The evening of December 19, the Plan Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals will consider establishing new development rules for recreational, institutional, and open space uses of land. The goal of these rules is to provide greater certainty about land uses and simplify the development process for applicants and residents.

Zoning regulates permissible land uses and construction - such as building setback and height - for land based on its location. Today, most recreational, institutional, and open space uses within the Village are located within residential zones. For example, the Village Code treats Lake Bluff Park District's Community Center identically to your single family home. In practice, these uses operate under a series of special exceptions (e.g. variations and special use permits) that relieve them of these constraints. However, these exceptions mean that even small projects require time and multiple reviews to enact. Additionally, owing to their zoning, property owners may maintain the legal right to convert their property to their "intended" residential uses without the review these changes deserve.

The Village has proposed establishing a new Recreational, Institutional, and Open Space ("RIO") district to:

  • Create a set of flexible regulations that are more suited for these unique uses.
  • Increase the efficiency of regulation and reduce the time and expense that taxpayer-funded and charitable organizations must undertake to improve their property.
  • Ensure that the public is still notified of significant changes to existing uses and can participate in decision-making.
  • Provide a high degree of predictability to neighboring property when major changes in use are proposed for land historically used for public purposes.

You can view a full copy of the proposed regulations here. The Village proposes to rezone over 200 parcels of land into the RIO zoning district. You can view an interactive map of the areas proposed for rezoning here. 

Examples of property that will be rezoned include:

  • Government Buildings: Village Hall; the Public Safety Building; Lake Bluff Public Works; the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency; and the Lake Bluff Public Library.
  • Parks: Artesian, Blair, Mawman, Ravine, and Sanctuary Parks; The Lake Bluff Recreation Center and Golf Course; and Sunrise Beach.
  • Schools: Lake Bluff Elementary School; Lake Bluff Middle School; and Forest Bluff School.
  • Houses of Worship: Grace United Methodist Church and Union Church.
  • Open Spaces: Parcels along Sheridan Road. The Skokie Land and Water Reserve. Oriole Grove Forest Preserve.

If you would like to know more, contact Glen Cole at (847) 283-6889 or via e-mail.