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Legislative Alert: Oppose HB 4638 – Local Parking Regulation Act

Updated: Apr 10

APA-IL Legislative Alert

Legislative Committee American Planning Association – Illinois Chapter April 3, 2024

House Bill 4638 – Transit Bill Creates New Parking Preemption Law Near Transit Stops; Drafted Too Vaguely and Not Ready for Passage

sketch of Illinois capitol with the words legislative alert overlaid

If passed, HB 4638 would limit local zoning decisions governing parking near public transit stops. While APA-IL supports coordinated land use and transportation decision making, the current draft creates too much uncertainty.

Updates to this bill will be shared here.

  • As of 3/5/24 this bill has been assigned to the Executive Committee.


Here is how you can advocate:

Show your OPPOSITION to Illinois House Bill 4368 by contacting your legislators:

Step #1: Visit to find your legislators and their contact information.

Step #2: Contact your legislators and let them know they should OPPOSE HB 4638.


Sponsors: Rep. Kam Buckner (D. 26th District) Status: On January 30, 2024, House Bill 4638 was introduced in the Illinois House, and on March 5, 2024, it was assigned to the Executive Committee.

Summary: Creates new law that would govern parking requirements near transit.

House Bill 4638 would severely limit a municipality’s zoning power to establish and enforce reasonable parking requirements near transit stops. APA-IL opposes the bill in its current form for the following reasons:


The mechanism in the bill that allows a municipality to avoid state preemption on parking regulation is not clear. The bill exempts municipalities when “the unit of local government makes written findings within 30 days after the receipt of a completed site plan application… supported by a preponderance of the evidence in the record…” This language creates three problems.


First, the bill does not identify who in the local government makes written findings. This could be either elected officials or municipal staff.


Second, not all communities require site plan applications. Identifying a statutory trigger common to all municipalities would help communities understand – and ultimately comply with – the law.


Third, the findings are supposed to be based on evidence in the record. “In the record” traditionally means information presented at a public hearing. The amount of time needed to provide statutorily required notice for a public hearing, hold the public hearing, and draft findings almost always takes longer (and oftentimes far longer) than 30 days from the date a site plan application is submitted.


Next, the bill provides an exemption where development projects would have a “substantially negative impact” on existing parking within one-half mile of the development. This language may limit the effectiveness of the bill. For example, a development within a half-mile of a Chicago CTA stop would likely be exempt from this new law because street parking is commonly limited near many stops.


Additionally, the bill defines a “public transportation hub” to include “a bus connection stop of 2 or more major bus routes with a frequency of bus service interval of 15 minutes or less during… peak commute periods.” Bus schedules are hard to predict as there are many factors that impact their service. This bill does not define “peak commute periods,” “major routes,” or “bus connection stop” which limits its effectiveness. The bill also does not account for potential service changes or cutbacks that may occur after a development is constructed.


Finally, the bill’s definition of “housing development project” includes “mixed-use developments consisting of residential and nonresidential uses with at least two-thirds of the square footage designated for residential uses.” The two-thirds square footage requirement seems like an arbitrary figure, and that arbitrariness may create gamesmanship amongst developers.


While APA-IL supports coordinating land use and transportation decisions, including promoting reasonable parking requirements near public transit, as drafted, HB 4638 unfortunately creates more questions than answers.

Why you should OPPOSE this bill:

Guided by APA-IL's 2024 Legislative Priorities, APA-IL’s Legislative Committee asks members to OPPOSE HB 4638. This bill is too vague and would needlessly diminish local control over local parking policy and enforcement (i.e., preemption).

Recommendation: Contact your state legislators to OPPOSE HB 4638.


Questions? Please contact Legislative Co-Chairs Ben LeRoy or Greg Jones at Find out more about the APA-IL Legislative Committee at


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