The Planning Division assists applicants through a variety of City processes related to development. A few of the most common processes are listed below. Please contact the Department of Community Development at (847) 432-0867 if you are interested in filing an application or would like additional information.
Note: This information is not intended to be a substitute for City Code Chapter 150: The Highland Park Zoning Ordinance.
Conditional Uses and Special Uses – Article XIV of Chapter 150
Conditional uses are land uses that require individual review by the Plan Commission to determine whether the specific type of use proposed is compatible with surrounding uses. When a conditional use serves the cultural, recreational, educational, governmental, religious or specialized commercial or industrial needs of the community, the City may grant a special use permit to authorize the conditional use within a zoning district where the use would otherwise be excluded. Planned unit developments also require special use permits; a separate booklet is available for this type of special use permit. Conditional uses are included in the use table in Article IV of the Zoning Ordinance.
Planned Developments – Article V of Chapter 150
Certain types of development may require a planned development, as noted in Section 150.505 of the Zoning Ordinance. Although planned developments allow greater flexibility in design, they are not permitted to modify allowable uses or density. All applications for planned developments are heard by the Plan Commission, with their recommendation forwarded to the City Council.
Design Review – Chapter 176 of the City Code
Most exterior design plans, landscape plans and signage and lighting plans are subject to the review by the Design Review Commission. In many cases, the design review process is required in addition to reviews by the Plan Commission or City Council.
Historic Preservation – Chapter 24 of the City Code
The City of Highland Park has three historic districts and numerous landmarked buildings. The Historic Preservation Commission hears requests for landmark designation and demolition of existing structures and issues certificates of appropriateness.
Subdivisions or Re-subdivisions – Chapter 151 of the City Code
To subdivide a property into two or more lots, or to combine two or more lots into a larger lot, a subdivision is required. Subdivisions could either be major or minor, as explained in Chapter 151 of the City Code. All new subdivisions are required to meet minimum standards in relation to the zoning of the property. The Plan Commission or City Council may hear a subdivision request.
Rezoning – Article XV of Chapter 150
In order to change a parcel’s zoning district, a rezoning is necessary. A rezoning is considered an amendment to the Zoning Map, and must meet all of the standards listed in Article XV of the Zoning Ordinance. The Plan Commission and City Council review all requests for amendments.
Variations – Article XII of Chapter 150
In the instance where development plans do not meet the regulations of the Zoning Ordinance, a variation may be required. Article XII outlines the request for relief that may be heard by the Zoning Board of Appeals; in some instances, relief requests must be heard by City Council in addition to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Application Processing Time
The City of Highland Park is committed to processing your application in a professional and timely manner. You can prevent unnecessary delays by submitting all necessary documents no later than the designated deadline and by following the guidelines noted in each application packet. Processing time will vary on a case-by-case basis.