Chicago Zoning Ordinance Significant Revisions
- Revised district structure: New “half-step” districts to better address neighborhood differences — viz., R3 1/2, R4 1/2, R5 1/2, R6 1/2
- Six existing districts to be retained: R1-R6
- Two districts to be eliminated: R7 and R8
- New and revised standards to address neighborhood character and context issues
- Front Yards: front setback must be open and landscaped; below-grade terraces are prohibited in the required front setback.
- Rear Yards: increase rear setback from 30 feet to 30% of lot depth (37.5 feet will be typical).
- Building Height: fulfill promise of more predictable building form which results in preservation of neighborhood character.
- Driveways and Curb Cuts: front driveways eliminate on-street parking, reduce green space, and introduce potentially dangerous conflicts between cars and pedestrians. New code requires the use of alley as access to off-street with the exception of single family homes in the R1 and R2 districts; lots that lack access to an improved building or common parking for multi-unit buildings or townhouse developments.
- Blank walls: blank walls that face streets are not characteristic of traditional Chicago neighborhoods and decrease “eyes on the street”. New code requires building facades that face public streets to include elements of a front facade including doors and windows for 17.5% of the facade.
- New Open Space Standards: addresses outdoor space and greening by requiring a minimum amount of green space per dwelling unit. It ranges from 400 square feet of green space to 36 square feet in the high-density districts.
Overlay (Special) Districts
- Consolidates all overlay regulations in one chapter.
- Retains enabling authority for creation of special districts to address unique conditions.
- Retains special districts that are truly unique.
- Eliminates special districts whenever new or revised standards will achieve similar results.