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City of Chicago expands TOD Development Benefits to certain bus routes

Talar Berberian Katriina McGuire January 25, 2019

Certain high frequency bus routes in Chicago now qualify for the City’s Transit Oriented Development (“TOD”) benefits. On Wednesday, the Chicago City Council approved a revised version of the ordinance that was introduced in December 2018, and that we discussed here.

The revised version adds segments along two additional bus lines, the #67 (67th-79th-71st) and #39 (Pershing) busses to the CTA bus routes subject to the expanded TOD ordinance. The full list of high frequency bus lines and their eligible roadway segments identified in the TOD Expansion Ordinance are listed in two tables accessible below.

Effective immediately, properties that are in B, C, D or M Districts and within 1,320 feet of the centerline of an identified Bus Line Corridor Roadway Segment (“Roadway Segment”) or those that are 2,640 feet from the centerline of a Roadway Segment and are located on a P-Street will be TOD eligible in the same way that properties within the same distance from METRA or CTA train stops are.

TOD benefits to be expanded include automatically reducing parking requirements for residential uses  by half, and eliminating them for non-residential uses. Furthermore, reductions of parking requirements for residential uses can be eliminated entirely if approved by a special use, Type 1 zoning amendment, or planned development approval, as the case may be. Additionally, TOD eligible properties in B-3, C-3, and D-3 Districts are eligible for an increase in FAR up to 4.0, a reduction in MLA and additional height, subject to certain approvals and conditions.

Although the version of the ordinance introduced in December also proposed extending the TOD parking reductions to higher density residential (R) districts, those provisions failed to pass at the Committee on Zoning.

The approved substitute ordinance is here.

Tables of the approved bus lines and roadway segments can be found here.

Please save the date for a Thompson Coburn Real Estate Toolbox Series on February 7, 2019 where we will delve into the details of the ordinance and discuss how to get TOD projects approved, including community involvement and ARO implications. Please look for the invitation in your inbox soon!

If you have any questions about this amendment and its impact on any pending or future projects, please contact Katriina McGuire or Talar Berberian.