Updated: Jan 7, 2022
APA-IL Legislative Alert
Legislative Committee American Planning Association – Illinois Chapter March 5, 2021
House Bill 0633 and Senate Bill 0170 Would Limit
Local Zoning Authority Over Residential Vegetable Gardens
In what is becoming an annual event in Springfield, proponents of residential gardening have introduced two companion bills that would prohibit any municipality, including home rule municipalities, from prohibiting “vegetable gardens”. These new bills are identical to each other and have been scaled back from past efforts.
The APA-IL Legislative Committee recommends CONDITIONALLY SUPPORTING HB0633 and SB0170 provided the removal of the home rule preemption and ensuring that local regulations that don't otherwise prohibit vegetable gardens.
See legislation details below (text under how you can advocate)
Here is how you can advocate:
We suggest submitting an electronic written testimony for HB0633 given the conditions of support:
Written testimony must be submitted no later than 24 hours prior to the hearing (begins at 10:00 am 3/8/21)
Written testimoney must be submitted electronically at least 1 hour before the hearing to the Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org
Any written testimony must be submitted as a .pdf file. (download suggested .pdf here)
Only change the file name of the .pdf file to include your name. The .pdf file name must include legislation type, number, position, and your name, example: HB 1 Proponent Jane Doe.pdf
You may also fill out a Witness Slip for HB0633
Online witness slips can be submitted up to the conclusion of the Agriculture and Conservation Committee hearing (begins at 10:00 am 3/8/21)
Enter your information, the names of the groups or firms you represent and your position (support or oppose) on the legislation.
The last question asks what type of testimony you’d like to submit. The most common is “Record of Appearance Only,” which means you would like to register your support or opposition. During the hearing, the chairman or chairwoman will read how many people support and oppose a piece of legislation. If you are interested in presenting oral testimony in person at the committee hearing, click oral. If you are unable to attend the hearing but would like to submit a written statement, click “Written Statement Filed.” It is your responsibility to email the .pdf of your written testimony to the Committee.
Once you have completed the required information, click “Create (Slip)” at the bottom of the page.
For the full details on ILGA's Remote Committee Hearing Process and to learn how to provide remote oral testimony please click here.
SB0170 - Sen. David Koehler (D – 46th Dist.), Sen Karina Villa (D – 25th Dist.), Sen. Laura M. Murphy (D – 25th Dist.), Sen. Robert Peters (D – 13th Dist.) HB0633 – Rep. Sonya M. Harper (D – 6th Dist.), Rep. Kelly M. Burke (D – 36th Dist.), Rep. Maurice A. West, II (D – 67th Dist.), Rep. Anne Stava-Murray (D – 81st Dist.), Rep. Theresa Mah (D – 2nd Dist.), Rep. Marcus C. Evans, Jr. (D – 33rd Dist.), Rep. Will Guzzardi (D – 39th Dist.), Rep. William Davis (D – 30th Dist.), Rep. Deb Conroy (D-46th Dist.)
SB0170 - This bill has been assigned to the Local Government Committee, but has not yet been set for a hearing, we will continue monitoring and apprise you as soon as a date is set.
In what is becoming an annual event in Springfield, proponents of residential gardening have introduced two companion bills that would prohibit any municipality, including home rule municipalities, from prohibiting “vegetable gardens”. Over the past three legislative cycles these bills have failed.
These new bills are identical and are scaled back from the past efforts. Each bill creates the “Vegetable Garden Protection Act”. Both bills preempt local zoning regulations that prohibit “vegetable gardens” that are defined as:
any plot of ground or elevated soil bed on residential property where vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers, pollinator plants, leafy greens, or other edible plants are cultivated
The right to have vegetable gardens includes a person’s own residential property or that person’s use of someone else’s residential property with that owner’s permission. Both bills also have a clause that preserves local authority to establish zoning regulations, as well as other public health and nuisance regulations, that do not otherwise prohibit vegetable gardens. Importantly, neither bill—unlike past efforts—prohibits regulating “season extension and crop protection devices” (e.g. hoop houses and other structures).
Why you should CONDITIONALLY SUPPORT these bills: Both HB0633 and SB0170 preempt local regulations that prohibit “vegetable gardens”, as that term is identically defined in each bill. Ordinarily, APA Illinois opposes bills that limit local authority. However, in speaking with local officials, these bills regulate in a manner consistent with how many municipalities already regulate gardens on residential properties, and do not include the prohibitions to regulate hoop houses and similar season extending gardening structures. Based on this, APA Illinois has determined that:
Both bills are reasonable in their scope and approach as currently written and appropriately preserve local authority to regulate, but not prohibit, residential vegetable gardens as defined in the current versions of the companion bills.
The home rule preemption is excessive and should be removed from both bills.
Contact your state legislators prior to the March 8th 10:00 AM Virtual House Agriculture and Conservation Committee hearing to CONDITIONALLY SUPPORT HB0633 and file witness slip CALLING FOR THE REMOVAL OF HOME RULE PREEMPTION AND ENSURING THAT LOCAL REGULATIONS THAT DON'T OTHERWISE PROHIBIT VEGETABLE GARDENS.
Watch for information additional information and hearing dates for SB0170.