(315 ILCS 25/1) (from Ch. 67 1/2, par. 91.8)
Sec. 1. Name of act. This Act shall be known as the Urban Community Conservation Act.
(Source: Laws 1953, p. 1240.)
(315 ILCS 25/2) (from Ch. 67 1/2, par. 91.9)
Sec. 2. Legislative finding and declaration.
It is hereby found and declared that there exist in many urban communities within this State conservation areas, as defined herein; that these conservation areas are rapidly deteriorating and declining in desirability as residential communities and may soon become slum and blighted areas if their decline is not checked; that the stable economic and physical development of these areas is endangered by the presence of blighting factors as manifested by progressive and advanced deterioration of structures, by the over-use of housing and other facilities, by a lack of physical maintenance of existing structures, by obsolete and inadequate community facilities and a lack of sound community planning; that as a result and concomitant of the decline of conservation areas, there is a growth of delinquency, crime, and of housing and zoning law violations in such areas, together with an abnormal exodus of families; that the decline of these areas threatens to impair the tax base of such communities and produce the conditions characteristic of slum and blighted areas which threaten the health, safety, morals, and welfare of the public; that in order to promote and protect the health, safety, morals and welfare of the public it is necessary to provide for the protection of such conservation areas and prevent their deterioration into slum and blighted areas. The granting to the municipalities of this State of the powers herein provided is directed to that end, and the use of such rights and powers for the prevention of slums is hereby declared to be a public use essential to the public interest.
(Source: Laws 1953, p. 1240.)
(315 ILCS 25/3) (from Ch. 67 1/2, par. 91.10)
Sec. 3. Definitions.
The following terms, wherever used or referred to in this Act shall have the following respective meanings, unless in any case a different meaning clearly appears from the context.
(a) "Municipality" shall mean a city, village or incorporated town.
(b) "Governing body" shall mean the council or the President and board of Trustees of any city, village or incorporated town, as the case may be.
(c) "Presiding officer" shall mean the Mayor or President of a city, village or incorporated town.
(d) "Conservation Area" in municipalities with a population of over 500,000 shall mean an area of not less than 40 acres, and in other municipalities shall mean an area of not less than 2 acres in which the structures in 50% or more of the area are residential having an average age of 35 years or more. Such an area by reason of dilapidation, obsolescence, deterioration or illegal use of individual structures, overcrowding of structures and community facilities, conversion of residential units into non-residential use, deleterious land use or layout, decline of physical maintenance, lack of community planning, or any combination of these factors may become a slum and blighted area.
(e) "Conservation Plan" shall mean the comprehensive program for the physical development and replanning of a "Conservation Area" embodying the steps required to prevent such "Conservation Area" from becoming a slum and blighted area.
(f) "Real Property" shall include lands, lands underwater, structures and any and all easements, franchises and incorporeal hereditaments and estates, and rights, legal and equitable, including terms for years and liens by way of judgment, mortgage or otherwise.
(g) "Fair Use Value" shall mean the fair cash market value of real property when employed for the use contemplated by the community conservation plan.
(h) "Community facilities" shall mean those physical plants which implement, support and facilitate the activities, services and interests of education, recreation, shopping, health, welfare, religion and general culture.
(Source: P.A. 102-510, eff. 8-20-21.)
(315 ILCS 25/4) (from Ch. 67 1/2, par. 91.11)
Sec. 4. Excepting any municipality for and in which there exists a Department of Urban Renewal created pursuant to the provisions of the "Urban Renewal Consolidation Act of 1961", enacted by the Seventy-Second General Assembly, any municipality, after 30 days' notice, published in a newspaper of general circulation within the municipality, and public hearing, shall have the power to provide for the creation of a Conservation Board, to operate within the boundaries of such municipality, pursuant to the provisions of this Act. The presiding officer of any municipality in which a Conservation Board is established shall appoint, with the approval of the governing body and of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, five residents of the municipality to act as a Conservation Board, hereinafter referred to as "the Board." Members of the Board shall be citizens of broad civic interest, administrative experience and ability in the fields of finance, real estate, building, or related endeavors, not more than three of whom shall belong to the same political party. One such member shall be designated by the presiding officer as Commissioner and shall serve at the pleasure of the presiding officer. He shall administer the functions assigned by the Board, preside over its meetings, and carry out whatever other functions may be assigned to him by the governing body. The Commissioner shall devote his full-time attention to the duties of his office and shall receive no public funds by way of salary, compensation, or remuneration for services rendered, from any other governmental agency or public body during his tenure in office, other than the salary provided by the governing body, except as herein otherwise specifically provided.
