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Index Publishing Corporation


Winter 2008 Edition 




Quick References 


About Us




Recent Code Changes


Seminars & Events






Contact Us





Index Staff


Peter Mierzwa
  General Manager


Linda Seggelke

  Manager of Customer


Matt Baker



Julie Davis

  Editor/Civic Planner


Ernie Abood

  Advertising Executive 








GIS Mapping:


Index has converted all of our maps to a GIS format to provide more accurate and timely zoning infor-mation. See a demo now!

New GIS Features:


1. Includes all City approved changes through September 27, 2007.


2. All maps have been updated with the new zoning classifications from the 2004 Chicago Zoning Ordinance.

3. Use orthophotography to view images of properties.

4. Maps will be updated monthly.

5. The print maps also have been revised with the new zoning classifications.


Learn more


Call us to get your online subscription - 312.644.6977.



New 2007 Chicago Zoning Ordinance Available! 


The Index Publishing Chicago Zoning Ordinance is the most current and accurate City of Chicago zoning map available online and in print form. Current through September 27, 2007 the online Index Publishing Chicago Zoning maps are more current than the any other source of Chicago Zoning data. The newest edition of the Chicago Zoning Ordinance book is current through June 13, 2007 and is available as a combo subscription with the online updates.


New Square Mile Grid Index as GIS layer allows customers to view the same square mile sections of Chicago as in the print for easy and up-to-the-minute changes 


* New GIS Alert email summarizing recent map changes


* New Online GIS Map User Guide


Order your copy now.











What was the Code 20 years ago?


We can research City Council changes back to Nov. 4, 1987.


Contact us with your next research project.







Table of Contents 


Letter from the Publisher 


New DOB Commissioner Interview 


City Department Changes 


New GIS Maps


2008 Building Green Chicago Conference and other events 


Summary of Municipal Code Changes 


Case Law Update 


2007 Zoning Ordinance




 Know the Code  



Happy New Year. We hope you enjoyed a happy and healthy holiday and are beginning a productive and profitable 2008. 

Our winter 2008 edition of Know the Code features a summary of the latest changes to the Municipal Code and the Zoning maps, an interview with the new Commissioner of Buildings Richard Rodriguez, big changes in the Department of Environment and the Department of Construction and Permits, and a highlighted court decision affecting zoning and land development.

The new 2008 Chicago Building Code is now available for purchase. All changes through June 13, 2007 have been incorporated. We understand many of you did not receive the snail mail notice so we have extended our pre-sale offer until February 8. Call us at 312.644.6977 to order your 2008 Code today.

We continue to improve our online data with your assistance and welcome your comments and suggestions. Please share this e-newsletter with your colleagues. They can request their own subscription at no charge by emailing us.




Peter Mierzwa

General Manager





Rodriguez Brings

Process Change to the
Department of Buildings


Mayor Richard M. Daley announced in June that he was appointing Richard Rodriguez to the post of Commissioner of the Department of Buildings [DOB]. Rodriguez had been Commissioner of the Department of Construction and Permits [DCAP] and was asked to oversee both departments. In October 2007, the Mayor officially merged DCAP back into DOB. As Commissioner for DOB, Rodriguez has a new set of challenges as he re-integrates DCAP back into DOB.
When asked why DCAP was broken out from the Department of Buildings in April of 2003, Rodriguez acknowledged it was important to separate DCAP because "it allowed for better focus on improving the permitting process alone. I think we have successfully done that and are now able to merge them back together." 

