Single-family zoning targeted by Illinois Democrats

Illinois House Democrats have introduced new legislation that would eliminate single-family zoning areas in Illinois’ largest cities.

House Bill 4795, introduced to the General Assembly by Representative Kam Buckner (D -Chicago), would establish the Single-Family Zoning Ban Act. The proposed legislation would require all townships, municipalities, and counties with populations greater than 100,000 residents to make several amendments to their zoning ordinances and zoning maps. Such amendments would require all zoning areas currently zoned for single-family homes to allow the use of “middle housing”, meaning duplexes, triplexes, and other types of multi-family homes.

Many communities in Illinois with populations of more than 25,000 people maintain “Home Rule” status, or the authority to zone their land the way they deem fit. Home Rule allows for these communities to prohibit the use of land for certain types of property, i.e. Fourplexes, to protect neighborhoods made up of single-family homes. The Single-Family Zoning Ban Act would override the autonomy granted to large cities and counties and allow the state to impose its own ordinances if said communities do not comply.

The Single-Family Zoning Ban Act is now the second piece of legislation proposed during the spring session intended to strip local governments of their zoning authority so that the state may have greater control. House Bill 4213, if enacted, would prohibit local governments from restricting the building or usage of “accessory dwelling units” or granny flats in any zoning area. While some House Democrats claim that single-family zoning brings about a lack of affordable housing, many Illinoisans fear that doing away with these ordinances will do more harm than good to their neighborhoods.

Illinois is following the lead of far-left states such as California, Oregon, and Washington in its efforts to eliminate critical zoning ordinances. These states have all passed legislation that places outright bans on single-family zoning areas; eliminating protections put in place to keep neighborhoods intact.

If passed, zoning units in Illinois with populations between 100,000 and 500,000 residents would be required to make amendments to their zoning code and maps by June 1, 2025. Those with populations greater than 500,000 would have until June 1, 2026.

The bill was re-referred to the House Rules Committee on April 5.

Bills Out of Committee This Week Strongly Favor Democrats