Mayor Emanuel’s Proposed Budget Includes Major Hike in Some Zoning Permit Fees

According to an article published by the Chicago Tribune on October 22nd, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s latest proposed spending plan, presented Wednesday to the City Council, will include significant changes to zoning permit fees affecting large developments—with little impact on small business and homeowners.
For projects of 10,000 square feet or less, the only increase in fees would be a new system-wide fee of $1,500 to file an application in person. Applications filed electronically would remain under the existing fee structure. Larger projects, however, would be subject to a new “flat-rate-plus” structure, where a permit fee would be set based on the combination of a flat fee and a per-foot incremental cost. While the Tribune’s article omitted some specifics of the proposal, they summarized that a permit for a building between 10,001 and 100,000 square feet would see their fees increase by at least $1,000—or $5,750 if they file in person. A project that exceeds 100,000 square feet would rise by at least $3,000—or $8,000 for an in-person submission.