Uniting DCAP with the Department of Buildings will produce important efficiencies according to Rodriguez. "We have been able to merge together the talent learned in the permitting area with the inspection side. Permitting is no longer separated from inspections. In fact, staff are being trained to be able to do both permitting and inspections."
Rodriguez was very successful in implementing performance measurements for the permitting process that have significantly reduced the permitting time. Rodriguez now wants to take these efficiencies and adapt them to inspections. He will be asking, "how can we make the inspectional process more efficient? When a person calls in to request an inspection, the issue is similar to the permitting process - how quickly can we get a resource to the site to perform the inspection. And do it in such a way without sacrificing quality."
There will be positive changes resulting from the merging of DCAP and DOB. Rodriguez does not think customers will notice any change in the permitting people or process. "What they will notice," he believes "is that, whereas in the past there may have been a difference of opinion between the staff that handled the permit and those performing the inspection, now with the blending of the talent, the inspectors should be well aware of what was permitted and why it was permitted on the front end. Then the inspectors will be more knowledgeable when they get to the site."
Rodriguez has been a proponent of developing long-term technology solutions to improve city processes he manages. One of his first steps as Commissioner of DOB was to equip building inspectors with handheld computers. "Using these devices, the inspectors will have access to all the information they have access to at their desks," says Rodriguez. "They also can upload their reports quicker and we can process them quicker. The customer gets a quicker response as to the status of that inspection."
Rodriguez does recognize the need to first analyze DOB processes before making changes. "Much of what the department does currently is done manually and we are trying to infuse technology wherever we can to reduce the number of steps to complete tasks without sacrificing quality on the back end."
Rodriguez and his staff have some ambitious goals, but if his track record is an accurate indication, we should see improvements in the inspection process in short order.






New DOB Commissioner
Richard Rodriguez





Last newsletter we outlined some significant changes at key city departments, including new heads of Planning & Development, Environment and Buildings. See the article.

Change continues with the re-integration of the Department of Construction and Permits into the Department of Buildings under its new Commissioner Rich Rodriguez.

Hear why and what's in store for the future in his interview with Index.

 Check our news page for other stories covering City issues. 


From our 2007 conference:

"Rarely have I attended such a well thought out and well executed conference. I not only gained an enormous amount of information but it is all relevant for our future . . . My thanks to all of you who put this together and are seeing that it continues as well as grows."

- Harry Swihart, AIA, Barrington, IL

Missed the conference? Check out our supplement and additional resources handed out to attendees at this Chicago focused event.


Building Green Chicago:

Designing Green, Saving Green 




April  8, 2008

As part of the City of Chicago's "going green" week and Earth Month Celebration, Index Publishing is proud to present the 2008 Building Green Chicago Conference. Sadhu Johnston, newly appointed Chief Environmental Officer for the City of Chicago, will again keynote this conference that will feature city experts and industry leaders discussing the implementation of environmentally conscious design in Chicago.
Expert panels on retrofitting existing buildings, new technologies and strategies for enhancing sustainability, a survey of existing green buildings and their performance and other discussions make this conference a must for any forward-moving developer.


Send us an email and we’ll send you more information as the program is developed. Interested in sponsoring the conference? Contact us.


Missed the conference? Check out our supplement and additional resources handed out to attendees at this Chicago focused event.







Review of the Chicago Electrical Code

May 2008


As it has in the past, Index Publishing will host a review of the Chicago Electrical Code. Whether you are a veteran electrician in need of a refresher or preparing for the city's supervising electrician's exam, our presenters, Dan Caddigan and Ron Webb, will help you to better understand the code. The one-day seminar costs $310 and includes a copy of the 2008 Chicago Electrical Code. For more information on this seminar or to register, please contact us.





Chicago Building Permit Conference

Spring 2008


Ever struggled to get building permits approved with the City? Would you like to hear from city officials or professionals about the most efficient way to go through the process? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions then plan on attending the Chicago Building Permit Conference.  Index Publishing, in conjunction with the City of Chicago Department of Construction and Permits and other departments, will host this unique opportunity to review and outline the complete building permit process. City officials and permit process professionals will walk attendees through the process one step at a time, discussing best practices and answering questions. If you would like to streamline your permit application process, you don't want to miss this opportunitiy. Please contact us and we'll email you with more information as it becomes available. Interested in sponsoring this event? Let us know.




2008 Index Conferences and Events

Learn more here.







Summary of Changes 



Chicago Municipal Code text has been updated through October 31, 2007.


Chicago Zoning Maps have been updated through September 27, 2007


The second half of 2007 saw several major changes to the City of Chicago's Municipal Code.


Sections 2-44-111 and 2-44-112 were added, for instance, in an effort to preserve federally assisted housing.


Several license application processes were modified in sections 2-12-030, 4-60-025, 4-4-313, 4-5-010 and others.


Chapter 11-4 was amended in several places to place stricter controls on pollution and nuisance abatement by property owners and developers.


