RANCH Residential Planning Guidelines

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To the greatest extent possible, RANCH Triangle is committed to the conservation of historic buildings, as they contribute to the uniqueness and desirability of our community. RANCH Triangle looks most favorably on development that includes rehabilitation or reuse of existing properties. If reuse or redevelopment is not possible RANCH strongly encourages development that reflects the context of the immediately adjacent buildings in the area, comparable in quality, scale, building materials and design with the historic residential and commercial structures in our community.

Review Criteria

When RANCH is asked to review development proposals and make recommendations, the following items are considered:

  • Zoning exceptions, variances, or changes requested by the developer. Such changes should be specific and justified as necessary by need and/or hardship, as well as impact on both the incident development and on adjacent properties.
  • Renovation/reuse considerations. If an existing structure is involved, the extent to which it can be renovated or incorporated in the new development.
  • Facade and street scape. The compatibility of the facade in the context of other buildings in the immediate area, with particular emphasis in the areas of RANCH that are within the Sheffield Historic District.
  • Sanitation provisions. The extent to which provision is made for exterior positioning of trash receptacles without obstructing public streets, sidewalks, or alleys.
  • Drainage. The extent to which drainage will be controlled so as not to exacerbate potential flooding.
  • Front, side, and rear yard setbacks. The extent to which such setbacks are compatible with adjacent buildings. Enclosed connections or breezeways between residential structures and detached garages are specifically discouraged.
  • Building materials. The extent to which building materials are compatible with other structures in the immediate area. Split face block, cinder block, and dryvit on any exterior surface are specifically discouraged.
  • Parking. The extent to which adequate parking is provided. For residential development, a minimum of two spaces per unit are preferred.

The Review Process

  • All presentations and decisions will be made at regularly scheduled Planning Committee or Board of Directors meetings, unless a special meeting to consider a proposal is called at a regularly scheduled Planning Committee or Board of Directors meeting. Planning Committee meetings are held on the first Monday of the month, unless pre-empted by a holiday, in which case they are held on the following Monday. Board of Directors meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month.
  • Planning Committee and Board of Director votes on development projects will be held only at regular meetings of those bodies. Only members in attendance can vote. Telephone, e-mail, or proxy votes are specifically prohibited in all circumstances.
  • Votes on proposed developments shall be taken at the Planning Committee and Board of Directors only when a quorum is present.
  • Developers who wish to present revised plans to either satisfy questions raised by the Planning Committee or Board of Directors may do so at the next regularly scheduled Planning Committee meeting or special meeting as described above.

The specific steps of the review process are as follows:

  1. The owner or developer of the proposed project contacts the Planning Committee Chairman to determine the date of the next regularly scheduled meeting and determine what materials may be necessary in addition to those specified in step 2, below.
  2. Seven days in advance of the Planning Committee meeting, the owner/developer shall furnish the Planning Committee Chairman with five copies of the requested materials. Basic materials required in any case are:
    1. Site plan, with dimensions of the proposed development, showing front, side, and rear yard setbacks, the location of trash receptacles, and the location and dimensions of any outbuildings, as well as the overall dimensions of the property.
    2. Front, side, and rear elevations, with height and width dimensions, identifying the building materials used for each elevation.
    3. Floor plans for all levels showing dimensions.
    4. Street scape rendition of proposed development in the context of its immediately adjacent buildings on both sides, showing, for each building, lot and building widths and heights.
    5. Detailed description of and reasons for any zoning exceptions, variances, changes, or special uses needed for the proposed development.
    6. Provisions for parking
    7. Calculation of floor area ratio for residential developments.
    8. Proof of ownership of the subject property.
    9. Certification that submitted plans contain the same information as submitted to the Chicago Zoning department.
    10. Development schedule to completion.
  3. Upon receipt of the materials described in steps 1 and 2, the Planning Committee Chairman makes those available to the Committee members and such interested parties as may have made their interest known to the Planning Committee within five days of the Planning Committee meeting.
  4. The owner/developer presents the proposed development at the designated Planning Committee meeting. Issues or questions about the proposed development should be raised and resolved at this meeting. Any agreements as to changes to the proposed development shall be documented and signed by the owner/developer and the Planning Committee Chairman. The Planning Committee may take one of three actions:
    1. Vote to recommend approval of the proposed development, including any agreements reached at the meeting.
    2. Vote to recommend disapproval of the proposed development.
    3. Agree to further consideration of a revised proposal at either the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Planning Committee or a special meeting to be scheduled at that time.
  5. The Planning Committee forwards its decision of record to the Board of Directors, with copies to the Planning Committee members, for a vote at the next regularly scheduled Board of Directors meeting.
  6. The Board of Directors reviews the Planning Committee decision and may take one of three actions:
    1. Accept the Planning Committee recommendation.
    2. Reject the Planning Committee recommendation.
    3. Modify the Planning Committee recommendation.
  7. If the Board of Directors accepts the Planning Committee recommendation, with or without modification, the owner/developer and the alderman and interested city departments are notified. If the approval is subject to an agreement, or amendment by the Board, a final copy of the agreement, as amended, is signed by both the RANCH Triangle Planning Committee Chairman and the owner/developer and included with the notification to the alderman and interested city agencies.
  8. If the Board of Directors rejects the Planning Committee recommendation, the owner/developer is notified and, if they want to work towards a compromise, can appear at the next regularly scheduled Planning Committee meeting. They will need to follow the provisions of this process, starting with step 2, above, for any new or changed aspects of the development.
  9. Any negotiations between owners/developers and representatives of RANCH Triangle subsequent to action by the Board of Directors shall, if successful, be forwarded to the Planning Committee for consideration at its next regularly scheduled meeting. Actions of the Planning Committee at that meeting shall be as described in step 4, above, and be forwarded to the Board of Directors for action as provided beginning with step 5.
  10. The Planning Committee may at its discretion suspend the above rules as they pertain to its actions in order to accommodate extraordinary circumstances. Such suspension shall be authorized by a two-thirds vote of the members present.