Zoning districts

What is zoning? Zoning basically makes sure a factory doesn't open next to a school.

It consists of regulations that control how big of a building you can build on a property, what you can do inside it. You can't just build anything anywhere - every property in Chicago lives in a zoning district of one kind or another. Read more »

There are nine different zoning classes in Chicago. They are:

Residential R - Residential

RS - Residential Single-Unit District

Detached, single family homes.

Name Floor area ratio Lot area per unit Maximum height Front yard setback Side yard setback Back yard setback
RS-1 0.5 6250 30 ft for detached house. None for schools and churches. 20ft, or 16% of lot depth, whichever is less. Alternatively, setback can be the average front yard depth of nearest 2 lots. Detached house: Combined width of side setbacks must equal 30% of lot width, with neither setback less than 5 feet or 10% of lot width (whichever is greater.) Churches and schools: 15 feet or 50% of building height, whichever is greater. 50 ft or 28% of lot depth, whichever is less.
RS-2 0.65 5000 30 ft for detached house. None for schools and churches. 20ft, or 16% of lot depth, whichever is less. Alternatively, setback can be the average front yard depth of nearest 2 lots. Detached house: Combined width of side setbacks must equal 30% of lot width, with neither setback less than 4 feet or 10% of lot width (whichever is greater.) Churches and schools: 15 feet or 50% of building height, whichever is greater. 50 ft or 28% of lot depth, whichever is less.
RS-3 0.9 2500 30 ft for detached house. None for schools and churches. 20ft, or 16% of lot depth, whichever is less. Alternatively, setback can be the average front yard depth of nearest 2 lots. Detached house: Combined width of side setbacks must equal 20% of lot width, with neither setback less than 2 feet or 8% of lot width (whichever is greater.) Churches and schools: 12 feet or 50% of building height, whichever is greater. 50 ft or 28% of lot depth, whichever is less.
RT - Residential Two-Flat, Townhouse and Multi-Unit District

Two-flats, townhouses, low-density apartment buildings, single family homes.

Name Floor area ratio Lot area per unit Maximum height Front yard setback Side yard setback Back yard setback
RT-3.5 1.05 1250 35 ft for detached house. None for schools and churches. 15ft, or 12% of lot depth, whichever is less. Alternatively, setback can be the average front yard depth of nearest 2 lots. Townhouses: complicated as hell, see 17-2-0500. All other buildings: Combined width of side setbacks must equal 20% of lot width, and neither setback can be less than 2 feet or 8% of lot width (whichever is greater.) But no setback is required to be wider than 5 feet. For detached houses: 50 ft or 28% of lot depth, whichever is less. For buildings with under 20 dwelling units, of which at least 33% are "accessible": 50 ft or 24% of lot depth, whichever is less.
RT-4 1.2 1000 sq ft/dwelling unit, 1000 sq ft/efficiency unit, 500 sq ft/SRO unit 38 ft for detached house. None for schools and churches. 15ft, or 12% of lot depth, whichever is less. Alternatively, setback can be the average front yard depth of nearest 2 lots. Townhouses: complicated as hell, see 17-2-0500. All other buildings: Combined width of side setbacks must equal 20% of lot width, and neither setback can be less than 2 feet or 8% of lot width (whichever is greater.) But no setback is required to be wider than 5 feet. For buildings with under 20 dwelling units, of which at least 33% are "accessible": 50 ft or 24% of lot depth, whichever is less. For other buildings: 50 ft or 30% of lot depth, whichever is less.
RT-4A 1.2. 1.5 for buildings containing less than 20 dwelling units, where at least 33% of these are "accessible." 1000 sq ft/dwelling unit, 1000 sq ft/efficiency unit, 500 sq ft/SRO unit 42 ft for buildings with less than 20 dwelling units, where at least 33% of these are "accessible." None for schools and churches. 15ft, or 12% of lot depth, whichever is less. Alternatively, setback can be the average front yard depth of nearest 2 lots. Townhouses: complicated as hell, see 17-2-0500. All other buildings: Combined width of side setbacks must equal 20% of lot width, and neither setback can be less than 2 feet or 8% of lot width (whichever is greater.) But no setback is required to be wider than 5 feet. For buildings with under 20 dwelling units, of which at least 33% are "accessible": 50 ft or 24% of lot depth, whichever is less. For other buildings: 50 ft or 30% of lot depth, whichever is less.
RM - Residential Multi-Unit District

Medium to high-density apartment buildings. Two-flats, townhouses, and single family homes are also allowed.

