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Index Publishing Corporation


Spring 2007 Edition 




Quick References 


About Us




Recent Code Changes


Seminars & Events






Contact Us





Index Staff


Peter Mierzwa
  General Manager


Linda Seggelke

  Manager of Customer


Matt Baker



Megan Stiles

  Editor/Civic Planner


Ernie Abood

  Advertising Executive 








GIS Mapping:


Index has converted all of our maps to a GIS format to provide more accurate and timely zoning infor-mation. See a demo now!

New GIS Features:


1. Includes all City approved changes through January 2007.


2. All maps have been updated with the new zoning classifications from the 2004 Chicago Zoning Ordinance.

3. Use orthophotography to view images of properties.

4. Maps will be updated monthly.

5. The print maps also have been revised with the new zoning classifications.


Learn more


Call us to get your online subscription - 312.644.6977.



New 2007 Chicago Building Code Available! 


* New Accessibility Code


* Updated Plumbing Code


* New Interpretations from DCAP


* Updated through September 13, 2006



Order your copy now.










What was the Code 20 years ago?


We can research City Council changes back to Nov. 4, 1987.


Contact us with your next research project.







Table of Contents 


Letter from the Publisher 


City Election Shake-Ups 


New GIS Maps


Upcoming Seminars 


Summary of Municipal Code Changes 


Case Law Update 




 Know the Code  




Welcome to the Spring 2007 Know the Code eNewsletter. Okay, maybe we're a little optimistic about spring. We've completed updating our GIS mapping site through January 2007 and will continue monthly updates as changes are passed by the City Council. We also are planning our first confrence on sustainability - Building Green Chicago on April 25, 2007. Please feel free to forward this to  your colleagues. They can get their own free subscription here.


This quarter we have included more details on some upcoming conferences, several key appellate court cases, and a summary of the recent Chicago elections. We'll also cover recent changes to the Municipal Code of Chicago and the status of chapters currently under revision.


If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact us. Your comments have helped improve our products and services over the years and we will continue to solicit and act on your advice.




Peter Mierzwa

General Manager





Some Shake-Ups

After City Elections



Mayor Richard M. Daley proved victorious after a landslide in the Februrary 28th election that maintained his reign for a sixth term as Chicago's mayor. While his win seemed locked in from the beginning, there were some surprises in the aldermanic races. Longtime loop and gold coast alderman Burton Natarus, for example, lost his seat. Brendan Reilly, a 30-year-old telecom executive, will preside over the influential 42nd ward. Darcel Beavers (7th) was unseated by Sandi Jackson, the wife of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. And while Arenda Troutman (20th) wasn't expected to retain her seat after the FBI brought bribery charges against her, she still managed to get a third of the votes in her loss to challenger Willie B. Cochran.


In April, the following wards will be making decisions on their Aldermen: 2nd Ward, 3rd Ward, 16th Ward, 18th Ward, 21st Ward, 24th Ward, 32nd Ward, 43rd Ward, 39th Ward and 50th Ward. Also, the 15th Ward will be looking to fill the only open seat on the council. 



Check our news page for other stories covering City issues. 









"When I talk about making Chicago the greenest city in the nation, I'm not being idealistic. I'm being very practical."

- Mayor Richard M. Daley

Building Green Chicago:

Designing Green, Saving Green 




April 25, 2007

As part of the City of Chicago's Earth Month Celebration, Index Publishing is proud to present Building Green Chicago: Designing Green, Saving Green. Sadhu Johnston, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Environment, keynotes this conference that will feature city experts and industry leaders discussing the state of environmentally-conscious design in Chicago.


Expert panels on green initiatives and financial incentives, new technologies and strategies for enhancing sustainability, a survey of existing green buildings and their performance and other discussions make this conference a must for any forward-moving developer. To sign up for this conference, visit our registration page. Interested in sponsoring the conference? Contact us.



Earth Day Weekend 

April 21-22 at McCormick Place, Lakeside


Don't miss Earth Day or the 1st Green Festival both of which will cover the full range of green initiatives; specifically for the consumer: how can we green our own homes and lives? Click here to learn more!





Review of the Chicago Electrical Code

May 5, 2007


As it has in the past, Index Publishing will host a review of the Chicago Electrical Code. Whether you are a veteran electrician in need of a refresher or preparing for the city's supervising electrician's exam, our presenters, Dan Caddigan and Ron Webb, will help you to better understand the code. The one-day seminar costs $310 and includes a copy of the 2007 Chicago Electrical Code. For more information on this seminar or to register, please contact us.





Chicago Building Permit Conference

Fall 2007


Ever struggled to get building permits approved with the City? Would you like to hear from city officials or professionals about the most efficient way to go through the process? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions then plan on attending the Chicago Building Permit Conference.  Index Publishing, in conjunction with the City of Chicago Department of Construction and Permits and other departments, will host this unique opportunity to review and outline the complete building permit process. City officials and permit process professionals will walk attendees through the process one step at a time, discussing best practices and answering questions. If you would like to streamline your permit application process, you don't want to miss this opportunitiy. Please contact us and we'll email you with more information as it becomes available. Interested in sponsoring this event? Let us know.




2007 Index Conferences and Events

Learn more here.







Summary of Changes 




In November 2006 the City Council made slight changes to three dozen sections after changing the business license renewal cycle from one to two years. They also created, in Chapter 13-32, a program to be overseen by the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities whereby building permit applicants can voluntarily submit plans for review and assistance regarding accessibility.


On December 8, the Council made many changes to Chapter 7-4 broadening the regulations of lead-bearing substances.  Also in December, Chapter 11-18 was added to minimize the effect of development on stormwater management. In January, many additions and alterations to Chapter 4-60 updated the liquor license ordinance, specifically the deleterious impacts of liquor-providing establishments.


Updates are constantly being added to Index Publishing's GIS mapping system (see a demo here). Since March of 2006, we've added 1,200 changes to the zoning map. In the last five months, the City Council has approved 400 map changes, including 27 new planned developments, 6 new transportation districts and 8 new public open space districts. See the latest changes at


See Recent Changes for a more detailed explanation of the amendments and additions to the Municipal Code.








"In the last five months, the City has instituted 400 map changes, including 27 new planned developments, 6 new transportation districts and 8 new public open space districts."

Court House

Case Law Update



Zoning - variance - manifest weight of the evidence


Findings by the Chicago Zoning Board to deny application for a variance that fails to meet municipal ordinance criteria is not against the manifest weight of the evidence where the Board is not required to provide specific factual findings, the plight of the property owner is self-imposed and viable alternatives are available that will produce a reasonble return without the variance.


Kimball Dawson, LLC v. City of Chicago Department of Zoning, et al.



See Zoning Law page for complete summary and additional cases on zoning issues.






Zoning - vested right in prior zoning


The correct date for determination of substantial expenditure to prove a vested right in the prior zoning classificatation is the date that some official action was taken to change zoning, as opposed to date alderman first discussed with the developer the possibility of zoning amendment.


See Illinois Supreme Court opinion in 1350 Lakeshore Assoc. v. Healy.


See Zoning Law page for complete summary and additional cases on zoning issues. 






New Eminent Domain Laws Protect Property Owners 


To read the full summary of the Act, read the complete article.




To read full case law summaries, visit the Zoning Law library.






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