§ 17-11-0200

Vehicular use areas

17-11-0201 Applicability. Unless otherwise expressly stated, the standards of this section (17-11-0200) apply to all of the following in all zoning districts:

17-11-0201-A the construction or installation of any vehicular use area .

17-11-0201-B any existing vehicular use area that is accessory to an existing principal building , if: if such building or any portion thereof is repaired or rehabilitated (including interior alteration and remodeling) and the cost of such repair or rehabilitation exceeds 150% of the property’s assessed value;

17-11-0201-C the repair, rehabilitation or expansion of any existing vehicular use area , if such repair, rehabilitation or expansion would increase the number of existing parking spaces by more than 25% or 4 spaces, whichever is less;

17-11-0201-D any existing vehicular use area which is accessory to an existing principal building , if such building or any portion thereof is expanded or enlarged and the expansion increases the existing floor area on the zoning lot by 50% or 5,000 square feet, whichever is less; and

17-11-0201-E the excavation and reconstruction of an existing vehicular use area if such excavation and reconstruction involves the removal of 50% or more of the asphalt, concrete or other pavement devoted to vehicular use. This provision does not apply to the resurfacing of asphalt or concrete or to emergency work on underground storage tanks if such work is intended to maintain the integrity and safety of such tanks and is subject to review under other federal, state or local laws.

17-11-0201-F   The provisions of Sections 17-11-0201-B, 17-11-0201-C, 17-11-0201-D, and 17-11-0201-E shall not apply to any existing accessory vehicular use area , as of the effective date of this amendatory ordinance of 2012, until June 15, 2016.

17-11-0202 Perimeter Landscaping, Screening and Fencing.

17-11-0202-A Screening from Abutting Residential and Institutional Uses.

1. The perimeter of all vehicular use areas larger than 1,200 square feet must be effectively screened from all abutting R-zoned property and from all abutting property that is improved with a hospital , nursing home , religious assembly , community center, school , college or other similar institutional use.

2. Such screening must consist of a wall, fence, or hedge not less than 5 feet in height and not more than 7 feet in height.

3. Screening fences must be masonry or wood and must be planted with vines. Chain-link fencing is prohibited.

17-11-0202-B Screening from Streets.

1. The perimeter of all vehicular use areas larger than 1,200 square feet must set back at least 7 feet from front and street side (corner) property lines and effectively screened from view of such street .

2. The view of such vehicular use areas from all abutting streets must be visually screened either by permitted buildings (other than fences or walls) or by a hedge, not less than 2.5 feet in height and not more than 4 feet in height, or by a combination of buildings and hedges.

a.

This screening requirement is not to be interpreted as prohibiting the installation of or provision for openings reasonably necessary for access drives and walkways.

b.

Visual screening must be located between the perimeter of the vehicular use area and the front property line .

c.

Hedges used to satisfy the standards of this section must consist of individual shrubs with a minimum width of 24 inches, spaced no more than 36 inches on center.

3. The remainder of the required 7-foot vehicular use area setback must be landscaped and must include at least one tree for every 25 linear feet of street frontage . Trees must have a minimum caliper size of 4 inches within the Central Area and 2.5 inches outside the Central Area.

4. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Zoning Ordinance, the front or rear bumper overhang of vehicles parked within the vehicular use area may encroach upon the required front setback up to a maximum distance of 2 feet. This allowed overhang area may be included in the calculation of the required depth of each abutting parking space.

Figure 17-11-0202-B

17-11-0202-C Fencing. Ornamental fencing is required to be installed along the perimeter of vehicular use areas along those lot lines adjacent to public street rights-of-way or abutting any existing front yard of property located within an R district.

1. The required ornamental fencing must be installed behind the required perimeter landscape area, at least 5 feet from abutting property lines .

2. Required fences are limited to a height of no more than 5 feet above grade unless the Zoning Administrator determines that the fence is necessary for security purposes in which case the fence may be a maximum of 6 feet in height.

3. Any pre-existing vehicular use areas must have ornamental fencing installed behind any existing hedges or, when no hedges exist, at the property line based on the following schedule:

Area Size of Vehicular Use Area Required Date of Compliance
Central Area Any January 1, 2002
Outside of Central Area 30,000 square feet or more January 1, 2004
Outside of Central Area 8,000 to 29,999 square feet June 15, 2014
Outside of Central Area 2,000 to 7,999 square feet June 15, 2014

Note: for purposes of this provision, the Central Area is the area bounded by North Avenue, Lake Michigan, Cermak Road, and Ashland Avenue

Notwithstanding the above schedule, the required date of compliance outside the Central Area for accessory vehicular use areas less than 30,000 square feet in size shall be June 15, 2016.

