Zoning laws in Illinois are regulations that dictate how we can use our property or land. For example, they can prevent building a loud factory in a residential area, extremely tall buildings, or anything you may want to do on your land that is not allowed in the area. But, can you challenge a zoning procedure that affects how you use your land?
Land use and zoning
Land use and zoning regulations are put in place to help an area grow orderly and more productively to the people living or using such land. There are several zone types used today. The common ones include:
- Residential zones – These are areas set aside for people to live peacefully with each other. The regulations here define the different ways people reside, like the number of structures to be built, drainage requirements, building designs, etc.
- Commercial zones – Are zoning regulations for businesses that interact with the public like offices, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and retail stores. Zoning restrictions may include prohibiting obscene or adult entertainment or limitations on how you can sell alcoholic drinks.
- Industrial zones – Are economic zones that don’t necessarily directly serve the public—for example, factories, seaports, warehouses, etc.
Challenging a zoning procedure
The state of Illinois allows for zoning ordinances to be challenged. First, though, you will need to get a Special Use Permit from the zoning department. This permit provides flexibility on what you want to do with your land, but it has to be compatible with the community.
Your proposal will be reviewed by the planning commission, which will, in turn, take it before a public hearing. Once that is done, the planning commission will make their decision on your proposal. The next step will involve the City Council.
The City Council will take 21 days to review and decide on your proposal, by which they can overturn, modify or reaffirm the decision made by the planning commission. Rezonings are usually reaffirmed based on their benefits to the community and not only on the property owner.
Before you apply to challenge the zoning ordinances, you may want to thoroughly assess its impact and how it may affect your community. Working with an attorney to guide you on the best course to take would help.