Historic Preservation Division
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Demolition Delay

Contact: 312.744.3200

      The Demolition-Delay Ordinance, adopted by City Council in 2003, establishes a hold of up to 90 days in the issuance of any demolition permit for certain historic buildings in order that the Department of Planning and Development can explore options, as appropriate, to preserve the building, including but not limited to landmark designation.

      The ordinance applies to buildings rated “red” and “orange” in the
Chicago Historic Resources Survey (CHRS). These buildings are designated on the city's zoning map. The delay period starts at the time the permit application is presented to the department's Historic Preservation Division offices and can be extended beyond the original 90 days by mutual agreement with the applicant. The purpose of the ordinance is to ensure that no important historic resource can be demolished without consideration as to whether it should and can be preserved.

A separate Demolition-Delay Ordinance, adopted by City Council in 2006, establishes a delay of up to 90 days in the issuance of demolition permits for roof-top water tanks in order that the Department of Planning and Development can explore options, as appropriate, to preserve the tank.  Fewer than 200 remained in the city at the time of the ordinance adoption, which applies to any wooden or metal tank which is elevated and visible from the public way.  The delay period starts when the permit is presented to the department's Historic Preservation Division offices and can be extended beyond the original 90 days by mutual agreement with the applicant. Tanks that pose imminent health or safety hazards are not covered by the ordinance.  

  Demo-Delay
holds by year:

2014
2013
2012
2011
2010

2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003