Name Floor area ratio Lot area per unit Maximum height Front yard setback Side yard setback Back yard setback
RM-4.5 1.7 700 sq ft/dwelling unit, 700 sq ft/efficiency unit, 500 sq ft/SRO unit 45 ft for residential buildings with lot frontage of less than 32 ft, 47 ft when lot front is over that. None for schools and churches. 15ft, or 12% of lot depth, whichever is less. Alternatively, setback can be the average front yard depth of nearest 2 lots. Townhouses: complicated as hell, see 17-2-0500. All other buildings: Combined width of side setbacks must equal 20% of lot width, and neither setback can be less than 2 feet or 8% of lot width (whichever is greater.) But no setback is required to be wider than 5 feet. For buildings with under 20 dwelling units, of which at least 33% are "accessible": 50 ft or 24% of lot depth, whichever is less. For other buildings: 50 ft or 30% of lot depth, whichever is less.
RM-5 2 400 sq ft/dwelling unit, 400 sq ft/efficiency unit, 200 sq ft/SRO unit 45 ft for residential buildings with lot frontage of less than 32 ft, 47 ft when lot front is over that. None for schools and churches. 15ft, or 12% of lot depth, whichever is less. Alternatively, setback can be the average front yard depth of nearest 2 lots. Townhouses: complicated as hell, see 17-2-0500. All other buildings: Combined width of side setbacks must equal 20% of lot width, and neither setback can be less than 2 feet or 8% of lot width (whichever is greater.) But no setback is required to be wider than 5 feet. For buildings with under 20 dwelling units, of which at least 33% are "accessible": 50 ft or 24% of lot depth, whichever is less. For other buildings: 50 ft or 30% of lot depth, whichever is less.
RM-5.5 2.5 400 sq ft/dwelling unit, 400 sq ft/efficiency unit, 200 sq ft/SRO unit 47 ft for residential buildings with lot frontage of less than 75 ft, 60 ft when lot front is over that. None for schools and churches. 15ft, or 12% of lot depth, whichever is less. Alternatively, setback can be the average front yard depth of nearest 2 lots. Townhouses: complicated as hell, see 17-2-0500. All other buildings: Combined width of side setbacks must equal 20% of lot width, and neither setback can be less than 2 feet or 8% of lot width (whichever is greater.) But no setback is required to be wider than 5 feet. For buildings with under 20 dwelling units, of which at least 33% are "accessible": 50 ft or 24% of lot depth, whichever is less. For other buildings: 50 ft or 30% of lot depth, whichever is less.
RM-6 4.4 300 sq ft/dwelling unit, 135 sq ft/efficiency unit, 135 sq ft/SRO unit None, but tall buildings require planned development approval (see Sec. 17-13-0600). 15ft, or 12% of lot depth, whichever is less. Alternatively, setback can be the average front yard depth of nearest 2 lots. Townhouses: complicated as hell, see 17-2-0500. All other buildings: none if building abuts the street or alley, or if building covers less than 50% of its lot. If more than 50%, building's side setbacks must equal 10% of lot width or 10% of building height (whichever is greater), but no setback needs to be wider than 20 ft. For buildings with under 20 dwelling units, of which at least 33% are "accessible": 50 ft or 24% of lot depth, whichever is less. For other buildings: 50 ft or 30% of lot depth, whichever is less.
RM-6.5 6.6 300 sq ft/dwelling unit, 135 sq ft/efficiency unit, 135 sq ft/SRO unit None, but tall buildings require planned development approval (see Sec. 17-13-0600). 15ft, or 12% of lot depth, whichever is less. Alternatively, setback can be the average front yard depth of nearest 2 lots. Townhouses: complicated as hell, see 17-2-0500. All other buildings: none if building abuts the street or alley, or if building covers less than 50% of its lot. If more than 50%, building's side setbacks must equal 10% of lot width or 10% of building height (whichever is greater), but no setback needs to be wider than 20 ft. For buildings with under 20 dwelling units, of which at least 33% are "accessible": 50 ft or 24% of lot depth, whichever is less. For other buildings: 50 ft or 30% of lot depth, whichever is less.

Commercial B - Business

Business districts are intended to accommodate retail, service and commercial uses.

