Historic District / Planning & Zoning Committee

The mission of the HDPZ committee is to preserve the architectural and historic character of the designated Chicago and National historic districts within the boundaries of the Old Town Triangle as well as advocate for strict zoning adherence.

On September 28, 1977, members of the Historic District Committee succeeded in having most of the Old Town Triangle area designated a Chicago Landmark by the City Council of Chicago. Today, the Historic District/Planning & Zoning Committee acts as a liaison between the Old Town Community and the Landmarks Commission, reporting the Committee’s recommendations and working cooperatively with the Commission to preserve the historic character of the neighborhood.

Each month, members consider requests for proposed exterior changes to existing buildings, new construction, and applications for zoning changes in the Triangle. Their deliberations range from the appropriateness of building materials used in rehabbing and construction projects to the height of fences and building additions.  The Guidelines for Alterations to Historic Buildings and New Construction, prepared by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks, serves as the guide for their recommendations. These recommendations are sent to the Alderman of the 43rd Ward and to appropriate city commissions and departments for approval. In every instance, the final decision on any rehab project rests with the Landmarks Commission.

Since neighborhood relations figure prominently in any rehabilitation project, members of the Historic District/Planning & Zoning Committee work with neighbors to maintain good relations between residents who are making changes to their properties and those who live in adjoining buildings.

On matters of neighborhood-wide concern, a community meeting is held and all neighbors are invited to express their views on the issue. In most cases where a community meeting is held, the 43rd Ward Alderman is a key participant in the proceedings.

Historic District Resource Links:
Commission on Chicago Landmarks’ Guidelines for Rehab (2015)
Dormer Criteria (2010)
Fern Court Guidelines (2002)
Hardie Board Resolution (2017)
Mid-Century Modern Statement (2018)
National Historic Register Approval (1984)
OTT Designation Ordinance
Preservation Chicago – Landmark FAQs
The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties
US Department of the Interior: Historic Preservation
Wells St Commercial Building Context Draft
State of Illinois Historic Preservation – Financial Incentives
Click here for additional resources