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Chicago's new zoning battle

boiker

Cyburbian
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/chi-0404110314apr11,1,4757603.story

Throughout Chicago, neighborhood leaders like Roman, real-estate brokers and developers are massing forces for a ward-by-ward turf war as the city prepares to plot new zoning rules in more than 100 square miles of residential blocks. It will be the first decree since 1957 of what types of buildings can go where across the entire city.

The remapping process is expected to take three years and involve dozens of community meetings. The character of city neighborhoods is at stake in this debate of old versus new, affordable and modest houses versus grand and pricey condos, longtime neighbors versus yuppie newcomers.
 

mgk920

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boiker said:
IIRC, when the current zoning laws were set in the 1950s it was reasonably expected that there would be over 5 million residents living in the city within the lifetimes of some of those setting the rules, with the rules being set to accommodate that growth. In the decades following, however, the great suburban migration (the so-called 'white flight') took place and many previously strong neighborhoods went bad, ultimately dropping the city's population from just under 4 million down to about 2.75 million.

The city is becoming popular again and developers are responding to that demand under those 1950s laws, much to the angst of residents who have been there throughout those years.


My biggest worry is that the new zoning law will try to enforce a lower city 'buildout' population figure (somewhere in the 3-4 million range) without being fully thought through, with the logical end result being out-of-control prices of lower-end housing that will force out those long-termers, as well as the necessary public service people like teachers, cops and firefighters who make cities work, much like what we are now finding in California and the northeastern USA.

Mike
 

Gedunker

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I thought the news media were supposed to be objective. "...longtime neighbors versus yuppie newcomers." That's really setting the tone for the whole process to be even more contentious than it needs to be.

A$$hole reporters |-)
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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"It's a tremendous problem," said Flores. "We are at the mercy of the developers, who decide for themselves what the neighborhood is going to look like."
As a planner and having basic a compassion for the developer viewpoint, I would say that it is not the developer determining the "look" but simply the developer using the existing legal framework which legally allows this type of development.

I do though have a problem with the design and construction of many of these three-flat condo buildings because the buildings are usually quite ugly boxes.


"Let's face it, there are other cities in this country who are dying for this problem," he said. "I'd rather try to channel development than beg for it."
I agree with this statement.
 
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