Mayor Emanuel’s proposal to create more incentives to increase development near public transit stations is one of several items listed on the City Council’s Zoning Committee agenda today. The changes build on the Mayor’s 2013 TOD ordinance by expanding the size of TOD zones, eliminating all parking requirements, and adding new incentives for affordable housing. The TOD ordinance the Mayor introduced at the last City Council meeting increases the maximum distance required for development projects near CTA and Metra stations to 1,320 ft, up from the 600 ft currently required in the City’s zoning code.
Developers who commit to making 100% of units affordable would get to expand the floor-area-ratio (FAR), which is the building floor area divided by the total gross area of the lot, from 3.5 to 4.0. TOD projects in business, commercial, manufacturing, and downtown zoned areas wouldn’t have to provide any on-site parking under the proposal. In lieu of parking, developers would have to beautify the surrounding open space with trees and shrubbery, outdoor seating, wider sidewalks or additional lighting. If approved in committee tomorrow and by the full City Council at the end of the month, the changes would apply to all zoning applications submitted on or after November 1, 2015.
In addition to the TOD reforms, the Committee will also vote on Mayor Emanuel’s proposed ordinance creating a private event license for large parties hosted at industrial venues. The license fee would be based on the number of expected attendees, ranging from $700 to $6,600.