Updated: Nov 4, 2021
APA-IL Legislative Alert
Legislative Committee American Planning Association – Illinois Chapter March 3, 2020
Senate Bill 3329 and House Bill 4704 Would Limit Local Zoning Authority Over Residential Gardens
Last legislative session, the APA-IL took a stance against a bill that would have amended the Zoning Division of the Illinois Municipal Code, 65 ILCS 5/11-13-1 et seq. Supporters of residential gardening rights are back at it, this time with two new bills that would each create a “Right to Garden Act”.
UPDATE as of 3/5/20 @ 12:00 PM CST
Both hearings, for SB3329 and HB4704, were postponed. We will update when we have more information.
Thank you to those of you that filed a witness slip opposing these pieces of legislation.
There are 2 ways you can advocate:
#1: Fill out a Witness Slip
HB 4704 online witness slips can be submitted up to the conclusion of the Cities & Villages Committee hearing (hearing begins TODAY at 3:00 pm 3/3/20).
SB 3329 online witness slips can be submitted up to the conclusion of the Executive Committee hearing (hearing begins at 3:00 pm 3/4/20).
#2: Attend the 2020 Planners Legislative Action Day 3/24
More seats have been added to our 2020 Planners Legislative Action Day. Please be sure to RSVP today to make your voice heard in Springfield!
Sponsors: SB3329 - Sen. Scott M. Bennett (D – 52 nd Dist.), Sen Craig Wilcox (R – 32 nd Dist.), Sen. Kimberly A. Lightford (D – 4 th Dist.), Sen. Emil Jones, III (D – 14 th Dist.), Sen. Robert Peters (D – 13 th Dist.) HB4704 – Rep. Sonya M. Harper (D – 6 th Dist.), Rep. Kelly M. Burke (D – 36 th Dist.), Rep. Maurice A. West, II (D – 67 th Dist.), Rep. Anne Stava-Murray (D – 81 st Dist.), Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R – 66 th Dist.), Rep. Theresa Mah (D – 2 nd Dist.), Rep. Anna Moeller (D – 43 rd Dist.), Rep. Justin Slaughter (D – 27 th Dist.), Rep. Marcus C. Evans, Jr. (D – 33 rd Dist.), Rep. Mary E. Flowers (D – 31 st Dist.), Rep. Rita Mayfield (D – 60 th Dist.), Rep. LaToya Greenwood (D – 114 th Dist.), Rep. Will Guzzardi (D – 39 th Dist.), Rep. Edgar Gonzalez, Jr. (D – 21 st Dist.), Rep. Joe Sosnowski (R – 69 th Dist.), Rep. William Davis (D – 30 th Dist.) Status: HB4704 – Cities and Villages Committee hearing is set for today, March 3, at 3:00 PM, Room D-1 Stratton Office Building SB3329 – Executive Committee hearing is set for tomorrow, March 4, at 3:00 PM, Capitol Building, Room 212 Summary: You will recall last legislative session, APA Illinois took a stance against a bill that would have amended the Zoning Division of the Illinois Municipal Code, 65 ILCS 5/11-13-1 et seq. That would have prohibited any municipality, including home rule municipalities, from regulating season extension or crop protection devices. That bill failed. Supporters of residential gardening rights are back at it, this time with two new bills that would each create a “Right to Garden Act”. Both bill limit municipal zoning powers over gardens on residential properties, including over “season extension and crop protection devices”. As originally introduced, HB4704 was marginally better than SB3329, because it preserved local authority to regulate residential gardens, unless those regulations have the practical effect of prohibiting residential gardens. The original version of HB4704’s also did not extend to season extension or crop protection devices. Now, HB4704, as amended, and SB3329 outright prohibit regulation of residential gardens as well as season extension or crop protection devices, with certain exceptions, including set back and lot coverage regulations. Why you should OPPOSE this bill: Both HB4704, as amended, and SB3329 establish significant prohibitions on the exercise of otherwise broad municipal zoning power regarding gardening activities on residential property. Further, the legislative pronouncement explaining why the General Assembly has determined that residential gardens warrant a special treatment and immunity from land use regulation, unlike other uses, is perfunctory. In fact, the bill appears to be in response to some very specific situations. The home rule preemption is also a very unusual part of the proposed legislation. It is rare for the General Assembly to preempt home rule powers on unique local matters. Based on this, the APA-IL has determined that:
Both bills are an unnecessary limitation on municipal zoning powers over a very specific use of residential property that could have dramatic impacts on the visual appeal of residential neighborhoods.
Each municipality should maintain its authority over gardens and determine the best zoning regulatory approach that is consistent with its land use policies and plans, and enables for the appropriate protections of its residentially zoned neighborhoods.
Recommendation: Contact your state legislators to OPPOSE BOTH HB4704, AS AMENDED, AND SB3329 AS INTRODUCED and file witness slip in opposition prior to today’s 3:00PM House Cities and Villages Committee hearing and tomorrow’s 3:00PM Senate Executive Committee hearing.
Please note: Online witness slips can be submitted up to the conclusion of the committee hearing.
Join us to voice your opposition to SB3329 and HB4704 in person. 2020 Planners Legislative Action Day #PLAD20 March 24, 2020 Springfield, IL Let your voice be heard!! REGISTER FOR THE 2020 PLANNERS LEGISLATIVE ACTION DAY
More seats have been added to #PLAD20! Don't miss out on the once-a-year opportunity to learn about advocacy, observe the legislatures in action, and speak face-to-face with your legislators!