Illinois Land Use Planning (1-IL-a)
Land Use Planning Process
1-IL-a.1 – Is there a Comprehensive Land Use Plan in Place?
The developer should check the local government website, or contact the municipal or county clerk, or planning board to determine if there is a comprehensive plan.
The Illinois Local Land Use Management Planning Act (50 I.L.C.S. §§ 805 et seq.) encourages, but does not require municipalities and counties to adopt comprehensive plans. 50 I.L.C.S. § 805/2. A comprehensive plan must include a “map of existing and generalized proposed land use and policy statement regarding…energy distribution systems...” 50 I.L.C.S. § 805/3(B). Municipal and county comprehensive plans will provide a context for determining if the proposed development activity is compatible with the community’s overall plans for development.
If there is not a comprehensive land use plan in place the developer should still review the applicable municipal and county zoning regulations to ensure the proposed project will comply with the zoning regulations.
1-IL-a.2 - Review Municipal and County Land Use Plans
If there is a comprehensive plan, the developer should research the plan and any accompanying maps, studies, or other relevant information in order to determine the goals and planning strategies that apply to the proposed project site.
1-IL-a.3 – Review Municipal and County Zoning Regulations
Municipalities and counties that have adopted LLRMP’s (i.e., comprehensive plans) “…must implement ordinances and zoning …as authorized by law and by the Illinois Local Land Use Management Planning Act (50 I.L.C.S. §§ 805 et seq.)” 50 I.L.C.S. § 805/5(1).
A developer should review the applicable municipal and county zoning regulations to ensure the proposed project will comply with the zoning regulations.
1-IL-a.4 to 1-IL-a.5 – Does the Project Require a Variation to a Zoning Ordinance?
If a proposed project does not comply with zoning regulations, a developer may submit a petition for a variation to the zoning ordinance to the applicable municipality or county board or board of appeals. 55 I.L.C.S § 5/5-12009; 65 I.L.C.S §§ 11-13-3.1-11-13-4. The petition for variance to a zoning ordinance petition requirements and procedural process varies pending on the jurisdiction. However, the municipal or county zoning board or board of appeal may only grant a variation to a zoning ordinance when the variation is “…in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the regulations and only in cases where there are practical difficulties or particular hardship in the way of carrying out the strict letter of any of those regulations relating to the use, construction, or alternation of buildings or structures or the use of the land.” 65 I.L.C.S §§ 11-13-3.1-11-13-4; 55 I.L.C.S § 5/5-12009.
1-IL-a.6 to 1-IL-a.8 – Does the Project Require a Proposal to Amend or Adopt a Comprehensive Plan?
A developer may propose to amend or adopt a municipal or county comprehensive plan. Illinois – 65 I.L.C.S §§5-11-1 et seq., Municipalities; Illinois – 55 I.L.C.S. et seq., Counties. Adoption and amendments to county and municipal comprehensive plans vary pending on jurisdiction. However, the procedural process for amendments and adoptions of municipal plans must follow the general requirements in 65 I.L.C.S § 5/11-12-6 outlined below.
A developer may propose to amend or adopt a municipal comprehensive plan by submitting a petition to the appropriate municipal planning commission or board. 65 I.L.C.S § 5/11-12-6; 65 I.L.C.S § 5/11-12-7. The planning commission or board must then submit the proposal to the appropriate government authority for final approval. 65 I.L.C.S § 5/11-12-7.
1-IL-a.9 to 1-IL-a.10 – Publish Notice of Public Hearing (If Applicable)
A municipality may not adopt a municipal comprehensive plan or amendment to the comprehensive plan without notice and public hearing. The appropriate municipal authority must publish notice of the public hearing within fifteen (15) days of the hearing date. The notice should include the time and date of the hearing, published in a newspaper of general circulation. The hearing is informal but any interested person may submit their comments orally, in writing, or both. 65 I.L.C.S § 5/11-12-7.
1-IL-a.11 to 1-IL-a.12 – Does the Applicable Municipal Authority Approve the Proposal?
After considering the proposed amendment or comprehensive plan and public comments, the appropriate municipal body must make a determination within ninety (90) days after the conclusion of the hearing. The municipal body may adopt or reject the amendment or plan in whole or part. If adopted, the municipal body must enact the ordinance. 65 I.L.C.S § 5/11-12-7. If the municipal body adopts the amendment or comprehensive plan, the municipal body must provide notice of the adoption with the municipal clerk. 65 I.L.C.S § 5/11-12-6.
1-IL-a.13 – Appeal (If Applicable)
Appeals regarding municipal and county comprehensive plan decisions must follow the rules set by the applicable jurisdiction in compliance with the Administrative Procedures Act.
In addition, an interested party must file an appeal regarding a final zoning decision from the county board within in one year. 55 I.L.C.S § 5/5-12009.4. An interested party may appeal a board of appeals decision for municipal zoning issues within forty-five (45) days of the zoning decision. 65 I.L.C.S §§ 5/11-13-12-11-13-13.
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