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Updated: Feb 16

APA-IL Legislative Alert

Legislative Committee American Planning Association – Illinois Chapter February 12, 2024

Senate Bill 2881 - Fundamentally Alters How Municipalities Annex and Regulate Unincorporated Property

sketch of Illinois capitol with the words legislative alert overlaid

In addition to imposing a less favorable legal standard of review for local zoning decisions, SB 2881 proposes changes to the annexation agreement statute, drastically reducing what properties can be subject to an annexation agreement and removing and prohibiting topics that are common found in annexation agreements across the state.

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 2881 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 SB 2881.


Sponsors: Sen. Laura Fine (D. 9th District) Status: On January 24, 2024, Senate Bill 2881 was introduced in the Illinois Senate and referred to the Assignments Committee.

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

APA-IL opposes a bill previously introduced by Senator Fine, SB 2716, which limits the authority of municipalities to make zoning decisions. SB 2881 features the same problematic language as SB 2716, but then goes even further by fundamentally altering how municipalities annex and regulate unincorporated property.


First, SB 2881 would require any land subject to an annexation agreement to be contiguous (i.e., touching) to a municipal boundary. Requiring a property to be contiguous to a municipality contradicts Illinois’ longstanding preference for municipalities – and not counties – to assert regulatory control over properties located within a community’s 1.5 mile extra-territorial jurisdiction.  This bill also conflicts with the preference many Illinois counties (including Cook Co.) to transition unincorporated property from county control to municipal jurisdiction by only allowing municipalities to enter into agreements with properties that “touch” the municipal boundary.


The bill creates enormous uncertainty regarding the status and validity of pre-annexation agreements municipalities previously entered into with the owners of property that do not touch the municipal boundary.  This uncertainty invites disparate interpretations and can result in costly litigation for Illinois’ taxpayers.


Next, SB 2881 substantially limit communities from using annexation agreements to address a variety of subjects that have long been regulated by such agreements, including certain local land use ordinances, contributions of land or money to a municipality (or any body with local jurisdiction over the land in question), and property tax abatements.


Finally, SB 2881 goes even further by creating a list of new  topics municipalities are prohibited from addressing in annexation agreements.  This approach, which effectively creates a new protected class of subjects that municipalities may not regulate upon annexation, would have an immediate and far-reaching impact on economic development efforts across the state.


The wisdom of and need for these statutory changes is far from clear. Instead, this bill appears to be a solution in search of a problem.

Why you should OPPOSE this bill:

Guided by APA-IL's 2024 Legislative Priorities, APA-IL’s Legislative Committee asks members to OPPOSE SB 2881. It would diminish local control over zoning decisions (i.e., preemption), and alter annexation agreements in a way that restricts flexibility for counties and municipalities to reasonably and responsibly plan for and encourage future growth.

Recommendation: Contact your state legislators to OPPOSE SB 2881.


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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