Four other members of the Board shall be appointed, to serve one, two, three and four year terms. After the expiration of the initial term of office each subsequent term shall be of four years' duration. A member shall hold office until his successor shall have been appointed and qualified. Members of the Board shall be eligible to succeed themselves. Members of the Board other than the Commissioner shall serve without pay, except as herein otherwise specifically provided and no member of the Board shall acquire any interest, direct or indirect, in any conservation project, or in any property included or planned to be included in any conservation project, nor shall any member have any interest in any contract or proposed contract in connection with any such project. Members may be dismissed by the Presiding Office of the Municipality for good cause shown. Such dismissal may be set aside by a two-thirds vote of the governing body. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein contained, the Commissioner, may, during all or any part of his term also serve as Chairman or member of a Redevelopment Commission created pursuant to "The Neighborhood Redevelopment Corporation Law" approved July 9, 1941, as amended, and shall be entitled to receive and retain any salary payable to him as Chairman or member of any such Redevelopment Commission. Three members of the Conservation Board shall constitute a quorum to transact business and no vacancy shall impair the right of the remaining members to exercise all the powers of the Board; and every act, order, rule, regulation or resolution of the Conservation Board approved by a majority of the members thereof at a regular or special meeting shall be deemed to be the act, order, rule, regulation or resolution of the Conservation Board.
The Conservation Board shall designate Conservation Areas and
(a) Approve all conservation plans developed for Conservation Areas in the manner prescribed herein;
(b) Approve each use of eminent domain for the acquisition of real property for the purposes of this Act, provided that every property owner affected by condemnation proceedings shall have the opportunity to be heard by the Board before such proceedings may be approved;
(c) Act as the agent of the Municipality in the acquisition, management, and disposition of property acquired pursuant to this Act as hereinafter provided;
(d) Act as agent of the governing body, at the discretion of the governing body, in the enforcement and the administration of any ordinances relating to the conservation of urban residential areas and the prevention of slums enacted by the governing body pursuant to the laws of this State;
(e) Report annually to the presiding officer of the municipality;
(f) Shall, as agent for the Municipality upon approval by the governing body, have power to apply for and accept capital grants and loans from, and contract with, the United States of America, the Housing and Home Finance Agency, or any other Agency or instrumentality of the United States of America, for or in aid of any of the purposes of this Act, and to secure such loans by the issuance of debentures, notes, special certificates, or other evidences of indebtedness, to the United States of America; and
(g) Exercise any and all other powers as shall be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 94-793, eff. 5-19-06.)
(315 ILCS 25/5) (from Ch. 67 1/2, par. 91.12)
Sec. 5. Designation of conservation areas-Preparation of plan-Opinion by plan commission-Approval by governing body.
Whenever the Board determines that an area within the municipality may be eligible for designation as a Conservation Area within the meaning of this Act, it shall make such investigation and hold such hearings as may be required, including at least one public hearing held within the area. Any hearing may be conducted by the Board or by a committee appointed by it, consisting of one or more members of the Board. The Board may after such hearing designate such areas as Conservation Areas for the purposes of this Act. Such designation together with an accurate description of the area included in such designation shall be made by resolution of the majority of the Board and be part of the records of the Board.
Following such designation the Board shall draw up or have submitted for its approval a conservation plan for the Area, which plan may include but is not limited to (1) land uses, residential and non-residential; (2) improvement, alteration, or vacation of major and minor streets and alleys, provision for restricted service access, and off-street parking; (3) locations and easements for public utilities; (4) community facilities; (5) landscaping and site engineering; (6) building restrictions; (7) recommended construction including new buildings, rehabilitation and conversions, demolition of designated structures, and elimination of non-conforming uses; (8) population density, ground coverage, and number of dwelling units recommended; (9) recommended standards of maintenance, and requirements of applicable health and safety ordinances; (10) zoning and/or rezoning required; (11) costs and financing arrangements of public portions of the plan; (12) recommended time table of various stages of the program; (13) any and all other steps needed to carry out the plan. Such plan shall conform to the comprehensive plan, if any, of the municipality. In any municipality which has provided for the creation of a Conservation Board, to operate within the boundaries of such municipality, pursuant to the provisions of this Act, the Board shall nominate and the presiding officer shall appoint no less than nine nor more than fifteen residents of each Conservation Area designated by the Board to serve as a "Conservation Community Council" for their respective areas. One member of each such council shall be designated as Chairman by the presiding officer. Members of such councils shall be appointed to serve three year terms except that one-third of the initial membership of each council shall serve terms of one year and one-third of the initial membership shall serve terms of two years. Members shall serve without pay and shall be eligible to succeed themselves. A member shall hold office until his successor shall have been appointed and qualified. No member of a council may hold public or political party office during his period of membership. A majority of each council created must be the legal or equitable owners of real property located within their respective Conservation Areas. A majority of the members of each council shall constitute a quorum to transact business and no vacancy shall impair the right of the remaining members to exercise all the powers of each council, and every action of a conservation community council approved by a majority of the members present shall be deemed to be the action of the conservation community council; provided that not less than five members shall constitute a quorum.
