The special use permit passed by a vote of 21 to five tonight.
The permit will allow Rockford-based Hauser-Youssi developers to build over two hundred homes on land in unincorporated Winnebago County. Many in the crowd tonight were residents opposed to the proposed subdivision. They were particularly concerned that having this subdivision nearby could threaten their way of life.
"This is a real shame that we're losing this kind of agricultural land in Winnebago County and evidently Winnebago County doesn't care about agriculture," says county resident Nancy Prill.
"Most of the board members don't live out in the country, they live in the city limits and they don't have a clue on what goes on out there and how important that land is to everybody that borders it," says county resident Susan Barnes.
One local farmer found it ironic that after the ethanol plant controversy, the board voted to place a subdivision even closer to the proposed site. Developer Chris Youssi says the company plans to start construction on the homes within the next four months.
Builders estimate once the project is completed, it will bring $2.5 million in tax revenue to the county.