17-11-0203 Interior Landscaping. All lots containing vehicular use areas with an area 3,000 square feet or more must provide interior landscaping in accordance with the requirements of this section.

17-11-0203-A The area of interior landscaping must be equal to:

Area of Vehicular Use Area (square feet) Minimum Interior Landscaped Area
3,000-4,500 5% of vehicular use area
4,501-30,000 7.5% of vehicular use area
More than 30,000 10% of vehicular use area

17-11-0203-B Required interior landscaping must comply with the following standards:

1. The area of setbacks and landscaping provided to comply with the perimeter landscape standards of Sec. 17-11-0202 may not be counted toward satisfying interior landscaping standards.

2. Interior landscaped areas must be designed to enhance the appearance and safety of the vehicular use areas . Such areas must be reasonably dispersed throughout vehicular use area .

3. Existing plant material may be counted towards satisfaction of this requirement.

4. One tree must be planted for each 125 square feet of required interior landscape area. Trees must have a minimum caliper size of 4 inches within the Central Area and 2.5 inches outside the Central Area.

5. Existing trees that have a minimum caliper size of 2.5 inches may be counted towards satisfying interior landscaping requirements if such trees are preserved and adequately protected through all phases of contraction. Each 2.5 caliper inches of any existing tree that is preserved will be deemed to be the equivalent of one 2.5-inch caliper tree.

6. Each separate landscaped island or area must contain a minimum of 165 square feet of area, have a minimum dimension of 8 feet in any direction and include at least one tree. Within vehicular use areas with an area of less than 4,600 square feet, required trees may be installed along the perimeter of the vehicular use area instead of within interior islands.

7. The trees required to be planted within interior landscaping areas must be canopy trees consistent with the species recommended in the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance.

8. The soil volume and composition for trees required within interior planting islands must have 2-foot minimum depth and topsoil must be backfilled and mounded as described in the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance . The soil composition (soil types, acidity and organic content) and soil percolation rates must follow the recommendations of the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance .

17-11-0204 Landscape and Tree Protection. All required landscaping area must be protected from vehicular encroachment by curbs or wheel stops. All trees must be installed and trimmed to ensure that no tree limb or portion thereof extends below the level of 6 feet above the ground.

17-11-0205 Sight Triangles.

17-11-0205-A No landscape material more than 12 inches in height may be installed or allowed to grow within any sight triangle.

17-11-0205-B A sight triangle is the triangular area bounded as follows:

1. at the intersection of a street and either an alley or a driveway, by the edges of the alley or driveway and the edge of the street right-of-way for a distance of 12 feet from the point of intersection and by a line connecting the ends of the two sides; or

2. at the intersection of two or more streets , by the edges of the street rights-of-way for a distance of 30 feet from the point of intersection and by a line connecting the ends of the two sides.

17-11-0206 Multi-level Parking Garages.

17-11-0206-A Purpose. The landscaping, screening and design standards for multi-level parking garages are intended to ensure that above-ground, multi-level parking structures are compatible with the building to which they are accessory and with other buildings in the immediate area. In the case of both accessory and non-accessory garages, parked cars must be concealed or screened from view from public streets and open spaces, as described below.

17-11-0206-B Accessory Parking Garages. The exterior elevations of any accessory parking structure must be designed to be architecturally integrated with the exterior elevation of any accessory parking structure and the principal building to which it is accessory. Architectural integration will be judged in terms of: building form and materials; the pattern, size, shape and number of window openings; the glazing and screening of window openings; and surface treatments such as cornices, moldings, reveals and sills.

17-11-0206-C Parking Garages as Principal Buildings.

1. The exterior elevations of any parking structure that is the principal building on a site must be designed so as to screen or conceal parked cars from view from public streets and open space on its first and second floors. In multi-level garages to be constructed in the Central Area and the Lakefront Protection District, openings above the second floor must be treated with glazing, screening panels or other architectural treatments that make the parking structure more architecturally compatible with surrounding buildings. For the purpose of this provision, “Central area” means the area bounded by North Avenue; Lake Michigan; Cermak Road; and Ashland Avenue.

2. The design of parking structures must minimize the appearance of sloped floors from the street .

17-11-0206-D Site Details. All parking garages must provide shielding of lighting so as to minimize glare on adjoining properties. New parking garages in R or DR zoning districts must install garage doors at street level when such doors would enhance the appearance or safety of the parking structure at the street level.

