Planning & Zoning
A 44th Ward Master Development Plan was developed at the request of Alderman Tom Tunney. The plan was the result of more than two years of work by community groups and the Alderman to create guidelines for development that are appropriate and desireable for our ward and neighborhood. The plan is posted on the 44th Ward Website.
ATTENTION DEVELOPERS AND RESIDENTS…CONSTRUCTION GUIDELINES: The 44th Ward Master Development Plan was presented by the Alderman to the community in 2006. The Alderman has prepared letters to guide residential and commerical developers in their building plans. Please read these documents before you make your request for zoning changes. Follow this link to download the Residential Development or Commerical Development letters.
NOTICE: If you are a resident, property owner, developer, or business requesting a review of any zoning changes, you must complete the Developers Checklist and return it to CLVN prior to your request being included to any meeting agenda.
TO CHECK THE ZONING ON ANY PARCEL OF LAND follow this link and enter the address. City of Chicago Zoning. (The online map does not reflect zoning changes that have been made with the past 18 months). If you are purchasing property it is best to check with City Hall to verify the zoning.
LEARN MORE ABOUT BUILDING CODE AND PROCEDURES Follow this link to the Department of Building web site.
Click here for the Chicago Zoning Ordinance Residential Zoning Summary and further information.
MAKE SURE YOUR HAVE PROPER PERMITS BEFORE BEGINNING YOUR RENOVATIONS. IF YOU SEE BUILDING GOING ON AND WANT TO SEE IF PERMITS HAVE BEEN ISSUED BY THE CITY, YOU CAN CHECK IF PERMITS HAVE BEEN GRANTED. It's easy to find out. Click on the link below and and enter the address to see what permits have been applied for or issued by the Department of Construction and Permits. Permits help to assure that the inventory of our building structures are being build up to code and within the zoning code. Go to
Click on the link below to learn more about porch and deck safety. You will also find information on deck prototypes construction, guidelines, standards or building permits requirements. https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/bldgs/provdrs/permit_proc/svcs/porch_deck_information.html
ZONING 101…A QUICK GUIDE TO ZONING CHANGES
IF YOU ARE SEEKING AN ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUSTMENT
This is the most minor form of zoning relief. Notice is given to the two adjacent property owners and the decision is made by the city’s zoning administrator. No public hearing is required. An example of such a request is enclosing a rear porch and stairwell or a set back in a landmark district. When the Alderman’s office receives notification for an adjustment, the information is sent to CLVN as a point of information. If there is strong objection from the community, the alderman will meet with the developer, adjacent property owners and representatives from the CLVN Planning and Zoning Committee.
IF YOU ARE SEEKING A ZONING VARIANCE
This is a bigger and more time consuming process. Property owners within 250 feet of the subject property receive notice of the request, and the request must go to the Zoning Board of Appeals. An example of a request for a variance would include reduction to front, rear, and side yards.
IF YOU ARE SEEKING A ZONING CHANGE FOR A PARCEL OF PROPERTY
The Alderman and the neighborhood groups have completed a comprehensive review of the zoning in the Ward as part of the planning process for the Master Development Plan. Therefore, the Alderman and community groups will consider future “spot” zoning requests rarely. In these cases, notification must go out to property owners within 250 feet of the subject property. Zoning changes must go to City Council Zoning Committee for approval. Requests rarely get granted at the Zoning Board of Appeals if the Alderman objects.
When a request for either a variance or zoning change comes to the Alderman, CLVN is notified. CLVN will then request the developer to complete the Developers Check List prior to any item being added to the meeting agenda. Once this document is completed and reviewed by the CLVN officers, the item will then come to its first public hearing. There will be at least two hearings before a vote is taken. After the first hearing, matters are referred to the CLVN Planning and Zoning Committee for review and the committee will provide a recommendation to the membership. Upon voting, the Alderman will be notified in writing of the community’s opinion.
ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS (PILOT PROGRAM BEGINNING MAY 1, 2021)
In January 2021, the City Council passed an Ordinance to permit the construction and renovation of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), also referred to as Accessory Conversion Units (ACUs), in certain pilot zones in order to allow the development of affordable dwelling units in very desirable areas of the City where some people are now priced out of living. (Coach houses above garages in the alleys are one example of ADUs.) CLVN is within one of the pilot zones. Permits can be issued beginning May 1, 2021 and the pilot program will run for 3 years. Highlights of this program can be found in this slide presentation from the City Department of Housing. Further information is available in the related Press Release and Zoning Committee Summary.
Key points of the Ordinance include:
Units are permitted by right in residential districts RS 2, 3, RT4 and RT5, RM 6.5. They are not permitted in RS 1.
Units can only be added to buildings 20 years old or older
Dwelling unit size limited to 700 square feet.
Units cannot be operated as a vacation rental or shared housing.
Units are exempt from parking, open space (not the fee) and minimum lot area rules.
As for Coach Houses, you are permitted to create a new building or reoccupied an accessory structure. No roof top feature is permitted to exceed 22 feet in height.
For further information, please contact the Alderman's office and/or the City's Buildings Department.