Updates on cases, laws, and other topics of interest to local governments

Subscribe by Email

Enter your Email:
Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Subscribe in a Reader

Follow Municipal Minute on Twitter


Blog comments do not reflect the views or opinions of the Author or Ancel Glink. Some of the content may be considered attorney advertising material under the applicable rules of certain states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Please read our full disclaimer

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

In the Zone: Illinois General Assembly Considers Land Use Legislation

Since the Illinois General Assembly convened in mid-January, several bills concerning zoning and land use have been introduced that may be of interest to our readers. We have summarized a few of these bills below and will provide timely updates as they make their way through the legislative process.

House Bill 4213 – Accessory Dwelling Units

House Bill 4213 was introduced during the General Assembly’s veto session in November, and if passed would create the “Local Accessory Dwelling Unit Act.” The bill seeks to limit local government authority, for both home rule and non-home rule units, to prohibit the building or use of accessory dwelling units (ADUs). However, the bill makes clear that local governments may provide reasonable regulations relating to the size and location of ADUs similar to other accessory structures, so long as the regulations do not “have the effect” of prohibiting them outright.

Senate Bill 2716 – Judicial Review of Zoning Decisions

Senate Bill 2716 seeks to amend Section 11-13-25 of the Illinois Municipal Code to limit the authority municipalities have when considering zoning decisions, including special use and variance applications, text amendments, and map amendments. The first part of the bill proposes that zoning decisions should not be considered legislative decisions, but rather administrative decisions, meaning these zoning decisions would be subject to a different standard of review if challenged in court. The second part of the bill provides for “protection against disregard of the decision-making body’s own ordinances or regulations,” which, if enacted, would appear to be an attempt to limit the exercise of home rule authority. 

Senate Bill 2881 – Annexation Agreements

Senate Bill 2881 seeks to limit municipalities’ ability to annex property. If passed, the bill would require any land subject to an annexation agreement to be contiguous (directly touching) to a municipal boundary. The bill creates uncertainty regarding the status and validity of existing pre-annexation agreements for properties that are not yet contiguous to a municipal boundary, and invites differing interpretations that could result in litigation over these agreements’ terms and conditions.

Additionally, the bill would significantly restrict communities from using annexation agreements to address a variety of issues that have long been regulated by agreement, such as local land use regulations, contributions of land or money to government bodies who are impacted by potential development, and property tax abatements. The bill contains an express list of topics municipalities are not allowed to address in annexation agreements, including mandatory rezoning and terms regarding “nonspecific, future” development projects.

Senate Bill 3680 – Crime-Free Housing

Senate Bill 3680 seeks to amend the Illinois Municipal Code to prohibit local governments from adopting crime-free housing ordinances. The bill, which contains express language clarifying it would apply to limit home rule authority, prohibits any “program, ordinance, resolution, or other regulation” that:

  • Penalizes landlords or tenants, guests, or others for contact with law enforcement;
  • Requires or encourages landlords to evict tenants or household members for contact with law enforcement, a criminal conviction, or alleged unlawful conduct;
  • Requires or promotes the use of criminal background checks for current or prospective tenants;
  • Defines nuisance behavior to include contact with law enforcement;
  • Requires tenants to secure certificates of occupancy as a condition for leasing rental housing or turning on utilities;
  • Creates or promotes the use of a registry of individual tenants for the purposes of discouraging or prohibiting renting to particular tenants;
  • Penalizes tenants, guests, or other for contacting the police or emergency services; or
  • Requires a crime-free lease addendum that sets forth limitations on any of the above activities.

Many municipalities have regulations concerning crime reduction in housing that would be affected if this bill passes. 

Post Authored by Erin Monforti & Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink


Post a Comment