Showing posts from August, 2009

appointment with zoning inspector

I received a call from the inspector at lunch today, and we scheduled a meeting at the house. It will be Tuesday at 8:30AM.

lost in the void?

I spoke with a different person down at zoning today, and they said (after looking in computer) they didn't see anything in my file regarding occupancy check. I left a message with the zoning person I spoke with yesterday to call me back and hopefully get to the bottom of this. Could it be that they want a zoning inspection, but I haven't filled out a form yet to get the process going?

awaiting zoning inspection

I received a call from zoning this afternoon, they tell me they are
waiting on the zoning inspector to complete the occupancy verification.
They have to call me to setup an appointment, and then come over and
check that we are not using the basement as an illegal third unit. I
asked whether there was a chance this could happen before the end of the
week so we can still make our building permit office appointment on
Monday (31st). No guarantees. The zoning administrator that called
said they would contact the inspector to let them know we are waiting.

green cards accepted at zoning dept.

We can visit zoning on Aug 25th or after for next step of the zoning/ building permit process.

last letter received

The last of 3 letters was received by my neighbor, I await the return
receipt in the mail today or tomorrow. My father and uncle will be
downtown on Monday, so they will hand in the 3 green return receipt
cards. Hopefully they will keep the conversations short with anyone at
zoning. I've instructed them to do so. My uncle has a vendetta against
the city after all the parking tickets and towing he received a few
months back, I don't want him to take it out on zoning! ***
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"Administrative Adjustment"

An "administrative adjustment" is a process used by the zoning department to allow non-conformance of buildings to the code.  Rather than seek a full up-zoning (near impossible now), minor changes to property can be dealt with via the AA.   I'm in the process of notify my neighbors as required, using a letter penned by the zoning dept. and sending via certified/return receipt mail.  One of my neighbors is not very receptive to receiving return receipt mail, so this is taking longer than I had hoped.  The zoning department will not move forward with my permit until they receive the green return receipt cards from me, so I'm waiting for the last one to come in the mail.  I've already spoken with my neighbor and her son, but there's no particular incentive for her to go to the post office and wait in line for a letter than is not going to make the least bit of difference to her. ***
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William made the visit to the Zoning dept. the morning of the building permit meeting. What do you know, zoning rejected the plans on the grounds of 'non-conformance' with current RS-3 zoning. Even though we're only working on the inside of the building, they say our living space square footage to lot sq ft. will be greater than code allows, and 2-flats are inherently against RS-3 single family zoning code. I'll explain more later. What else would be expected from city hall?

some background on the rehab

Evie and I were married in November, and she moved into my building, now OUR home, shortly after. We quickly realized the 1st floor bathroom was not big enough for two people, and we're sorely lacking closet space. Since the basement is more of a garden apartment, being only 1/2 underground, we decided we can create a master bedroom suite complete with walk-in closets, jetted tub, double sinks, etc. The ceiling is 8' 2" from concrete to floor joists, so there's plenty of headroom. We contracted makeArchitecture to do the plans and help with the permit process in late May. William completed a set of plans more than worthy of a visit to the building permit office on Addison, and were all set to go as of July 21st.

welcome to this blog!

Since any major home remodeling project can be a harrowing experience, I thought it might be helpful to share my ups and downs with the world.
We're doing a "duplex down" of our 2-flat in Logan Square of Chicago. It's a nice brick building, that I've dated to the fall of 1896.