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Legislative Alert: Oppose SB 2716 - MUNI CD -ZONING REVIEW

Updated: Feb 16

APA-IL Legislative Alert

Legislative Committee American Planning Association – Illinois Chapter February 24, 2024


Senate Bill 2716 - Fundamentally Alters Local Zoning Decision-Making Authority

sketch of Illinois capitol with the words legislative alert overlaid


If passed, SB 2716, would transform local zoning decisions from legislative actions to administrative decisions that are subject to a higher standard of review in court.


Updates to this bill will be shared here.

  • As of 2/16/24 this bill is still in Assignments.



 

Here is how you can advocate:


Show your OPPOSITION to Illinois House Bill 2716 by contacting your legislators:

Step #1: Visit www.elections.il.gov to find your legislators and their contact information.

Step #2: Contact your legislators and let them know they should OPPOSE SB 2716.


 

Sponsors: Sen. Laura Fine (D. 9th District) Status: On January 10, 2024, Senate Bill 2716 was introduced in the Illinois Senate and referred to the Assignments Committee.

Summary: Amends the Zoning Division of the Illinois Municipal Code.

Senate Bill 2716 seeks to amend the Illinois Municipal Code, 65 ILCS 5/11-13-25, to severely limit the authority municipalities have when making zoning decisions, including decisions concerning special use permits, zoning amendments, and others. The Bill would transform local zoning decisions from legislative actions (as has been the case for many years) to administrative decisions that are subject to a higher standard of review in court. This change would require courts to apply a strict, unworkable standard to municipal zoning decisions and increase the likelihood that municipalities will be forced to spend more time and taxpayer money defending zoning decisions in court.


The Bill also dramatically alters the system of checks and balances between the judiciary and local legislative bodies. The Bill effectively establishes courts as a "super zoning authority" that can reverse, modify, or affirm local zoning decisions, instead of providing municipal zoning decisions with reasonable deference (again, as has been the case for many years). This increases the potential that a court will overstep or misapply local land use priorities and policies.


In addition, the Bill eliminates the ability of municipalities -- including home rule municipalities -- to interpret and apply locally-adopted land use regulations. Courts have long provided deference to municipalities to apply their locally-adopted codes, subject to reasonable due process protections. The Bill eliminates that deference and requires Courts to undertake duties that have long been discharged by communities and their locally-elected leaders.

Why you should OPPOSE this bill:

APA-IL’s Legislative Committee reviewed the bill against the APA-IL's 2024 Legislative Priorities and the consensus was to oppose the bill. The Committee specifically felt the bill would diminish local authority over zoning decisions (i.e., preemption).


If passed, SB 2716 would dramatically disrupt the settled, established procedures Illinois municipalities have relied on for decades to make local land use decisions. These changes would reduce local control, promote uncertainty, and increase legal bills for municipalities across the state.


Recommendation: Contact your state legislators to OPPOSE SB 2716.


 

Questions? Please contact Legislative Co-Chairs Ben LeRoy or Greg Jones at legislative@ilapa.org Find out more about the APA-IL Legislative Committee at ilapa.org/legislative-committee

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