B1 - Neighborhood Shopping District

Retail storefronts on low-traffic streets. Apartments allowed above the ground floor.

Name Floor area ratio Lot area per unit Maximum height Front yard setback Side yard setback Back yard setback
B1-1 1.2 2500 sq ft/dwelling unit, 2500 sq ft/efficiency unit, no SRO units allowed Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
B1-1.5 1.5 1350 sq ft/dwelling unit, 1350 sq ft/efficiency unit, no SRO units allowed Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
B1-2 2.2 1000 sq ft/dwelling unit, 700 sq ft/efficiency unit, 700 sq ft/SRO unit Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
B1-3 3 400 sq ft/dwelling unit, 300 sq ft/efficiency unit, 200 sq ft/SRO unit Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
B1-5 5 200 sq ft/dwelling unit, 135 sq ft/efficiency unit, 100 sq ft/SRO unit Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
B2 - Neighborhood Mixed-Use District

Retail storefronts, apartments allowed on the ground floor. Intended to spur development in commercial corridors with low demand for retail.

Name Floor area ratio Lot area per unit Maximum height Front yard setback Side yard setback Back yard setback
B2-1 1.2 2500 sq ft/dwelling unit, 2500 sq ft/efficiency unit, no SRO units allowed Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
B2-1.5 1.5 1350 sq ft/dwelling unit, 1350 sq ft/efficiency unit, no SRO units allowed Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
B2-2 2.2 1000 sq ft/dwelling unit, 700 sq ft/efficiency unit, 700 sq ft/SRO unit Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
B2-3 3 400 sq ft/dwelling unit, 300 sq ft/efficiency unit, 200 sq ft/SRO unit Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
B2-5 5 200 sq ft/dwelling unit, 135 sq ft/efficiency unit, 100 sq ft/SRO unit Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
B3 - Community Shopping District

Shopping centers, large stores, and retail storefronts, often along major streets. Allows more types of businesses than B1 and B2 districts. Apartments permitted above the ground floor.

Name Floor area ratio Lot area per unit Maximum height Front yard setback Side yard setback Back yard setback
B3-1 1.2 2500 sq ft/dwelling unit, 2500 sq ft/efficiency unit, no SRO units allowed Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
B3-1.5 1.5 1350 sq ft/dwelling unit, 1350 sq ft/efficiency unit, no SRO units allowed Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
B3-2 2.2 1000 sq ft/dwelling unit, 700 sq ft/efficiency unit, 700 sq ft/SRO unit Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
B3-3 3 400 sq ft/dwelling unit, 300 sq ft/efficiency unit, 200 sq ft/SRO unit Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
B3-5 5 200 sq ft/dwelling unit, 135 sq ft/efficiency unit, 100 sq ft/SRO unit Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.

Commercial C - Commercial

C1 - Neighborhood Commercial District

Retail storefronts. Allows more business types than B1 districts, including liquor stores, warehouses, and auto shops. Apartments permitted above the ground floor.

Name Floor area ratio Lot area per unit Maximum height Front yard setback Side yard setback Back yard setback
C1-1 1.2 2500 sq ft/dwelling unit, 2500 sq ft/efficiency unit, no SRO units allowed Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
C1-1.5 1.5 1350 sq ft/dwelling unit, 1350 sq ft/efficiency unit, no SRO units allowed Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
C1-2 2.2 1000 sq ft/dwelling unit, 700 sq ft/efficiency unit, 700 sq ft/SRO unit Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
C1-3 3 400 sq ft/dwelling unit, 300 sq ft/efficiency unit, 200 sq ft/SRO unit Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
C1-5 5 200 sq ft/dwelling unit, 135 sq ft/efficiency unit, 100 sq ft/SRO unit Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
C2 - Motor Vehicle-Related Commercial District

Shopping centers. Allows more business types than B1 districts, including liquor stores, warehouses, and auto shops. Apartment allowed above the ground floor.

Name Floor area ratio Lot area per unit Maximum height Front yard setback Side yard setback Back yard setback
C2-1 1.2 2500 sq ft/dwelling unit, 2500 sq ft/efficiency unit, no SRO units allowed Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
C2-2 2.2 1000 sq ft/dwelling unit, 700 sq ft/efficiency unit, 700 sq ft/SRO unit Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
C2-3 3 400 sq ft/dwelling unit, 300 sq ft/efficiency unit, 200 sq ft/SRO unit Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
C2-5 5 200 sq ft/dwelling unit, 135 sq ft/efficiency unit, 100 sq ft/SRO unit Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
C3 - Commercial, Manufacturing and Employment District

Businesses and factories, no housing allowed. Serves as a buffer between manufacturing and residential/commercial districts.

Name Floor area ratio Lot area per unit Maximum height Front yard setback Side yard setback Back yard setback
C3-1 1.2 2500 sq ft/dwelling unit, 2500 sq ft/efficiency unit, no SRO units allowed Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
C3-2 2.2 1000 sq ft/dwelling unit, 700 sq ft/efficiency unit, 700 sq ft/SRO unit Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
C3-3 3 400 sq ft/dwelling unit, 300 sq ft/efficiency unit, 200 sq ft/SRO unit Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.
C3-5 5 200 sq ft/dwelling unit, 135 sq ft/efficiency unit, 100 sq ft/SRO unit Varies by lot frontage, and whether building has ground-floor commercial space. (See 17-3-0408) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the front setback must be at least 50% of the R lot's front setback. (See 17-3-0404.) None, unless property borders an R-zoned lot. Then the R lot's front setback applies. If property has dwelling units, minimum of 30 ft. If its rear property line borders the side property line of an R-zoned lot, the rear setback must equal the side setback of the R-zoned lot. If rear line borders the R lot's rear line, setback must be at least 16 ft.

Commercial / Residential D - Downtown

DC - Downtown Core District

High-rise Loop office buildings. Also covers downtown stores, entertainment, and civic buildings. Allows residential buildings.

Name Floor area ratio Lot area per unit Maximum height Front yard setback Side yard setback Back yard setback
DC-12 12 115 sq ft/dwelling unit, 75 sq ft/efficiency unit, 60 sq ft/SRO unit None, but buildings taller than city's "building height thresholds" require Planned Development review. None None None
DC-16 16 100 sq ft/dwelling unit, 65 sq ft/efficiency unit, 50 sq ft/SRO unit None, but buildings taller than city's "building height thresholds" require Planned Development review. None None None
DR - Downtown Residential District

High-rise apartment buildings, largely in the Gold Coast. Ground-floor stores are okay, offices aren't.

Name Floor area ratio Lot area per unit Maximum height Front yard setback Side yard setback Back yard setback
DR-10 10 115 sq ft/dwelling unit, 75 sq ft/efficiency unit, 60 sq ft/SRO unit None, but buildings taller than city's "building height thresholds" require Planned Development review. 15ft, or 12% of lot depth, whichever is less. Alternatively, setback can be the average front yard depth of nearest 2 lots. None For detached houses, 28% of lot depth or 50 feet (whichever is less.) For principal buildings, 30% of lot depth or 50 feet (whichever is less), but this only applies to parts of buildings 18 feet or more above grade.
DR-3 3 400 sq ft/dwelling unit, 300 sq ft/efficiency unit, 200 sq ft/SRO unit None, but buildings taller than city's "building height thresholds" require Planned Development review. 15ft, or 12% of lot depth, whichever is less. Alternatively, setback can be the average front yard depth of nearest 2 lots. None For detached houses, 28% of lot depth or 50 feet (whichever is less.) For principal buildings, 30% of lot depth or 50 feet (whichever is less), but this only applies to parts of buildings 18 feet or more above grade.
DR-5 5 200 sq ft/dwelling unit, 135 sq ft/efficiency unit, 100 sq ft/SRO unit None, but buildings taller than city's "building height thresholds" require Planned Development review. 15ft, or 12% of lot depth, whichever is less. Alternatively, setback can be the average front yard depth of nearest 2 lots. None For detached houses, 28% of lot depth or 50 feet (whichever is less.) For principal buildings, 30% of lot depth or 50 feet (whichever is less), but this only applies to parts of buildings 18 feet or more above grade.
DR-7 7 145 sq ft/dwelling unit, 90 sq ft/efficiency unit, 75 sq ft/SRO unit None, but buildings taller than city's "building height thresholds" require Planned Development review. 15ft, or 12% of lot depth, whichever is less. Alternatively, setback can be the average front yard depth of nearest 2 lots. None For detached houses, 28% of lot depth or 50 feet (whichever is less.) For principal buildings, 30% of lot depth or 50 feet (whichever is less), but this only applies to parts of buildings 18 feet or more above grade.
DS - Downtown Service District

Rail yards, warehouses, and small businesses on downtown's periphery.

Name Floor area ratio Lot area per unit Maximum height Front yard setback Side yard setback Back yard setback
DS-3 3 400 sq ft/dwelling unit, 300 sq ft/efficiency unit, 200 sq ft/SRO unit None, but buildings taller than city's "building height thresholds" require Planned Development review. None None 30ft for floors containing dwelling units. All others, none.
DS-5 5 200 sq ft/dwelling unit, 135 sq ft/efficiency unit, 100 sq ft/SRO unit None, but buildings taller than city's "building height thresholds" require Planned Development review. None None 30ft for floors containing dwelling units. All others, none.
DX - Downtown Mixed-Use District

Downtown high-rises - offices or apartments - with ground-floor stores. Prevalent on the edges of Loop: east of Dearborn Ave, in River North, the South Loop, and the West Loop.

Name Floor area ratio Lot area per unit Maximum height Front yard setback Side yard setback Back yard setback
DX-12 12 115 sq ft/dwelling unit, 75 sq ft/efficiency unit, 60 sq ft/SRO unit None, but buildings taller than city's "building height thresholds" require Planned Development review. None None None
DX-16 16 100 sq ft/dwelling unit, 65 sq ft/efficiency unit, 50 sq ft/SRO unit None, but buildings taller than city's "building height thresholds" require Planned Development review. None None None
DX-3 3 400 sq ft/dwelling unit, 300 sq ft/efficiency unit, 200 sq ft/SRO unit None, but buildings taller than city's "building height thresholds" require Planned Development review. None None 30ft for floors containing dwelling units. All others, none.
DX-5 5 200 sq ft/dwelling unit, 135 sq ft/efficiency unit, 100 sq ft/SRO unit None, but buildings taller than city's "building height thresholds" require Planned Development review. None None 30ft for floors containing dwelling units. All others, none.
DX-7 7 145 sq ft/dwelling unit, 90 sq ft/efficiency unit, 75 sq ft/SRO unit None, but buildings taller than city's "building height thresholds" require Planned Development review. None None 30ft for floors containing dwelling units. All others, none.

Industrial M - Manufacturing

M1 - Limited Manufacturing/Business Park District

Light manufacturing, warehouses, and wholesalers.

Name Floor area ratio Lot area per unit Maximum height Front yard setback Side yard setback Back yard setback
M1-1 1.2 None. None. None, except for industrial parks and properties bordering R-zoned lots (see 17-5-0405-A for details). None, except for industrial parks and properties bordering R-zoned lots (see 17-5-0405-A for details). None, unless rear property line borders R-zoned lot's side or rear property line. Then the minimum setback is 30 ft.
M1-2 2.2 None. None. None, except for industrial parks and properties bordering R-zoned lots (see 17-5-0405-A for details). None, except for industrial parks and properties bordering R-zoned lots (see 17-5-0405-A for details). None, unless rear property line borders R-zoned lot's side or rear property line. Then the minimum setback is 30 ft.
M1-3 3 None. None. None, except for industrial parks and properties bordering R-zoned lots (see 17-5-0405-A for details). None, except for industrial parks and properties bordering R-zoned lots (see 17-5-0405-A for details). None, unless rear property line borders R-zoned lot's side or rear property line. Then the minimum setback is 30 ft.
M2 - Light Industry District

Moderate manufacturing, warehouses. Also allows freight and recycling facilities.

Name Floor area ratio Lot area per unit Maximum height Front yard setback Side yard setback Back yard setback
M2-1 1.2 None. None. None, except for industrial parks and properties bordering R-zoned lots (see 17-5-0405-A for details). None, except for industrial parks and properties bordering R-zoned lots (see 17-5-0405-A for details). None, unless rear property line borders R-zoned lot's side or rear property line. Then the minimum setback is 30 ft.
M2-2 2.2 None. None. None, except for industrial parks and properties bordering R-zoned lots (see 17-5-0405-A for details). None, except for industrial parks and properties bordering R-zoned lots (see 17-5-0405-A for details). None, unless rear property line borders R-zoned lot's side or rear property line. Then the minimum setback is 30 ft.
M2-3 3 None. None. None, except for industrial parks and properties bordering R-zoned lots (see 17-5-0405-A for details). None, except for industrial parks and properties bordering R-zoned lots (see 17-5-0405-A for details). None, unless rear property line borders R-zoned lot's side or rear property line. Then the minimum setback is 30 ft.
M3 - Heavy Industry District

Heavy manufacturing, warehouses, and waste disposal - junkyards, landfills, and incinerators.

Name Floor area ratio Lot area per unit Maximum height Front yard setback Side yard setback Back yard setback
M3-1 1.2 None. None. None, except for industrial parks and properties bordering R-zoned lots (see 17-5-0405-A for details). None, except for industrial parks and properties bordering R-zoned lots (see 17-5-0405-A for details). None, unless rear property line borders R-zoned lot's side or rear property line. Then the minimum setback is 30 ft.
M3-2 2.2 None. None. None, except for industrial parks and properties bordering R-zoned lots (see 17-5-0405-A for details). None, except for industrial parks and properties bordering R-zoned lots (see 17-5-0405-A for details). None, unless rear property line borders R-zoned lot's side or rear property line. Then the minimum setback is 30 ft.
M3-3 3 None. None. None, except for industrial parks and properties bordering R-zoned lots (see 17-5-0405-A for details). None, except for industrial parks and properties bordering R-zoned lots (see 17-5-0405-A for details). None, unless rear property line borders R-zoned lot's side or rear property line. Then the minimum setback is 30 ft.

Planned Manufacturing District PMD - Planned Manufacturing Districts

PMD - Planned Manufacturing Districts

All kinds of manufacturing, warehouses, and waste disposal. Special service district - not technically a manufacturing district - intended to protect the city's industrial base.

Name Floor area ratio Lot area per unit Maximum height Front yard setback Side yard setback Back yard setback
PMD Varies by PMD (See 17-6-0405-E) None. None. None, except for industrial parks and properties bordering R-zoned lots (see 17-5-0405-A for details). None, except for industrial parks and properties bordering R-zoned lots (see 17-5-0405-A for details). None, unless rear property line borders R-zoned lot's side or rear property line. Then the minimum setback is 30 ft.

Planned Development PD - Planned Development

PD - Planned Developments

Tall buildings, campuses, and other large developments that must be negotiated with city planners. Developers gain freedom in building design, but must work with city to ensure project serves and integrates with surrounding neighborhood.

Name Floor area ratio Lot area per unit Maximum height Front yard setback Side yard setback Back yard setback
PD Must use whatever FAR the property had before the City approved the planned development. Must try to use whatever lot area per unit standards the property had before the City approved the planned development. Must try to use whatever max building height the property had before the City approved the planned development. Must try to use whatever setbacks the property had before the City approved the planned development. Must try to use whatever setbacks the property had before the City approved the planned development. Must try to use whatever setbacks the property had before the City approved the planned development.

Transportation T - Transportation

T - Transportation District

Bits of land designed to protect roads, bus ways, bike trails, and rail lines.

Name Floor area ratio Lot area per unit Maximum height Front yard setback Side yard setback Back yard setback
T 1.5 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Parks and Open Space POS - Parks and Open Space

POS - Regional or Community Park

Chicago's major parks, including Lincoln Park, Humboldt Park, and Washington Park.

Name Floor area ratio Lot area per unit Maximum height Front yard setback Side yard setback Back yard setback
POS-1 Size, location, and design of all buildings must be approved by whichever local government owns the park or open space. Size, location, and design of all buildings must be approved by whichever local government owns the park or open space. Size, location, and design of all buildings must be approved by whichever local government owns the park or open space. None, unless property borders R-zoned lot that faces the same street. Then, front setback must be at least 50% of R lot's front setback. 1 ft for each foot of building height. 1 ft for each foot of building height.
POS-2 Size, location, and design of all buildings must be approved by whichever local government owns the park or open space. Size, location, and design of all buildings must be approved by whichever local government owns the park or open space. Size, location, and design of all buildings must be approved by whichever local government owns the park or open space. None, unless property borders R-zoned lot that faces the same street. Then, front setback must be at least 50% of R lot's front setback. 1 ft for each foot of building height. 1 ft for each foot of building height.
POS-3 Size, location, and design of all buildings must be approved by whichever local government owns the park or open space. Size, location, and design of all buildings must be approved by whichever local government owns the park or open space. Size, location, and design of all buildings must be approved by whichever local government owns the park or open space. None, unless property borders R-zoned lot that faces the same street. Then, front setback must be at least 50% of R lot's front setback. 1 ft for each foot of building height. 1 ft for each foot of building height.