Building Board of Appeals

The Building Board of Appeals (BBA) reviews permit-related decisions or orders made by the Commissioner of Buildings, except issues involving electrical requirements. The Board consists of nine members, including construction industry professionals and public representatives. The Board has the power to affirm, reverse, or modify a permit-related decision of the Building Commissioner. The Department of Buildings provides administrative support to the Board and several city departments provide technical advice, however no city employees are voting members of the Board.

Appeals may only be filed with respect to issues of non-compliance identified by a Department of Buildings plan examiner and confirmed by a supervisor or senior manager in the Department of Buildings. The written appeal must be filed within 14 days of the decision by the supervisor. If the permit application is also subject to zoning corrections, the appeal will not be scheduled for a hearing before the Board until the zoning issues are resolved, as resolution of zoning issues may require modification of the building design.

Typical cases that come before the BBA are existing buildings that have a pre-existing condition that is contrary to the current building code and are impacted by the project, such as a building that is located too close to the property line for the building construction type or for its exterior wall fire rating.

If you have questions about the BBA, please contact the Department of Buildings’ Manager of Regulatory Review, Robert Fahlstrom at robert.fahlstrom@cityofchicago.org.

Appeals must be filed by e-mailing a completed appeal form to Robert Fahlstrom within 14 days of meeting with a supervisor. If your appeal is accepted, you will be directed how and when to pay the appeal fee and assigned a hearing date.

Forms and Instructions:

Appeal Form
Fee Payment Form and Instructions (only use this form if directed to do so by City staff)
Hearing Instructions
Mailing Labels and Instructions (formatted for Avery 5160-compatible labels)

Meeting Information and Decisions:

The Board meets on an as-needed basis at 10:00 a.m. on the second Wednesday of the month and can hear up to six cases per month. Cases are scheduled for review by appointment through the Department of Buildings on a first-come first-served basis.

 Agendas will be posted on this page at least 48 hours before each meeting. Decisions will be posted following each meeting.

2017 Meetings

January
no meeting

April 12
Decisions

July
no meeting

October
no meeting

February
no meeting

May
no meeting

August 9
Decisions

November 8

March
no meeting

June 14
Decisions

September
no meeting

December 13

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