Public Act 93-0247 HB2477 Enrolled LRB093 09496 BDD 09731 b AN ACT concerning forest preserves. Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly: Section 5. The Downstate Forest Preserve District Act is amended by changing Section 6 as follows: (70 ILCS 805/6) (from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 6309) Sec. 6. Acquisition of property. Any such District shall have power to acquire lands and grounds for the aforesaid purposes by lease, or in fee simple by gift, grant, legacy, purchase or condemnation, or to acquire easements in land, and to construct, lay out, improve and maintain wells, power plants, comfort stations, shelter houses, paths, driveways, public roads, roadways and other improvements and facilities in and through such forest preserves as they shall deem necessary or desirable for the use of such forest preserves by the public and may acquire, develop, improve and maintain waterways in conjunction with the district. No district with a population less than 600,000 shall have the power to purchase, condemn, lease or acquire an easement in property within a municipality without the concurrence of the governing body of the municipality, except where such district is acquiring land for a linear park or trail not to exceed 100 yards in width or is acquiring land contiguous to an existing park or forest preserve, and no municipality shall annex any land for the purpose of defeating a District acquisition once the District has given notice of intent to acquire a specified parcel of land. No district with a population of less than 500,000 shall (i) have the power to condemn property for a linear park or trail within a municipality without the concurrence of the governing body of the municipality or (ii) have the power to condemn property for a linear park or trail in an unincorporated area without the concurrence of the governing body of the township within which the property is located or (iii) once having commenced a proceeding to acquire land by condemnation, dismiss or abandon that proceeding without the consent of the property owners. No district shall establish a trail surface within 50 feet of an occupied dwelling which was in existence prior to the approval of the acquisition by the district without obtaining permission of the owners of the premises or the concurrence of the governing body of the municipality or township within which the property is located. All acquisitions of land by a district with a population less than 600,000 within 1 1/2 miles of a municipality shall be preceded by a conference with the mayor or president of the municipality or his designated agent. If a forest preserve district is in negotiations for acquisition of land with owners of land adjacent to a municipality, the annexation of that land shall be deferred for 6 months. The district shall have no power to acquire an interest in real estate situated outside the district by the exercise of the right of eminent domain, by purchase or by lease, but shall have the power to acquire any such property, or an easement in any such property, which is contiguous to the district by gift, legacy, grant, or lease by the State of Illinois, subject to approval of the county board of the county, and of any forest preserve district or conservation district, within which the property is located. The district shall have the same control of and power over land, an interest in which it has so acquired, as over forest preserves within the district. If any of the powers to acquire lands and hold or improve the same given to Forest Preserve Districts, by Sections 5 and 6 of this Act should be held invalid, such invalidity shall not invalidate the remainder of this Act or any of the other powers herein given and conferred upon the Forest Preserve Districts. Such Forest Preserve Districts shall also have power to lease not to exceed 40 acres of the lands and grounds acquired by it, for a term of not more than 99 years to veterans' organizations as grounds for convalescing sick and disabled veterans, and as a place upon which to construct rehabilitation quarters, or to a county as grounds for a county nursing home or convalescent home. Any such Forest Preserve District shall also have power to grant licenses, easements and rights-of-way for the construction, operation and maintenance upon, under or across any property of such District of facilities for water, sewage, telephone, telegraph, electric, gas or other public service, subject to such terms and conditions as may be determined by such District. Any such District may purchase, but not condemn, a parcel of land and sell a portion thereof for not less than fair market value pursuant to resolution of the Board. Such resolution shall be passed by the affirmative vote of at least 2/3 of all members of the board within 30 days after acquisition by the district of such parcel. Whenever the board of any forest preserve district determines that the public interest will be subserved by vacating any street, roadway, or driveway, or part thereof, located within a forest preserve, it may vacate that street, roadway, or driveway, or part thereof, by an ordinance passed by the affirmative vote of at least 3/4 of all the members of the board, except that the affirmative vote of at least 6/7 of all the members of the board is required if the board members are elected under Section 3c of this Act. This vote shall be taken by ayes and nays and entered in the records of the board. The determination of the board that the nature and extent of the public use or public interest to be subserved is such as to warrant the vacation of any street, roadway, or driveway, or part thereof, is conclusive, and the passage of such an ordinance is sufficient evidence of that determination, whether so recited in the ordinance or not. The relief to the public from further burden and responsibility of maintaining any street, roadway or driveway, or part thereof, constitutes a public use or public interest authorizing the vacation. Nothing contained in this Section shall be construed to authorize the board of any forest preserve district to vacate any street, roadway, or driveway, or part thereof, that is part of any State or county highway. When property is damaged by the vacation or closing of any street, roadway, or driveway, or part thereof, damage shall be ascertained and paid as provided by law. Except in cases where the deed, or other instrument dedicating a street, roadway, or driveway, or part thereof, has expressly provided for a specific devolution of the title thereto upon the abandonment or vacation thereof, and except where such street, roadway or driveway, or part thereof, is held by the district by lease, or where the district holds an easement in the land included within the street, roadway or driveway, whenever any street, roadway, or driveway, or part thereof is vacated under or by virtue of any ordinance of any forest preserve district, the title to the land in fee simple included within the street, roadway, or driveway, or part thereof, so vacated vests in the forest preserve district. The board of any forest preserve district is authorized to sell at fair market price, gravel, sand, earth and any other material obtained from the lands and waters owned by the district. For the purposes of this Section, "acquiring land" includes acquiring a fee simple, lease or easement in land. (Source: P.A. 91-384, eff. 7-30-99.) Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon becoming law.