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Explaining Chicago Zoning Certifications

· Chicago,Cook County

When a transfer of sale happens in Chicago you may need a zoning certification. Condos, co-ops, vacant land and commercial property do not need a Zoning Certifications. Townhouses and residential buildings with 1-5 dwellings are required to have a Zoning Certification. The City of Chicago requires a $120 fee to be paid to the City of Chicago upon submitting the paperwork.... continue below

Inside this article:

  1. Information Required to Complete your Chicago Zoning Certification
  2. Components of the Chicago Zoning Certification
  3. Submitting the Chicago Zoning Certification
  4. Resources
Chicago Property Report, Chicago Zoning Certification

Information required to complete your Chicago Zoning Certification form:

  • Property address
  • Property index number (PIN)
  • Number of dwelling units within the structure by floor
  • Owner applicant information
  • Contract/return mail information

An important consideration to remember, is that only the dwelling units count in mixed-use buildings. Meaning, a street front commercial store with two units above, would be certified as a two unit dwelling.

Components of Chicago Zoning Certification

More detail about the Chicago zoning certificate process.

When a transfer of sale happens in Chicago you may need a zoning certification. Condos, co-ops, vacant land and commercial property do not need a Zoning Certifications. Townhouses and residential buildings with 1-5 units are required to have a Zoning Certification.

Please note: Mixed-use buildings where a commercial space exists as well as residential, only the residential units would need to be indicated under this requirement.

Once determining how many residential units you are seeking to certify, a payment to the Chicago Zoning Department is owed in the amount of $120.00 as well as some filled out paperwork due the day of application.

The Zoning Department analyses City building permits, inspection records, Sanborn maps and pictures from the Cook County Assessor website to make dwelling determinations.

Interestingly, that while the Cook County Assessor lists a property type, the City of Chicago does not deem this as reliable. The Chicago Zoning Department does not note the legality of dwelling units. The Zoning Administrator reserves the right to reconsider and revoke any Certificate of Zoning Compliance issued based on false or otherwise incorrect information provided by the applicant.

City of Chicago requires a five business day period to complete the process (not including date of filing). This is not including weekends or government holidays. In the past the Zoning Department did same-day certifications for single dwelling where approved same day. The zoning certifications are valid for one year. As mentioned, if approved, the zoning certifications are ready in five business days for pick-up. If denied, an appeal can be filed and “the Zoning Administrator shall render a final decision which shall consist of either: (1) issuance of the Certificate of Zoning Compliance; or (2) issuance of a written statement setting forth the reasons for denial of the applications. The failure of the Zoning Administrator to act within five business days of the request for reconsideration shall be considered a waiver of the requirement for the issuance of a Certificate of Zoning Compliance” (Certificate of Zoning Compliance form 5836-12-AF-7/14).

Submitting your Chicago Zoning Certification

In person, pick-up and submit Zoning Certification forms at:

Available at the Certification Window at City Hall, Room 905.

By mail, send in Zoning Certification form to:

Chicago Zoning Department

121 N LaSalle St, Chicago, IL 60602

Resources

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