The City of Chicago's Landscape Ordinance requires land-scape features to be incorporated into all new construction or substantially renovated businesses, commercial buildings and large residential buildings. Planting standards are maintained by the Department of Streets and Sanitation's Bureau of Forestry for parkway trees. The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) reviews may include but are not limited to survey plats, site plans, geometric plans, and landscape plans, to ensure that projects conform to the requirements of the ordinance.
Landscape reviews are conducted by DPD staff during buil-ding permit reviews. The requirements of the landscape ordinance can be obtained from the online Chicago Zoning and Land Use Ordinance Section 17-11. The regulations and standards of Section 17-11 are further explained and clarified with explanatory text and illustrations in the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance which can be found to the right. Also, please refer to Section 17-10 for Parking and Loading requirements which can impact landscape area layout.
For frequently asked landscape questions, please see the Landscape Ordinance FAQ webpage:
Upon completion of a project, an applicant or representative of an applicant must email DPD_Landscape_Inspection@cityofchicago.org to schedule a landscape inspection of the property. The subject line of the email must include the building permit address and application number. Your email must include the approved Landscape Drawings containing the landscape examiner’s stamp. Any request that fails to include the required information will delay the scheduling process.
Approved landscape plans showing less than a total combined 3,000 square feet of vehicle use area are eligible for a self-certified inspection by the registered design professional of the approved permit. This includes approved landscape plans that are limited to proposed parkway trees. If your project meets the limitations noted, please refer to the DPD Landscape Self-Certified Inspection Form.
Upon completion of a self-certified inspection by the registered design professional, an applicant or representative of an applicant must email DPD_Landscape_Inspection@cityofchicago.org, where the subject line of the email must include the building permit address and application number. Your email must include the approved Landscape Drawings containing the landscape examiner’s stamp, the signed, sealed, a completed DPD Landscape Self-Certified Inspection Form, and photographs showing the compliant landscape design items. Any request that fails to include the required information will delay the approval process.
Landscape Deposit Refunds
Upon completion of an approved landscape inspection either conducted by DPD staff or an eligible self-certified inspection, a landscape deposit refund request must be emailed to DPD_Landscape_Refund@cityofchicago.org. To initiate your refund request, the subject line of the email must include the building permit address and application number. The email must include the completed Landscape Deposit Refund Request Form as well as the Landscape Inspection Approval Form which is obtained from the City after a landscape inspection has been completed and shown to be in compliance with the approved plans. Any request that fails to include the required information or contains incorrect information will delay the refund process. Please be aware that refunds may take up to 90 days for processing.
General Landscape Information:
General Landscape Documents:
Landscape Inspection and Refund Documents: