Summary of SB 1201: Create Effective, Accountable and Coordinated Regional Planning in Northeast Illinois - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Summary of SB 1201: Create Effective, Accountable and Coordinated Regional Planning in Northeast Illinois

Senate Sponsors
Sen. Debbie DeFrancesco Halvorson - Pamela J. Althoff

House Sponsors Rep. Suzanne Bassi - Julie Hamos - Kathleen A. Ryg - Sidney H. Mathias - Carolyn H. Krause, Lou Lang, Patrick J. Verschoore, Annazette Collins, Edward J. Acevedo, Wyvetter H. Younge, Arthur L. Turner, William Davis, Rich Brauer, Mary E. Flowers, Sandra M. Pihos, Mike Fortner, JoAnn D. Osmond, Aaron Schock, Elaine Nekritz, Esther Golar, Charles E. Jefferson, Karen A.Yarbrough, Patricia R. Bellock and Elizabeth Coulson

Passed Both Houses - House (93-20-3); Senate (53-5)


The Regional Planning Act (Public Act 094-0510) adopted in 2005 created the agency now known as the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). It set up an initial transition period for CMAP to merge the staff of two separate agencies – NIPC and CATS – into one streamlined agency that combines regional land use and transportation planning. The 2005 Act did not eliminate either NIPC or CATS – it was assumed that additional legislation would be needed after the initial transition period to accomplish that.

CMAP has now substantially fulfilled the requirements of the 2005 Act and is ready to move beyond the transition. The CMAP Board has organized, hired a new Executive Director and successfully merged the staffs of CATS and NIPC into a single agency. In September 2006, CMAP submitted its required report to the General Assembly describing its vision for integrated planning and recommending additional legislation to complete the transition.

SB 1201 as amended is based on that report. It would provide CMAP much of the legislative authority it needs to become an effective, accountable regional planning agency. It will enable metropolitan Chicago to have the kind of coordinated planning needed to gain the best results from major investments of tax dollars.

The contents of Senate Bill 1201 had been originally introduced as amendment #4 to HB 1134. Sponsors made considerable efforts to seek consensus support for the legislation. Members of the CMAP Board, NIPC and the existing CATS Policy Committee support it, along with many local government and civic organizations.

Summary of the Bill’s Provisions

Renames the Regional Planning Board as the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP).

Repeals the Northeastern Illinois Planning Act (70 ILCS 1705) —Eliminates NIPC and transfers all NIPC responsibilities, property and obligations to CMAP. Other changes in the bill complete the merger of NIPC and CATS staff into CMAP by deleting all references to NIPC and CATS.

CMAP Funding -- Creates the Comprehensive Regional Planning Fund and requires an annual transfer of $5,000,000 from the General Revenue Fund to the special fund. Requires that the Illinois Department of Transportation, subject to appropriation, annually distribute lump sums from the special fund to the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (70%), the State's other metropolitan planning organizations (25%), and the State's rural planning agencies (5%).

Wastewater Facilities Planning Area Changes -- Requires the CMAP Board to create a 5-member wastewater planning committee to review and make recommendations directly to the IEPA regarding changes in wastewater Facility Planning Areas. NIPC has previously handled this process and made recommendations to the IEPA.

Pension Code Amendment — Makes CMAP employees eligible for the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, subject to a minimum period of service and a minimum contribution. It allows CMAP employees who were formerly CATS employees to remain with the State Employees Retirement System if they desire.

Forecasts, data and information sharing (Sec. 44) —Stipulates that CMAP shall create and maintain a timely, ongoing and coordinated data and information sharing program. CMAP official forecasts and plans shall be the foundation for all planning in region.

Comprehensive plan requirements (Sec. 45) — Requires that the Regional Comprehensive Plan include plans for implementation and funding proposed infrastructure improvements. Makes timing of the comprehensive plan consistent with Federal requirements. Authorizes functional plan components for housing, freight and the environment and permits a variety of other functional plans.

Review of developments of regional importance (Sec. 47) —Requires CMAP to define the scope of Developments of Regional Importance and create an efficient process for review and comment by CMAP and affected local governments.

Incentives for creating more sustainable communities (Sec. 48) — Requires CMAP to establish an incentive program and identify funding opportunities to enable local governments and developers to create more affordable workforce housing options near jobs and transit, promote mixed-use and transit oriented development and support neighborhood revitalization.

Cooperation between local and regional plans (Sec. 51) — CMAP must provide copies of its plans to local governments, transportation agencies and State agencies, and they in turn must submit copies of any official plans to CMAP. CMAP may review and comment on proposed county and municipal plans and plan amendments for consistency with the regional comprehensive plan.

Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) process (Sec. 60) — Requires CMAP to develop and adopt a process for making transportation decisions that require final MPO approval under federal law. The adopted process shall ensure that MPO plans, reports, and programs shall be approved by the CMAP Board prior to final approval by the MPO.

Designated planning grant recipient (Sec. 61) — CMAP may apply for and receive federal grants for regional land use and transportation planning. CMAP shall review applications requesting significant federal grants to transportation agencies and local governments based on criteria including conformity with the regional comprehensive plan and relevant functional components.

Annual Report (Sec. 65) — Requires CMAP to annually report on progress toward achieving regional priorities and on the degree to which consistency exists between local and regional plans.


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