Most notably, a new Planned Manufacturing District, number fifteen for the city, was created for the Armitage corridor. The Chicago Zoning Ordinance as a whole saw many changes, as there were over 800 zoning district changes since January 1, 2007.

For a more detailed description of this year’s amendments and additions to the Chicago Municipal Code see Recent Changes on the Index Publishing website. 








"In 2007, the City instituted over 800 map changes, including 67 new planned developments, 7 new transportation districts and 12 downtown districts."

Court House

Case Law Update



Municipalities – special-use permits


From Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, January 14, 2008 | Vol.154, Issue 009

Trial court correctly granted de novo judicial review of a decision by Village of Libertyville to deny a request for a special-use permit because the denial was a legislative act therefore not subject to review under the Administrative Review Law.

The 2d District Appellate Court has dismissed the interlocutory appeal of a decision by Lake County Circuit Judge Mary Seminara-Schostok.

Plaintiff Ashley Libertyville LLC applied to the Village of Libertyville for a special-use permit but the village denied the application. The plaintiff sought de novo judicial review of the decision, invoking section 11-13-25 of the Illinois Municipal Code. The trial court granted the request.

The village filed a motion to reconsider or, in the alternative, to have the matter certified for interlocutory appeal. The trial court denied the motion to reconsider but certified the following questions for interlocutory appeal:

(1) Is a special use that is not adopted by a municipality subject to de novo judicial review as a legislative decision under section 11-13-25, which states: ''Any special use … adopted by the corporate authorities of any municipality … shall be subject to de novo judicial review as a legislative decision?''

(2) If section 11-13-25 applies to a denial of a special-use permit, does it supersede the 2d District Appellate Court's 2002 holding in Gallik v. County of Lake and preclude the court from reviewing the decision under the Administrative Review Law?

The appeals court found that neither section 11-13-25 nor the Administrative Review Code had any bearing on the case and the village's appeal was dismissed.

The appeals court cited Hawthorne v. Village of Olympia Fields, 204 Ill.2d (2003), in support of its decision to dismiss Libertyville's appeal.

In Hawthorne, the issue was whether the plaintiff was required to exhaust administrative remedies before seeking judicial review of a municipality's denial of her request for a zoning variance. The Supreme Court held that the Administrative Review Act was not applicable.

The Supreme Court explained that the plaintiff's variance was denied not by a zoning board of appeals but by the board of trustees. By statute, when a board of trustees elects to retain the power to grant zoning variances, it may exercise that power only through the adoption of ordinances and enacting or rejecting an ordinance is a legislative act, the appeals court said.

The Supreme Court said that the Administrative Review Act doesn't apply to the legislative acts of legislative bodies. ''Rather, administrative review is possible 'only where the legislative body transfers to some administrative agency the authority to administer the ordinance,' '' the appeals court said, quoting the Supreme Court.

Therefore, when zoning action is taken by the legislative body itself, as in the case of the Village of Libertyville, a civil proceeding challenging the legislative body's action is not subject to attack on grounds that the plaintiff failed to proceed under the Administrative Review Law, the appeals court said.

In addition, the appeals court said, though the Municipal Code doesn't require the board of trustees to act through ordinances with regard to special uses, the Libertyville zoning code provides that the board of trustees may grant special-use permits ''by ordinance duly adopted'' by the board.

Therefore, the appeals court said, pursuant to this requirement, the board of trustees must act by ordinance with regard to special-use permits. ''In other words, when the board of trustees denied the plaintiff's request for a special-use permit, it was declining to adopt an ordinance. This action is legislative and therefore not subject to review under the Administrative Review Law,'' the appeals court said.

The appeals court said that de novo judicial review was required because the enactment or rejection of an ordinance is a legislative act and that such an action is never subject to judicial review under the Administrative Review Law.

Ashley Libertyville LLC v. Village of Libertyville, No. 2-07-0729. Justice R. Peter Grometer wrote the court's opinion with Justices Jack O'Malley and Thomas E. Callum concurring. Released Jan. 7.


See Zoning Law page for complete summary and additional cases on zoning issues.






New Eminent Domain Laws Protect Property Owners 


To read the full summary of the Act, read the complete article.




To read full case law summaries, visit the Zoning Law library.






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