Residential developments in TOD areas no longer need to obtain relief from the Pedestrian Street transparency requirement

This zoning code brief is useful for architects, their developer clients, permit expeditors, and zoning attorneys.

The Chicago City Council adopted minor changes to the zoning code in ordinance SO2022-3785 on January 18, 2023 (the S means a substitute ordinance, different from the original proposal, was passed). 

The main changes were technical changes to the code, including eliminating text referring to code that was removed in July 2022, and adding some missing keywords that don't affect the standards. 

The substantial change in the code is that the requirement for developments in transit-served locations (TSL, but we also call them TOD areas) to comply with "Pedestrian Street" standards has been relaxed for residential developments. 

The requirement is that buildings subject to the standard had to have a minimum amount of transparency on the ground floor, but that doesn't work well for residential uses where there are dwelling units on the ground floor. The relevant standard is shown in the screenshot below. 

This standard is not part of Chicago Cityscape's Zoning Assessment, so no changes to our platform have been made.

Screenshot of the aforementioned code section

The technical change to the code is that any new construction in B, C, and D zoning districts must comply with the Pedestrian Street design standards in 17-3-0504 or 17-4-0504 (depending if the zoning district is B/C or D) except subsection (C), which is the standard displayed above. 

Lunch Break Update video posted - learn about four new features

In this Lunch Break Update, presented on January 25, 2023, we demonstrated four features: the "Standard 6-3", Super Parcel (analyzing multiple parcels as if they were one), new Property Finder filters, and Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) decisions. 

First in the video, we discussed how to find information about the Connected Communities revision to the city's longtime transit-oriented development ordinance. The entire video is about 35 minutes long, but is divided into several chapters. 

Open the video in a new tab

Use these timecodes to skip ahead to each chapter:

  • Connected Communities 1:43
  • Description of "Standard 6-3": 3:35
  • Finding properties eligible to build a "Standard 6-3": 6:02
  • Using the automated housing calculator: 10:25
  • Using tags & topics to find real Connected Communities projects: 15:04
  • Creating a Super Parcel in Property Report: 15:54
  • Creating a Super Parcel in Place Report: 19:26
  • Property Finder updates: 21:26
  • Property Finder + ChiBlockBuilder filter: 23:15
  • Property Finder + minimum units allowed: 24:51
  • Zoning Board of Appeals decisions: 29:33

Browse over 1 million property transfers in Cook County, spanning nine years

Chicago Cityscape incorporated the final quarter of real estate transfers in 2022 in Cook County, bringing the total number of transfers in our database to 1,024,847. This covers a period of nine years, from 2014 to 2022. 

chart showing the activity of property sales each quarter from 2014 to 2022 in Cook County


Here's how to access the property sales data:

A note about our Chicago ward maps during the 2023 election season

We've made it easier to find new Chicago ward maps and still view the old maps. 

Two ways to search for a ward:

  1. Search for a ward in our search box by typing in "ward TK" where "TK" is the number. Then select the "Go" button.
  2. Enter an alderperson's name. Then select the "Go" button.

There will be two items in the search results table, each clearly labeled with the version of map the result links to:

The 2022 map will always be listed first. 

screenshot of the search results

Note that we don't have a position on which one is effective at the Chicago departments. You may need to schedule a required public meeting in a venue that's in both the new and old ward boundaries (although this is impossible in the new 34th Ward, which has no overlap with its old boundary).

After the inauguration in May 2023, Chicago Cityscape will make the 2022 map the default map and we will convert everyone's email notifications for wards to the new map. If you want to do that now, you can unsubscribe from the old ward and subscribe to the new ward (or email us to ask for assistance).

P.S. You can also look up an address to find which police district it's in. Each of the 22 Chicago police districts will have a council of three elected persons living in that district. Learn who's running in your police district by reading The Triibe's voter guide.

Ten new features to start 2023

We’ve got 10 new features to show off, added in 2022 Q4. There’s something for every one of our members: new features to Property Finder, new ways to find already-upzoned properties, ZBA decisions, affordable housing data, new incentives, and Red Line Extension info. Join us on Wednesday, Januar...

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These are the maps for the four new Illinois representatives in the 118th Congress

Chicago Cityscape has updated its Places database to reflect the 118th United States Congress, being sworn in today. 

Illinois has 17 districts, down from 18, because of the 2020 Census apportionment.

There are four new Congresspersons.

1st - Jonathan Jackson. Chicago, Homer Glen, New Lenox, Frankfort

map of 1st district

3rd - Delia Ramirez. Chicago, West Chicago, Bartlett, Wheaton

map of 3rd district

13th - Nikki Budzinski. Springfield, Decatur, Champaign, Granite City

map of 13th district

17th - Eric Sorensen.  Rockford, Peoria, Galesburg, Rock Island

map of 17th district

Chicago's zoning code website is updated to incorporate Connected Communities ordinance

The American Legal Publishing website that hosts the City of Chicago's zoning code was updated today to incorporate the Connected Communities ordinance. The CC ordinance was adopted on July 20, 2022, and significantly updates and expands the provisions of the Transit-Served Location ordinance (2013, 2015, and 2019, as amended). 

Chicago Cityscape's Connected Communities Knowledge Base Article references each zoning code section that the CC ordinance added or updated. Use that article to find the relevant "TOD ordinance" portions of the Chicago zoning code.


There is not a single place in the code to link to, but I'll give on example. Section 17-3-0402-B regulates the minimum lot area per unit standard in Bx-3 and Cx-3 zoning districts. The MLA per unit can be reduced, allowing more units at a property, depending on the amount of ARO units are on-site. 

screenshot of section 17-3-0402-B


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