Planning, Preservation & Development

East Village Zoning

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East Village Association

Zoning & Development Guidelines


The following guidelines to promote new investment that increases our City’s vitality and tax base, yet protects current residents, is compatible with existing land uses, fosters harmony and balance in our neighborhoods, celebrates our architectural heritage, and abides by the City of Chicago Zoning Ordinance are based on, and intended to be consistent with, the guidelines established by 32nd Ward Alderman Waguespack:

  • Encourage development that conforms to the existing zoning map. Beginning in 2000, the Mayor’s Zoning Reform Commission—composed of neighborhood and civic groups, planners, architects, business executives and elected officials—conducted community meetings across the city. Over four years, it held public workshops on specific zoning issues and examined the best practices of zoning regulations. In 2004, the new City of Chicago Zoning Ordinance became law. In support of which zoning changes will be considered only rarely and under extreme circumstances. Zoning changes, should they be needed, will be made consistent with the principles articulated in these guidelines. When alternatives exist to effect a desired change, the alternative with the least adverse impact will be preferred.
  • Require strict compliance with public notice regulations. Expect compliance with the public notice requirements for all zoning applications, including map amendments, administrative adjustments, special uses, variations and “as of right” new construction. We will establish, in conjunction with residents, business owners and local community groups, an open, unbiased and predictable process concerning new construction and renovation. This office expects effective, transparent, and fair notice to all affected parties.
  • Encourage complementary and compatible development. This office will encourage new development that seeks to reflect the character and context of the adjacent and other buildings in the surrounding area, comparable in quality, scale, density and building materials. Split-face block, cinder block and Dryvit on exterior surfaces, and patio pits, are specifically discouraged.
  • Respect our architectural heritage. This office will encourage the preservation, renovation and adaptive re-use of the existing building stock. Similarly, it will discourage the demolition of historically significant buildings and structurally sound housing. It also will facilitate the creation or extension of residential landmark districts if such districts meet the criteria set forth by the City of Chicago.
  • Protect property. This office will require strict enforcement of the City of Chicago Excavation Ordinance, including its provisions regarding notice to adjacent property owners.
  • Protect and encourage green space and green building practices. To promote greening, encourage retention of rear yards that are open, permeable and green, and not replaced by garage roof decks. Discourage the loss of open yard space to enclosed connectors or breezeways between residential structures and detached garages. Support green building initiatives consistent with existing zoning.
  • Minimize infringement upon the public way. Encourage development that minimizes infringement upon the public way, including balconies in the public airspace and trash receptacles on public streets, sidewalks or alleys.
  • Support private covenants. Encourage the use of private, recorded agreements and covenants with local community organizations that further the goals of these guidelines. These guidelines will assist owners and developers as they consider projects in the 32nd Ward. Owners and developers will want to contact this office early in the planning process to schedule an appointment to discuss the scope and purpose of all proposed plans and initiatives regarding any property. All meetings will be held during regular business hours.
  • Reject contingent donations. The East Village Association will not take into consideration any promise of donations, pledges, or other monetary or non-monetary "soft dollar" arrangements to any community organization or institution in its evaluation of a proposed project. If such a donation is offered to the East Village community, it should not be contingent on any decision by EVA and should be made in writing to the community through a letter to the relevant Alderman with a copy to EVA. If a contingent donation is presented to EVA, EVA policy is to decline to review the developer’s request and immediately notify the relevant Alderman that EVA does not support the developer's request. (The East Village Association adopted this policy in May 2014.)

Developer Checklist for Initial Meeting [PDF]

About Planning, Preservation & Development

After a hiatus of several years, a new Planning, Preservation & Development Committee was established in April 2007. Enlarging the role of the previous Planning & Development Committee, the PP&D attempts to be more proactive in advocating appropriate development, rather than simply reacting to development proposals.


The Planning effort will identify areas within East Village where new development is desirable and actively work to encourage appropriate development in those areas. It will also push forward the city's stalled zoning remapping process, by surveying existing zoning classifications and recommending changes where necessary to encourage new development, or to protect existing resources.


As the original sponsor of the East Village Landmark District, the East Village Association has a stewardship responsibility that has been neglected in recent years. The Preservation focus of the committee will assume responsibility under the Landmark Ordinance to review proposed work within the Landmark District and write the "community letter" required of permit applicants.


The development aspect of the committee will work with developers to encourage the construction of appropriate, high-quality buildings that will serve the long-term needs of the community. Alderman Flores committed to directing all zoning-change requests and development proposals within East Village to the East Village Association for review. Alderman Moreno continues this practice.

The committee is actively seeking members interested in working on these issues and formulating policy recommendations to the Board. To be effective, the Planning, Preservation & Development Committee should have a broad range of members with diverse backgrounds. Responsibilities will be assigned depending on the time commitment members are comfortable making.

Everyone's time is valuable and all of us are busy, so we will attempt to handle as much committee business by email as possible, though we will meet when necessary. Even members with little available time can be of great assistance by volunteering to write an occasional letter or attend a hearing at City Hall.

For more information on Planning, Preservation & Development, contact Bob Zwolinski.

Tom Tomek business card
Anselmo @properties business card,
Ask Nagel business card.

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