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Monday, March 21, 2016

Illinois Planning Group Opposes Annexation Bill

The legislative committee of the Illinois Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) is asking Illinois municipalities to contact their legislative representatives to oppose House Bill 6033. If passed, that bill would amend the annexation provisions of the Illinois Municipal Code to establish new notification and procedural requirements beyond what is already required by state law.  The pertinent provisions are summarized below:
  • New section 7-1-1.2(a) would require the corporate authorities to conduct a public hearing before any annexation is approved, even those where all parties are in agreement on the annexation. 
  • New section 7-1-1.2(b) would require the municipality to provide 30 days prior notice of the public hearing to all owners within 1/2 mile of the proposed annexation area. 
  • New section 7-1-1.2(c) would provide those owners notified under (b) a right to be heard at the public hearing.
  • New section 7-1-1.2(d) would require the corporate authorities to make a determination and a good faith investigation into issues raised at the hearing, and then respond to those issues.
  • Finally, new section 7-1-5.4 would require municipalities to work with developers and government bodies impacted by any annexation to ensure roads are maintained in as good, if not better, condition than before annexation.

The legislative committee has sent out an e-blast with its analysis of the legislation.  According to the legislative committee e-blast:
HB 6033 is an odd piece of legislation. It is unclear what, if any, issues it is trying to address in existing annexation law. The bill, as presented, is duplicative of many existing annexation and annexation agreement statutory requirements, and includes a lot of imprecise language that can open the door to significant and costly litigation based on alleged technical defects in the annexation process. Annexation has always been a process left to the discretion of a municipality based on its development and planning objectives. HB 6033 turns this longstanding policy principle on its head, presupposes that annexations occur in a policy vacuum, and elevates the rights of people who are not necessarily residents of the municipality or even the territory to be annexed.
To learn more about the APA's recommendation, click here.   


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