WORKING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF ZONINGWhen it comes to Zoning, as a REALTOR® you know:
- The approval of an Alderman is critical to success in zoning and development issues.
- Every business license, location expansion and change of location application needs to be reviewed and approved by Zoning before a business license application can be processed.
- The City of Chicago is divided into distinct zoning districts that reflect the diversity of business and neighborhood uses. Each zoning district has different regulations about the types of business activities that are permitted.
- During the zoning review, the City of Chicago looks at many things, including proper classification of business activity, if the business activity is allowed in a specific district, compliance with parking, landscape, and building requirements, and verification of valid driveway permit.
New Business Zoning 101So your client has an idea for a new business. It’s very important that you check the zoning requirements of the proposed business location carefully. It is critical that you advise your clients to not enter into any financial commitments (i.e. sign a lease) unless you are certain that you are in the proper zoning district that allows the proposed business activity. This often means meeting with the alderman and, in some cases, the local community organization. Do not assume the previous owner’s zoning designation applies! The City of Chicago provides many resources online to assist you and your clients. I urge you to become familiar with these tools to research where you can do business in the City.
- How to Find Your Zoning District – A quick tutorial showing how to use the License Zoning Reference Guide
- License Zoning Reference Guide – See where business are allowed in the city.
- Interactive Zoning Map
- Schedule an appointment with a business consultant at the Small Business Center, or call the Business Call Center: 312.74.GOBIZ. They are here to help you understand the process.