MPC recommends legalizing coach houses in new zoning ordinance - Metropolitan Planning Council

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MPC recommends legalizing coach houses in new zoning ordinance

Coach houses have been a traditional part of Chicago neighborhoods for many years but Chicago’s current zoning ordinance does not allow for them. MPC is recommending that coach houses be included in the new zoning ordinance.

As the Mayor’s Zoning Reform Commission moves forward with the Chicago Zoning Ordinance rewrite, MPC recommends that coach houses be included in the new text. MPC has developed a proposal to allow coach houses in Chicago, which includes draft language and specific recommendations to be considered by the Commission.

Coach houses have been a traditional part of Chicago neighborhoods for many years but Chicago’s current zoning ordinance does not allow for them. Coach houses contribute to the mix of housing types, provide affordable housing for renters and help defray the cost of owning a home in the City. MPC looked at codes from throughout the nation to compile draft recommendations for coach houses. 

 MPC’s recommendations include:

  • Coach houses should be limited to RS 1-3 districts.
  • One coach house unit per lot should be permitted.
  • Coach houses should be permitted on lots 30 feet or more in width, and 150 feet or more in depth. 
  • Property owners should be required to occupy either the principle building or the coach house.
  • No on-site parking should be required for coach houses.
  • Entrances to coach house may be in alleys or in rear yards.
  • A one-year amnesty program or grace period should be established for illegal units to apply for permit, and/or come up to code.

To see a full list of recommendations and draft language for coach houses, click here .

For more information on the Chicago Zoning Ordinance rewrite and the Mayor’s Zoning Reform Commission click here .

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