Proposal Tracker get a heads up on proposed developments, before they're approved

Projects both big and small in Chicago must often be approved by one or more planning boards

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About Proposal Tracker

Chicago Cityscape's Proposal Tracker monitors the proposals put fourth to the four appointed groups (which we call "planning boards") in the City of Chicago government. They are responsible for approving certain kinds of projects, or recommending changes to these projects. Many of them approve different parts of the same proposals.

Every decision of these groups is technically a recommendation to the City Council's zoning committee which then recommends action to the City Council. We may use the word "approve" to simplify this understanding because most proposals approved by the boards are approved by the City Council.

Planning board What they approve
Zoning Board of Appeals ZBA Requests for variances in the zoning code to build different than what's allowed (requesting permission to reduce the setback from property lines is common)
Chicago Plan Commission CPC This group approves Planned Developments, ensures compliance with the Lake Michigan and Chicago Lakefront Protection ordinance, acquiring land, disposing city-owned land, and approves the creation of new TIF districts.
Community Development Commission CDC The CDC approves redevelopment agreements of city-owned land, including subsidies to developments on city-owned land, and approves TIF funding for private developments, and creates and amends TIF districts.
Chicago Commission on Landmarks CCL The Landmarks Commission approves renovations to landmarked buildings in the city (but not places on the National Register of Historic Places), creates and amends landmark districts, and adds or removes landmark status of buildings.