17-2-0500  Townhouse Developments.
      17-2-0500-A Purpose. The purpose of these standards is to establish setback, building spacing, landscaping and design standards that are tailored to townhouse developments. Such standards are intended to ensure that townhouse developments are compatible with the traditional character of Chicago's neighborhoods.
      17-2-0500-B Applicability. The townhouse development standards of this section apply in all districts in which townhouses are allowed.
      17-2-0500-C Number of Buildings on Zoning Lot. Multiple townhouse buildings are expressly allowed on a single zoning lot in those townhouse developments that comply with the townhouse development standards of this section (Sec. 17-2-0500), provided that each building contains no more than 9 townhouse units.
      17-2-0500-D Lot Frontage. The minimum lot frontage for a townhouse development is 35 feet.
(See Sec. 17-17-0303 for rules governing the measurement of lot frontage.)
      17-2-0500-E Building Setbacks for Front and Rear Walls.
         1.   Front and Rear Walls Defined. Front walls and rear walls are those walls that are generally perpendicular to party walls. These walls are typically the primary sources of light and air for a townhouse unit.
         2.   Front or Rear Walls Facing a Public Street.
            (a)   Front walls and rear walls that face a public street must be set back from the streetproperty line as follows:
 
District
Minimum Setback (feet)
RT3.5
12
RT4
12
RM4.5
12
B/C dash 1
12
B/C dash 1.5
12
B/C dash 2
12
All other districts
10
 
            (b)   Required front wall and rear wall setbacks may be reduced to match the predominant setbacks of adjoining structures on the same side of the street between the nearest intersecting streets or alleys, provided that a minimum setback of 3 feet is provided in all cases. Landscaping must be installed within these required setbacks.
         3.   Front or Rear Walls Facing a Side or Rear Property Line.
            (a)   When a front wall or rear wall faces the side property line or rear property line of adjoining property, the minimum required building setback is as follows:
 
District
Minimum Setback (feet)
RT3.5
12
RT4
12
B/C dash 1
12
B/C dash 1.5
12
B/C dash 2
12
RM4.5
12
All other districts
10
 
            (b)   When a rear wall adjoins property improved with a railroad or CTA elevated right-of-way, no building setback is required.
         4.   Front or Rear Walls Facing an Alley.
            (a)   When a front wall (a wall with the principal pedestrian access) faces an alley, the minimum required building setback is 3 feet.
            (b)   When a rear wall faces an alley, no building setback is required, provided that an on-site storage area is provided for trash receptacles and clearly identified on building plans.
         5.   Separation Between Front and Rear Walls.
            (a)   When the front wall or rear wall of one row of townhouse units faces the front wall or rear wall of another row of townhouse units, the minimum required separation between such buildings (excluding minor building projections allowed under Sec. 17-2-0500-H4) is as follows:
 
District
Minimum Separation (feet)
RT3.5
30
RT4
30
RM4.5
30
B/C dash 1
30
B/C dash 1.5
30
B/C dash 2
30
All other districts
26
 
(See Sec. 17-17-0310 for rules governing the measurement of building wall separation.)
            (b)   Driveways and open parking areas may be located within this minimum separation area.
            (c)   The minimum separation at the ground-floor only may be reduced to 20 feet for interior drives with garages doors facing garage doors, provided the upper-story living spaces comply with the separation requirements of Sec. 17-2-0500-E5(a).
      17-2-0500-F Building Setbacks for End Walls.
         1.   End Walls Defined. An end wall is a wall that is generally parallel to party walls and located at the end of a row of townhouse units. Such walls are typically a secondary source of light and air for townhouse units.
         2.   End Wall Facing Public Street.
            (a)   End walls that face a public street must be set back from the streetproperty line as follows:
 
District
Minimum Setback (feet)
RT3.5
12
RT4
12
RM4.5
12
B/C dash 1
12
B/C dash 1.5
12
B/C dash 2
12
All other districts
10
 
