in the following chart were calculated by dividing the ACS municipal population estimates by the total residential land area. Total residential land area included tax assessor parcels associated with single-family, multi-family, and mobile home land uses. Residential density from 2007 to 2017 increased the most significantly in Savoy. Champaign’s residential population density slightly increased from 2007 to 2012 and remained constant after 2012. Urbana and Bondville both experienced an increase from 2007 to 2012 followed by decreases in residential population density from 2012 to 2017. No data is available for Tolono or Mahomet from 2007 or 2012.

The charts below show changes in the proportion of parcels associated with the three residential categories in Champaign, Urbana, and Savoy from 2007 to 2017. Single-family parcels account for the vest majority of residential parcels in all three municipalities compared with multi-family parcels or mobile home parcels. The lowest proportion of single-family parcels is still an overall majority at 72 percent in Urbana in 2017. This time period demonstrates a modest but consistent increase in the proportion of multi-family parcels in all three municipalities. Parcels designated for mobile homes increased slightly in Urbana between 2007 and 2017 but did not change significantly in Champaign or Savoy.

Land Use Distribution

The proportion of different land uses in the metropolitan planning area hasn’t changed significantly since 2010 according to data from the Champaign County Tax Assessor. Land area designated for residential uses has increased approximately two percent while land area designated for agriculture and other uses has remained relatively stable.

Archaeological and Historical Sites

Archaeological and historical resources in the metropolitan planning area include buildings, sites, districts, structures, and objects. The map below displays locations and types of archaeological and historical resources, the majority of which are found within or near the University of Illinois campus, downtown Champaign, and downtown Urbana. Any new or proposed transportation development needs to take measures to avoid adverse impacts such as damage, destruction, or removal of these features. Furthermore, transportation-related development should seek to preserve the larger setting of these structures when the setting is a significant element of the property.