I live here in Chicago, and love living here. But those of you from other places may look at this with your jaws wide open!
Are you a real estate developer, or perhaps an affluent individual, wanting to build a new home or condo project in many affluent Chicago Neighborhoods? Plans call for a structure too large to be allowed under current zoning regulations? What's the solution?
Pick up the phone, call your local Alderman - and file for a Zoning Variance! Per long-standing practice here in Chicago, the City Council usually defers neighborhood up-zoning decisions to the alderman. Hence, those well connected, it would seem, could have a better chance of constructing larger, previously-non-conforming structures in very attractive neighborhoods.
Many real estate investors and developers applaud the practice, saying it encourages investment and development in neighborhoods across the city. The long-time Mayor of Chicago, Richard M. Daley, defends the practice, and opposes any zoning reform.
However, many long-term neighborhood residents vehemently oppose up-zoning - saying it radically changes the character of their own streets, and even cuts off sunlight to their homes. Some call the current process a breeding ground for corruption - indeed, many alderman have been criticized here for accepting considerable campaign contributions from those desiring up-zoned parcels.
Take a look at our posting today on our Team Blog Center - BlogChicagoHomes.com. Also read the continuing story in The Chicago Tribune, today highlighting Mayor Daley's reaction, for further detail, a database of recent zoning changes in residential neighborhoods across the city, photo galleries, and related video.
Chicago is a big, beautiful city - robust, and growing. Our Team members, and my wife and I, have lived here our whole lives. We invest in real estate here, and real estate developments, on a regular basis, in diverse Chicago Neighborhoods.
In 2008, however, some things make this Chicagoan wonder, if perhaps some act like it's still 1928!
Would love your own thoughts, especially those of you from out-of-town.
DEAN & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO