Chicago might finally be embracing granny flats

Chicago /
May.May 07, 2020 12:05 PM
Lori Lightfoot (Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski / AFP via Getty Images)

Lori Lightfoot (Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski / AFP via Getty Images)

The real estate community says it knows how to increase the affordable housing stock in Chicago — lift the longtime ban on coach houses and other accessory dwelling units.

The Urban Land Institute Chicago released a report on Thursday asking city officials to lift the ban and simplify the permitting process to allow for construction of such units, which are sometimes referred to as granny flats, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Numerous other cities with housing shortages have embraced ADUs, particularly on the West Coast. And Mayor Lori Lightfoot has signaled that she would embrace such units, by introducing an ordinance that lifts the ban on ADUs and creating standards on their design.

“The administration’s proposed ADU ordinance is not only a way to increase available housing throughout Chicago, it is also a safety and stimulus effort, designed to allow for very gentle density within existing neighborhood character,” Lightfoot’s Department of Housing said. “In fact, if ever the need arises again, ADUs will create a type of density that could allow for multi-generational households to remain close, but also create options for social distancing in a basement unit or coach house on the same property.”

Some estimate that Chicago has 2,400 coach houses despite a ban on ADUs since the 1950s. Most were grandfathered in or illegally added afterward.

The ULI report said ADUs should be allowed in any residential zoning district as well as any multifamily building with commercial space.

Community groups have sounded the alarm over the rate of two- to three-flat buildings being demolished and replaced with single-family homes in recent years.

Given the pandemic, it’s unclear when the City Council might take up Lightfoot’s ADU legislation. [Sun-Times]James Kleimann


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Gov. J.B. Pritzker (Getty)

Pritzker imposes new restrictions on retailers as Covid surges

Pritzker imposes new restrictions on retailers as Covid surges
Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot (Getty, iStock)

Pritzker and Lightfoot spar over Chicago’s new indoor dining restrictions

Pritzker and Lightfoot spar over Chicago’s new indoor dining restrictions
James D. Letchinger (JDL, Getty)

JDL eyes Chicago’s biggest resi development in 20 years

JDL eyes Chicago’s biggest resi development in 20 years
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and a restaurant in downtown Chicago (Getty)

Chicago to ease capacity limits, open bars

Chicago to ease capacity limits, open bars
Skender Manufacturing CEO Mark Skender

Another hit to affordable housing: Skender’s modular construction firm closes

Another hit to affordable housing: Skender’s modular construction firm closes
Mayor Lori Lightfoot (Getty; iStock)

Chicago affordable housing program has failed, report finds

Chicago affordable housing program has failed, report finds
Mayor Lori Lightfoot (Getty, iStock)

Developers wanted: Chicago looks to transform struggling commercial districts

Developers wanted: Chicago looks to transform struggling commercial districts
Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot and boarded up stores along Michigan Avenue (Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images, and Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Chicago’s $100M small biz loan fund has only distributed $17M

Chicago’s $100M small biz loan fund has only distributed $17M
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...