Here's a question: This year the City of Chicago's zoning ordinance is being revised for the first time since 1957. Over the last 45 years, local aldermen have been given huge latitude to almost unilaterally change zoning within their wards by introducing amendments to the zoning ordinance before City Council.
The aldermen will down- or up-zone properties in any given area within their ward to suit their desires, and their amendments are rarely if ever challenged by City Council, ZBA, Plan Commission, the Mayor's Office or the planning department. Here, this has come to be known as "aldermanic prerogative."
What has resulted is a zoning mish-mash throughout the city that can be a nightmare for the planners and is now being dealt with through the City's Zoning Reform Commission. However, "aldermanic prerogative" is not on the table as a zoning reform issue.
Since leaving the City of Chicago I've worked in other places as a consultant and seen how different things can be. I'm wondering how unique is Chicago's take on zoning? Are there other places that approach this?