The councils shall:
(a) Consult with, assist and advise the Board in the preparation of the Conservation Plan for their respective areas;
(b) Assist the Board in the administration of the Conservation Plan within their respective areas;
(c) Approve by majority vote as hereinbefore provided the Conservation Plan for their respective areas before it is submitted to the governing body, as hereinafter provided;
(d) Take vigorous appropriate steps to reconstitute community pride and encourage self-help through planned individual and block rehabilitation efforts within their respective areas.
The municipality may hire personnel necessary for the functions of the Board. The Board shall cooperate and consult with public and private agencies and individuals interested in the area, in preparing the plan. Upon its completion the plan shall be submitted to the governing body, together with a request for such implementing legislation as may be required and within the authority of the governing body and the opinion of the Plan Commission of the municipality, if any, on the merits of the plan.
The governing body of the municipality shall by resolution adopt or reject such plan. Following favorable action by the governing body, the Board shall certify such plan as adopted and may thereafter exercise in such areas the powers granted under this Act; provided that nothing in this section shall restrict the Board from the exercise within the municipality of any other powers which have been delegated to it by the governing body, notwithstanding the failure to certify any conservation plan as adopted.
(Source: Laws 1955, p. 1990.)
(315 ILCS 25/6) (from Ch. 67 1/2, par. 91.13)
Sec. 6. Real property necessary or appropriate for the conservation of urban residential areas-Acquisition, use and disposition.) The Conservation Board of a municipality shall have the power to acquire by purchase, condemnation or otherwise any improved or unimproved real property the acquisition of which is necessary or appropriate for the implementation of a conservation plan for a Conservation Area as defined herein; to remove or demolish substandard or other buildings and structures from the property so acquired; to hold, improve, mortgage and manage such properties; and to sell, lease, or exchange such properties, provided that contracts for repair, improvement or rehabilitation of existing improvements as may be required by the Conservation Plan to be done by the Board involving in excess of $1,000.00 shall be let by free and competitive bidding to the lowest responsible bidder upon such bond and subject to such regulations as may be set by the Board, and provided further that all new construction for occupancy and use other than by any municipal corporation or subdivision thereof shall be on land privately owned. The acquisition, use, or disposition of any real property in pursuance of this section must conform to a conservation plan developed in the manner hereinafter set forth. In case of the sale or lease of any real property acquired under the provisions of this Act such buyer or lessee must as a condition of sale or lease, agree to improve and use such property according to the conservation plan, and such agreement may be made a covenant running with the land and on order of the governing body such agreement shall be made a covenant running with the land. No lease or deed of conveyance either by the Board or any subsequent owner shall contain a covenant running with the land or other provision prohibiting occupancy of the premises by any person because of race, creed, color, religion, physical or mental disability, sex or national origin. The Conservation Board shall by public notice by publication once each week for 2 consecutive weeks in a newspaper having general circulation in the municipality prior to the execution of any contract to sell, lease or otherwise transfer real property and prior to the delivery of any instrument of conveyance with respect thereto, invite proposals from and make available all pertinent information to redevelopers or any person interested in undertaking to redevelop or rehabilitate a Conservation Area, or any part thereof, provided that, in municipalities in which no newspaper is published, publication may be made by posting a notice in 3 prominent places within the municipality. Such notice shall contain a description of the Conservation Area, the details of the conservation plan relating to the property which the purchaser shall undertake in writing to carry out and such undertakings as the Board may deem necessary to obligate the purchaser, his or her successors and assigns (1) to use the property for the purposes designated in the Conservation Plan, (2) to commence and complete the improvement, repair, rehabilitation or construction of the improvements within the periods of time which the Board fixes as reasonable and (3) to comply with such other conditions as are necessary to carry out the purposes of the Act. The Conservation Board may negotiate with any persons for proposals for the purchase, lease or other transfer of any real property acquired pursuant to this Act and shall consider all redevelopment and rehabilitation proposals submitted to it and the financial and legal ability of the persons making such proposals to carry them out. The Conservation Board, as agent for the Municipality, at a public meeting, notice of which shall have been published in a newspaper of general circulation within the municipality at least 15 but not more than 30 days prior to such meeting, may accept such proposals as it deems to be in the public interest and in furtherance of the purposes of this Act; provided that, all sales or leases of real property shall be made at not less than fair use value. No sale of real property acquired pursuant to this section shall be made without the approval of a majority of the governing body. The disposition of real property acquired pursuant to this section shall be exempt from the requirements of Sections 11-76-1 and 11-76-2 of the Illinois Municipal Code, as heretofore and hereafter amended. All deeds of conveyance of real property acquired pursuant to this section shall be executed as provided in Section 11-76-3 of the Illinois Municipal Code, as heretofore and hereafter amended. No property shall be held for more than 5 years, after which period such property shall be sold to the highest bidder at public sale. The Board may employ competent private real estate management firms to manage such properties as may be acquired, or the Board may manage such properties.
