City Council Passes Transit Oriented Development Ordinance

In September, the Chicago City Council’s Zoning Committee passed Mayor Emanuel’s proposed ordinance to create areas of new zoning flexibility near public transportation stations that would ease the requirements for parking in a new construction building to allow a more urbanist, walkable community to emerge.
While the ordinance was not as accommodating as many proponents desired, the regulations now allow for developments in certain zoning districts that fall within a requisite radius of a public transit stop to reduce vehicular parking from the otherwise required minimum parking standard by as much as 50% for residential uses or more for non-residential uses and become eligible for increases in maximum building height and F.A.R.
In many cases, a development must still undergo administrative approval with the Zoning Department. However, for land owners and developers whose properties fall within the approved zones, this ordinance ushers in a new opportunity to create outstanding, livable buildings, blocks, and communities. Communities that can—when it’s appropriate and economically viable—cater more effectively to city-dwellers who rely less on personal vehicles and more on walking, bicycles, and public transportation.