            (b)   Required end wall setbacks may be reduced to match the predominant setbacks of adjoining structures on the same side of the street between the nearest intersecting streets or alleys, provided that a minimum setback of 3 feet is provided in all cases. Landscaping must be installed within these required setbacks.
         3.   End Wall Facing Side or Rear Property Line. When an end wall adjoins a side property line or rear property line, the minimum required building setback is 3 feet. This required setback distance may be reduced to 2.5 feet if the building does not exceed 30 feet in height. Secondary stairs required by the Building Code may encroach into this required setback.
         4.   End Wall Facing Alley. When an end wall adjoins an alley, no building setback is required, provided an on-site storage area for trash receptacles is provided on-site and clearly identified on building plans.
         5.   Separation Between End Walls and Front or Rear Walls.
            (a)   When the end wall of a row of townhouse units faces the front wall or rear wall of another row of townhouse units, the minimum required separation between such buildings (excluding minor building projections allowed under Sec. 17-2-0500-H4) is 20 feet in all districts. (See Sec. 17-17-0310 for rules governing the measurement of building wall separation.)
            (b)   Driveways and open parking areas may be located within this minimum separation area, provided that landscaped planting areas with a minimum depth of 4 feet from one building face are provided.
         6.   End Walls Facing Other End Walls. When an end wall of one row of townhouses faces the end wall of another row of townhouses, the minimum required separation between the facing end walls is 10 feet.
      17-2-0500-G Building Setbacks on Corner Lots. On a corner lot, the required building setback on one (street-facing) side of the lot may be reduced to 5 feet. This setback may be further reduced to match the predominant setbacks of adjoining structures on the same side of the street between the nearest intersecting streets or alleys, provided that a minimum setback of 3 feet is provided in all cases. Landscaping must be installed within these required setbacks.
      17-2-0500-H Private Yard Requirement.
         1.   Private yards must be provided for each townhouse unit within a townhouse development. Each required private yard must have the following minimum area:
 
District
Minimum Contiguous Area (square feet)
RT3.5
200
RT4
200
RM4.5
200
B/C dash 1
200
B/C dash 1.5
200
B/C dash 2
200
All other districts
175
 
         2.   A required private yard may be located adjacent to a front wall, rear wall, or end wall provided that it is immediately adjacent to the townhouse unit it serves and directly accessible from the townhouse unit by way of a door or stair. Required private yards must be at grade or, if located on a terrace or patio, within 4 feet of grade. All private yards provided at grade must be landscaped so that they are substantially covered with grass, ground cover, shrubs, plants, trees, or other landscape improvements, such as walkways or patios.
         3.   Required private yards may be located on a deck or patio more than 4 feet above grade if approved as an administrative adjustment by the Zoning Administrator in accordance with Sec. 17-13-1003-J. Required private yards may also be located within a common open space area (See Sec. 17-2-0500-I) provided that (a) such common area is contiguous and directly accessible to the townhouse unit and (b) the private yard area is in excess of any common open space (See Sec. 17-2-0500-I).
         4.   The following may encroach into required private yards:
            (a)   those encroachments allowed by Sec. 17-17-0309;
            (b)   open stairs exceeding 4 feet in height; and
            (c)   multi-story bay windows that project no more than 3 feet.
         5.   No driveways or parking spaces (open or enclosed) may be located within required yards.
      17-2-0500-I Common Open Space.
         1.   In addition to required private yards (See Sec. 17-2-0500-H), any townhouse development of 40 or more townhouse units must provide a minimum of 150 square feet of common open space per townhouse unit.
         2.   Required common open space must be located in one or more usable, common areas, each with a minimum dimension of 25 feet and a minimum area of 2,000 square feet.
         3.   Common open space areas must be accessible to all townhouse units and must be improved with landscaping, recreational facilities, and/or walkways.
         4.   Trees must be planted within common open space areas at the rate of one tree for every 1,000 square feet of required common open space. Such trees must have a minimum 2.5-inch caliper.
         5.   Interior car courts that are at least 36 feet wide may be counted toward satisfying up to 50% of required common open space, provided such car courts include special paving materials (such as bomanite or brick pavers), pedestrian walkways and landscaping as required by Sec. 17-2-0500-J.
      17-2-0500-J Landscaping of Interior Drives. At least 5% of the vehicular use area in interior driveways must be landscaped. Interior driveway areas must include at least one tree (minimum 2.5-inch caliper) for every 4 dwelling units adjoining the driveway. Landscaping and trees in private yards adjoining interior driveways may count toward fulfillment of this requirement. These landscaping requirements do not apply to interior drives that are bordered by garage doors that face other garage doors and that contain no pedestrian entrances.
      17-2-0500-K Building Façades Facing Public Streets.
         1.   To avoid the appearance of blank walls, building façades that face public streets must include elements of a front façade, including doors and/or windows.
         2.   Garage door entrances for individual townhouses are not allowed to face a public street whenever an alley exists or when interior driveways may be used. This provision is not intended to prohibit garage doors that serve common parking areas for a row of townhouse units.
         3.   When garages for individual townhouse units must face a public street, the garage door must be set back at least 20 feet from the property line to prevent obstruction of the sidewalk by parked cars.
(Amend Coun. J. 9-13-06, p. 84870, §1)