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Milwaukee Avenue Urban Identity Study

The Chicago Department of Planning and Development (DPD) and Aldermen La Spata (1st), Waguespack (32nd), and Ramirez-Rosa (35th) are studying a potential Special Character Overlay District designation along Milwaukee Avenue between Western and Central Park avenues. A Special Character Overlay District is a zoning tool intended to protect a neighborhood's unique character while also considering relationships involving architecture, demographics, culture, and environment.

There are currently six Special Character Overlay Districts in Chicago along portions of Roscoe Street, Southport Avenue and Longwood Drive, as well as within Norwood Park and two areas within Sheridan Park.

The Milwaukee Avenue Urban Identity Study will be guided by community-driven input and stakeholders' goals to:

  • Protect the character of the Milwaukee Avenue corridor's built environment;
  • Provide guidelines and tools to rehabilitate older and historic buildings and commercial retail;
  • Reduce conflicts between new construction and the existing built environment;
  • Co-create design guidelines for the corridor with the community and neighborhood stakeholders that will provide tools, resources and direction for renovations, redevelopment and new construction along the corridor; and,
  • Study how to retain and encourage development opportunities.

Led by site design group ltd., in collaboration with McGuire Igleski & Associates, Goodman Williams Group, and Borderless Studio, the study will include a robust community engagement process consisting of workshops and focus groups throughout 2023.

Sign up for the email list to receive updates including invitations to participate in the available engagement opportunities. Questions? Email

Past Meetings

1st Ward meeting | April 18, 2024

35th Ward meeting | April 17, 2024
Presentation | Draft Findings | Public Comment Summary

Community Meeting #4 | Oct. 24, 2023

Community Meeting #3 | July 31, 2023

Community Meeting #2 | March 29, 2023
Presentation | Survey (Open through May 8, 2023)

Introductory Community Meeting | Jan. 11, 2023
Video | Presentation | Q&A | Poll Results


Map of Study Area