(Source: P.A. 99-143, eff. 7-27-15.)
(315 ILCS 25/6.5)
Sec. 6.5. Eminent domain. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, any power granted under this Act to acquire property by condemnation or eminent domain is subject to, and shall be exercised in accordance with, the Eminent Domain Act.
(Source: P.A. 94-1055, eff. 1-1-07.)
(315 ILCS 25/6a) (from Ch. 67 1/2, par. 91.13a)
Sec. 6a. Federal loans and grants.
The Municipality may borrow money or other property and accept contributions, capital grants, gifts, donations, services or other financial assistance from the United States of America, the Housing and Home Finance Agency, or any other agency or instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of the United States of America, the State, County, Municipality or other public body, or from any sources, public or private, for or in aid of any of the purposes of this Act, and to these ends, may comply with such conditions and enter into such agreements (including loan contracts and contracts for financial aid) upon such covenants, terms and conditions as the Municipality may deem necessary, convenient or desirable. The Municipality is hereby authorized to issue debentures, notes, special certificates or other evidences of indebtedness to the United States of America, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, the State, County, Municipality or other public body, or from any sources, public or private, in order to secure loans for or in aid of any of the purposes of this Act: Provided however, that any such debentures, notes, special certificates, or other evidences of indebtedness, issued to the United States of America, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, the State, County, Municipality or other public body, or from any sources, public or private, shall be payable solely out of proceeds from the sale of real property pursuant to Section 6 hereof, out of any revenue from the operation and management, or demolition, of existing housing or other buildings or improvements located on any real property acquired by the Municipality pursuant to this Act, out of such capital grants as the Municipality may receive from the United States of America, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, or out of any local grants-in-aid as defined in Section 110 of the Act of Congress approved July 15, 1949, being Public Law 171--81st Congress, known as the "Housing Act of 1949" as amended which the Municipality or any other municipal corporation, commission, district, authority or other subdivision or public body of the State or any other entity may make in connection with the implementation of a conservation plan for a conservation area as defined herein.
Neither the members of the governing body or the Conservation Board nor any person executing such evidences of indebtedness shall be liable personally thereon by reason of the issuance thereof. Such evidences of indebtedness (and the same shall so state on their face) shall not be payable out of any funds or properties of a Municipality or a Conservation Board other than those enumerated in the first paragraph of this Section. Such obligations shall not constitute an indebtedness within the meaning of any constitutional or statutory debt limitation or restriction.
(Source: Laws 1959, p. 2200.)
(315 ILCS 25/6b) (from Ch. 67 1/2, par. 91.13b)
Sec. 6b. For the purpose of aiding in the planning, undertaking or carrying out of a conservation plan for a conservation area, the governing body of the municipality, after public hearing, may direct the Conservation Board to enter into co-operation and conveyance agreements with any hospital or educational institution of higher learning, both public and private, or any private corporation acting on behalf of such institutions, respecting the redevelopment or renewal or conservation of conservation areas embracing, adjacent to, or in the immediate vicinity of such hospital, educational institution or a major branch thereof and may, in addition to its other powers and upon such terms, with or without consideration, as it may determine, perform such co-operation and conveyance agreements and do and perform any or all of the actions or things necessary or desirable to assure that the municipality obtains credit as a local grant-in-aid for the aggregate amount of expenditures made by any such hospital, educational institution, or private corporation acting on behalf of such institutions, which would be eligible as such under Title I of the Federal Housing Act of 1949, as amended.
(Source: Laws 1961, p. 3617.)
(315 ILCS 25/6c) (from Ch. 67 1/2, par. 91.13c)
Sec. 6c. Purchases made pursuant to this Act shall be made in compliance with the "Local Government Prompt Payment Act", approved by the Eighty-fourth General Assembly.
(Source: P.A. 84-731.)
(315 ILCS 25/7) (from Ch. 67 1/2, par. 91.14)
Sec. 7. Making of repairs to bring properties up to minimum standards - Placing of lien on improved property. If any owner or agent of improved private property within a Conservation Area as designated under this Act, shall after notice to owner or agent and to mortgagee to comply and opportunity to be heard, fail to make such property conform to minimum standards as set forth in the governing ordinances of the municipality, the corporate authorities of a municipality upon the request of the Conservation Board, shall apply to the Circuit Court of the county in which the property is located for an order of court permitting the corporate authorities to make such improved property conform to such minimum standards and to charge and collect from the owners of and persons interested in such property the reasonable cost and expense of making such repairs or improvements as are necessary to bring the property up to the minimum standards of such ordinances. This cost and expense is a lien upon the real estate affected, subordinate to all prior existing liens and encumbrances, provided that within 60 days after the cost and expense is incurred the municipality or person performing the service by authority of the municipality, in his or its own name, shall file notice of lien in the office of the recorder in the county in which said real estate is located or in the office of the Registrar of Titles of such county if the real estate affected is registered under "An Act concerning land titles", approved May 1, 1897, as amended. The notice shall consist of a sworn statement setting out (1) a description of the real estate sufficient for identification thereof; (2) the amount of money representing the cost and expense incurred or payable for the services; (3) the date or dates when said cost and expense was incurred by the municipality. However, the lien of such municipality shall not be valid as to any purchaser, mortgagee, judgment creditor, or other lienor whose rights in and to said real estate have arisen subsequent to such repair or improvements and prior to the filing of the notice of such lien, in the office of the recorder, or in the offices of the Registrar of Titles, as aforesaid. Upon payment of said cost and expense by the owner of or a person interested in said property, after notice of lien has been filed, the lien shall be released by the municipality or person in whose name the lien has been filed and said release may be filed of record as in the case of filing notice of lien. The lien may be enforced by proceedings to foreclose as in case of mortgages or mechanics liens. Suit to foreclose this lien shall be commenced within three years after the date of filing notice of lien.
(Source: P.A. 83-358.)
(315 ILCS 25/7a) (from Ch. 67 1/2, par. 91.14a)
Sec. 7a. Cooperation with conservation boards.
(a) For the purpose of aiding a Conservation Board in the planning, undertaking or carrying out of a Conservation Plan in a Conservation Area any state public body (city, village, incorporated town, county, municipal corporation, commission, district, authority, or other subdivision or public body of the State) may, upon such terms, with or without consideration, as it may determine: (1) dedicate, sell, convey or lease any of its interest in any property or grant easements, licenses or other rights or privileges therein to a Conservation Board as agent for a municipality; (2) incur the entire expense of any public improvements made by such public body in exercising the powers granted in this section; (3) do any and all things necessary to aid or cooperate in the planning or carrying out of a Conservation Plan; (4) lend, grant or contribute funds to a Conservation Board as agent for a municipality; (5) enter into agreements (which may extend over any period, notwithstanding any provision or rule of law to the contrary) with a municipality or other public body respecting action to be taken pursuant to any of the powers granted by this Act, including the furnishing of funds or other assistance in connection with a Conservation Plan, and (6) cause public buildings and public facilities, including parks, playgrounds, recreational, community, or educational facilities, or any other works which it is otherwise empowered to undertake to be furnished; and cause administrative and other services to be furnished to a Conservation Board as agent for the municipality.
(b) Any sale, conveyance, lease or agreement provided for in this section may be made by a public body without appraisal, public notice, advertisement or public bidding.
(c) For the purpose of aiding in the planning, undertaking or carrying out of a Conservation Plan of a Conservation Board hereunder, a municipality may (in addition to its other powers and upon such terms with or without consideration, as it may determine) do and perform any or all of the actions or things which, by the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a public body is authorized to do or perform, including the furnishing of financial and other assistance.
(Source: Laws 1955, p. 1990.)
(315 ILCS 25/8) (from Ch. 67 1/2, par. 91.15)
Sec. 8. Inconsistent provisions. Insofar as the provisions of this Act are inconsistent with the provisions of any other law, the provisions of this Act shall be controlling.
(Source: P.A. 91-357, eff. 7-29-99.)
(315 ILCS 25/9) (from Ch. 67 1/2, par. 91.16)
Sec. 9. Partial unconstitutionality.
If any section, subdivision, sentence or clause of this Act is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this Act.
(Source: Laws 1953, p. 1240.)