17-11-0206-E Traffic Standards. The location and design of the parking structure’s entrances and exits should be planned so as to have the least impact on residential streets and busy intersections and to minimize conflicts with pedestrians. Special paving materials should be used to help define the pedestrian walkways along garage openings when this definition would enhance pedestrian safety. Driveway widths should be kept to a minimum consistent with the standards of the Chicago Department of Transportation. Driveway review must be coordinated with the Chicago Department of Transportation’s driveway permit processing.

17-11-0206-F Screening. The parking areas of multi- story garages must be screened or concealed by 1 or more of the following methods:

1. Ground-Floor Retail. When a parking structure is proposed for a street where the predominant use is retail or business services, the garage’s ground-level street frontage (except for driveways and pedestrian entrances) must be improved with retail and business services. Ground-floor and second-floor spaces improved with retail, business service or other active uses must include display windows, lighting, architectural treatments or landscaping that enhances the pedestrian environment.

2. Ground-Floor Residential. Where permitted, ground- floor residential use may be used to screen a parking structure.

3. Landscaping.

a.

Landscaping may be required for all parking garages (except fully enclosed garages) at ground-level or on each street façade above ground- level in the form of perimeter planters within openings, upper-level landscaped setbacks and/or the incorporation of hanging baskets, flower boxes or planting trellises.

b.

A parking structure that does not incorporate ground-floor retail or residential use or is not otherwise screened or concealed at street frontages on the first and second levels, must provide a densely planted landscaped yard that is a minimum of 10 feet in depth for any garage 4 levels or less and 20 feet in depth for any garage 5 levels or more.

4. Upper-Level Screening. On upper levels of a parking garage, the parking may be screened by business or residential uses, glazing, metal grillwork, louvers and other architectural treatments.

17-11-0206-G Site Plan Review. Multi-level parking garages are subject to site plan review, in accordance with Sec. 17-13-0800.  In addition to the site plans and drawings required to be submitted as part of the site plan review application, all multi-level parking garages, except fully-enclosed garages, must submit a landscape plan to the Zoning Administrator illustrating all site landscaping as well as the proposed use of perimeter planters, hanging baskets, flower boxes, planting trellises and/or roof-top gardens. Consistent with the goal of screening and enclosing garages, the Zoning Administrator may require:

1. the planting of vines at the base of any multi-level garage;

2. the installation of perimeter planters on at least every other floor of garages using natural ventilation; and/or

3. the installation of perimeter planters on rooftops used for parking with such rooftop planters designed and constructed consistent with the standards illustrated in the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance and the Guide to the Chicago Parking Garage Ordinance .

17-11-0206-H Existing Garages.

1. By April 1, 2007, property owners of every pre-existing, multi-level, nonresidential parking garage located within the Central Area must submit a landscape plan to the Zoning Administrator illustrating compliance with the standards of this section and Sec. 17-11-0206.

2. If, before April 1, 2007, the property owner or operator of any pre-existing, multi-level, nonresidential parking garage located within the Central Area is required to obtain from the Department of Buildings a permit for the enlargement, alteration or repair of the garage and the estimated value of the building work is $50,000 or more, as stated on the permit application, the property owner or operator of the garage must submit a landscape plan to the Zoning Administrator Planning and Development within 12 months of the date that such permit is issued.

3. Within 6 months of the date on which the landscape plan is approved by the Zoning Administrator the property owner or operator of the nonresidential parking garage must install and maintain landscaping consistent with the approved landscape plan.

4. Any landscape plan submitted pursuant to this subsection must:

a.

illustrate the proposed use of perimeter planters, hanging baskets, flower boxes, planting trellises and/or rooftop gardens to screen all garage openings visible from any public street or park; and

b.

screen at least one-half of all such openings with landscaping.

5. Consistent with the goal of screening and enclosing garages, the Zoning Administrator may require:

a.

the planting of vines at the base of any multi-level garage;

b.

the installation of perimeter planters on at least every other floor of garages using natural ventilation; and

c.

the installation of perimeter planters on rooftops used for parking with such rooftop planters designed and constructed consistent with the standards illustrated in the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance .

6. For purposes of this section 17-11-0206-H only, “nonresidential parking garage” means any parking structure licensed or required to be licensed under Chapter 4-232 of this Code where 45% or more of the parking spaces are available to the public for a fee.

(Added Coun. J. 5-26-04, p. 25275; Amend Coun. J. 1-11-06, p. 68368, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 9-13-06, p. 85599, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 11-13-07, p. 14999, Art. II, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 11-19-08, p. 47220, Art. VII, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 4-14-10, p. 89065, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 5-9-12, p. 27485, § 194; Amend Coun. J. 6-6-12, p. 28858, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 11-8-12, p. 38872, §§ 253, 254; Amend Coun. J. 9-10-14, p. 88541, § 1)

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