September 9, 2020

Zoning Amendment Would Allow for Design Guidelines in Special Character Overlay Districts


New design guidelines would protect and guide development in communities with distinctive characteristics that do not meet the criteria for landmark status under a zoning amendment introduced to City Council today by Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot.

The amendment would allow for future special character overlay districts to establish specific design standards for new construction, exterior renovations, and additions so that new development would complement and protect the distinctive physical features and design characteristics of the district. The amendment would also encourage the rehabilitation of buildings with unique historical, architectural, or character-defining elements.

The design standards, exclusive to each overlay district, would be developed in conjunction with residents and property owners.

A special character overlay district is a zoning tool that allows for the application of specific regulations to a distinct geographic area by protecting such things as architectural styles, densities, heights of structures, and setback guidelines.

Currently, the City has 15 existing special character overlay districts that would not be impacted by the proposed zoning code modifications.


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