The Office of the 40th Ward is guided by a Community-Driven Zoning process.
Direct, community feedback on proposed zoning changes in the ward is a vital component of our process and public comments inform our evaluation of requested zoning changes. Neighbors may not always agree on zoning or development proposals, but we want everyone to have their say in the process, and to be informed of the reasoning behind all 40th Ward Office decisions.
Our goal as an office is to provide a zoning process that is:
- clear and efficient in its processes
- open and transparent in its decision-making
- as fully informed by community input as possible
View current proposed zoning changes and submit your feedback.
Community-Driven Zoning Procedure
Requests for Aldermanic support of an amendment to the zoning map of the 40th Ward requires a public comment process. This process will include at least one public meeting, as well as digital plans and drawings which can be viewed online, and an online feedback form.
Application for a Zoning Change
If you are a developer or property owner applying for a zoning change, please use our Zoning Intake Form. It’s okay to leave fields blank if they do not apply to your project.
Proposed Zoning Amendments
View and submit feedback on current zoning change requests. Feedback is always open for one week (smaller projects) or two weeks (larger projects) after the public meeting is held.
Download our complete guide for developers to Community Driven Zoning (PDF).
Disclaimer: Proposals are not made by the Alderman’s office, nor does holding a public meeting for a proposal indicate any support or opposition from the Alderman’s office.
This timeline is specific to the 40th Ward Community-Driven Zoning Process. Zoning change requests can be submitted to the City of Chicago at any time by a property owner.
Scheduling a Public Meeting, Providing Public Notice
Within 5 business days of zoning change request.
Once a zoning change request submission is received, Ward staff will reach out within 5 business days to schedule a public meeting and provide a flyer for distribution. The Alderman’s office also posts a notification on the Ward website and newsletter, as well as contacting the local neighborhood association where one exists.
Parties requesting a zoning change are responsible for flyering residential addresses within a one-block radius (small developments) or two-block radius (larger developments) at least one week before the scheduled meeting.
Public meeting announcement and all details of the request are posted on the Proposed Zoning Amendments page.
Public Meeting, Feedback and Comment Period
Feedback is collected 1 – 2 weeks after meeting.
At the public meeting, developers and owners present their request to neighbors and answer questions. A recording of the meeting is posted for residents who were not able to attend, and an online public feedback form is posted after the public meeting. Feedback is open for one week (smaller projects) or two weeks (larger projects) after the public meeting is held.
Every other Friday, Aldermanic staff meet to discuss all pending zoning change requests. We compile all comments from the online form and public meetings into a single document before evaluating a proposed zoning change. There is no priority given to comments received at the meeting versus comments submitted online.
Notice of Aldermanic Intent
Within 3 weeks of public meeting (estimated).
Owners and developers are notified of aldermanic intent, based on public feedback. Aldermanic intent will be either to support a proposed change, oppose a proposed change, or defer decision to allow time for more feedback, changes in the project plan, or other ongoing processes.
In general, our goal is to have public notice of aldermanic intent available within three weeks of the completion of a public meeting. However, decisions may be delayed or deferred in cases where the project proposal is adjusted based on public and aldermanic feedback.
Notice of aldermanic intent will be published on the relevant zoning request webpage and added to the weekly newsletter. No letters of aldermanic support or opposition will be issued prior to the completion of the public comment process, including the notice of aldermanic intent.
Can I make a Zoning Change Request with the City of Chicago?
Zoning change requests can be submitted to the City of Chicago at any time by a property owner, and will be referred to the City Council’s Committee on Zoning. Aldermen cannot prevent requests from being submitted or amended in committee, but the Zoning Committee will usually defer a matter (preventing a final vote by City Council) until the local Alderman has submitted a notice of support or opposition.
We understand that the City’s zoning process is already a lengthy one, and we strive to keep our process as streamlined as possible while still encouraging substantial public input. From start to finish, the 40th Ward Community-Driven Zoning process takes roughly 1-2 months before a decision can be made regarding Aldermanic support.
When would I need to request a zoning change?
Every piece of property in the City of Chicago has a zoning designation (you can see them all on the City’s interactive Zoning Map). The zoning designation determines what the property can or can’t be used for.
In general, most properties in our Ward will be zoned for Residential, Business, or Commercial use. Each designation also comes with numerical codes that determine density, height restrictions, and other specific uses of the property. You can find a good summary of each zoning designation and its restrictions here: https://secondcityzoning.org/zones/
When a property owner wants to use a property for something that is not allowed under its current zoning, they need to apply with the City for a zoning change.
How do zoning change requests get approved or denied?
Zoning changes are usually filed with the City of Chicago by the property owner/developer (or, frequently, by a lawyer on the owner’s behalf).
Once a zoning change has been filed, it will be evaluated by the City’s Zoning Administrator (ZA). Assuming the request is legal and all requirements have been met, the ZA will then introduce the zoning change into City Council as legislation.
Aldermen have the power to introduce zoning changes directly, but the practice has become less common in recent years. Our office has not introduced any zoning changes directly, and has no immediate plans to do so.
Once a zoning change is introduced into City Council, it is up to the Aldermen and their Committee on Zoning and Landmarks to consider the request. The recommendations of the Zoning Administrator and the local Aldermen are both taken into consideration by the Committee on Zoning and Landmarks, as is any public feedback.
Why are proposed zoning changes displayed on this website?
We post zoning change requests on our website and arrange the public meetings to ensure thorough public feedback. Posting on the Ward website is not an indication of support, nor does it mean that the Alderman requested the zoning change.
There are many reasons an owner might request a zoning change — everything from wanting to tear down and build something new to simply bringing a structure into compliance with its zoning so that permits for repairs can be issued.
It is up to owners/developers to make the case for any zoning changes they are proposing. Unless explicitly stated in the public notice, the Ward office does not have any role in designing or advocating for the requested zoning changes.
I submitted feedback. When will your office make a decision?
We currently meet every other Friday to evaluate pending zoning change requests. Announcements will go out the week after that meeting, so depending on when a public meeting happens, it could be anywhere from 1-3 weeks before any announcement of Aldermanic intent.
I can’t attend a public meeting, how do I participate?
View proposed zoning change requests on our website. Every posted zoning change request has a link to a feedback form. You can use that to submit comments online.
Does the Alderperson actually take public feedback into account?
Very much so! We read every comment and discuss them as a team. We also take into consideration the total number of comments, the breakdown of support/oppose/other responses, the geographic distribution of comments, and any recurring/frequent concerns or supporting comments.
Will comments/feedback be posted publicly?
No. We want to get as much feedback as possible, and we want that feedback to be as thorough and honest as possible.
When there are recurring concerns (or positive comments!), we share the general themes with owners and developers, but we do not provide the names or any other information of commenters.
News & Updates: Community Driven Zoning
Contact the 40th Ward Office
Our office works to ensure you feel supported, connected, and valued. Please reach out with any questions or concerns you may have – we are here to help!