Frequently Asked Questions

Oak Park’s new zoning ordinance will be a key tool for implementing many of the policies contained in the recently adopted “Envision Oak Park” Comprehensive Plan, as it will regulate the use of land and the siting and design of new structures. A good zoning ordinance is, among other things, dependent upon a careful understanding of existing patterns of land use, development, and ownership, as well as an agreement as to how the policies of the Plan are interpreted and applied within the Village. Informed input of interested residents and businesses is needed, so that all points of view can be considered as revisions are made.

Below are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

What is Zoning?

Zoning regulates what structures and land are used for, where a structure may locate on a lot, and how big that structure can be. It also regulates other elements of site development, such as accessory structures, parking, and landscape. Zoning regulations are divided into zoning districts, so that use, bulk, yard and development regulations are tailored to the character of each particular zoning district.

Why update the Zoning Ordinance?

The Village’s current zoning ordinance does not adequately implement community’s goals for the future as established in the recently adopted “Envision Oak Park” Comprehensive Plan. In addition, many of the zoning district regulations may not relate to the current built environment, creating nonconformities, or may not allow for desired forms of development within the Village. An updated zoning ordinance can address these problems, removing unnecessary regulatory hurdles or roadblocks, and providing opportunities for the Village to move toward the vision established in the recently adopted “Envision Oak Park” Plan.

What is the relationship between the Comprehensive Plan and the Zoning Ordinance?

The Zoning Ordinance is a key tool used to implement many policies of the “Envision Oak Park” Comprehensive Plan. The Plan, which was adopted in 2014, provides mapped and written policy about how land should be managed and how development should occur within the Village. The new zoning ordinance will take these policies as its base, and provide a set of development regulations, generally organized by district, each containing specific regulations key to those policies. A zoning map identifies the location of these districts, thereby specifying the development requirements affecting land within the Village.