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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Governor Signs Land Use and Environmental Legislation

In this edition of the Municipal Minute series on legislative updates, we will update you on several recently enacted Illinois laws relating to land use, public transit, and replacement of lead pipes.

P.A. 102-0180 provides new protections for vegetable gardens on residential property for non-commercial use. Under this new law, any person may cultivate a vegetable garden on their private property or on private property with the owner's permission. A vegetable garden is defined as "any plot of ground or elevated soil bed on residential property where vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers, pollinator plants, leafy greens, or edible plants are cultivated." The new law restricts local government regulation of vegetable gardens in a manner inconsistent with this new right, although governments can regulate the "height, setback, water use, fertilizer use, or control of invasive or unlawful species." The new law preempts home rule. 

P.A. 102-0660, expands bike and pedestrian pathway in highway planning and construction projects to apply beyond "urban areas" to projects within any municipality with a population of over 1,000 people. The law contains a few exceptions where bike and pedestrian path planning is not required, including a new exception where a municipality has passed a resolution declaring that the bicycle or pedestrian way does not fit the current development plan. The two current exceptions are: (1) where a pavement resurfacing project does not widen traveled roads or provide stabilized shoulders; or (2) where pathways would be unnecessary or not appropriate because of safety issues or costs.

P.A. 102-0613 creates the Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act, a comprehensive law that is intended to improve water service in Illinois. The Act lays out a detailed schedule for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and community water suppliers to replace lead service lines in the State with assistance from a new fund, the Lead Service Line Replacement Fund. The Act prioritizes funding to units of local government based on the prevalence of low-income households, lead service lines, and water samples with elevated lead levels. The Fund will be used for "planning, design, or construction directly related to the replacement of lead service lines and restoration of property."

Post Authored by Erin Monforti and Mike Halpin, Ancel Glink


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