Chicago suburb wants to issue $3,500 fines for teardowns

The proposal is in response to the teardown trend of old, more affordable homes to make way for the development of new, more expensive homes

Jan.January 14, 2020 01:00 PM
Old home being torn down (Credit: iStock)

Old home being torn down (Credit: iStock)

A northwest Chicago suburb is considering charging a $3,500 “impact fee” to property owners who tear down old houses.

Most village board members supported the item Monday night as they reviewed and discussed a proposed inclusionary housing ordinance for Arlington Heights, the Daily Herald reported.

The proposal is meant to curb the replacement of older, more affordable homes with newer, more expensive ones, a trend that’s happening across the Chicago area.

Arlington Heights saw 26 teardowns in 2018 and at least 23 in 2019, the paper reported. An analysis of six teardowns in the village determined sales prices nearly quadrupled, with old houses ranging from $187,000 to $275,000 being replaced with new homes ranging from $775,000 to almost $1 million.

Money collected through the proposed $3,500-per-unit linkage fee would go into a village housing trust fund.

Residents who want to expand their existing homes wouldn’t be subject to the fee.

The fee and other parts of the six-page draft ordinance, which also includes a 7.5 percent or 12.5 percent affordable housing requirement on new downtown apartments, will go back to the advisory housing commission for review before returning to the village board for a final vote.

Highland Park and Lake Forest charge a $10,000 demolition fee. [Daily Herald]Brianna Kelly

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