Planning and Zoning News

Check here for the latest Planning and Zoning updates within the Village

Updates to Residential Accessory Building Standards

March 2, 2023

The Village of Riverside has updated its Zoning Ordinance regarding accessory buildings, which are buildings that are not attached to a house, such as a freestanding home office or garage.

As more people spend at least a portion of the week working from home, the Village’s codes needed to be updated to allow more flexibility to create dedicated home office spaces. The update allows a homeowner to construct a new accessory building or convert an existing one to a home office. The space could also be used for any other residential activity, such as an art studio or playroom. They can have powder rooms, but they cannot have cooking facilities or kitchens. They cannot be used as sleeping rooms or dwelling units. Only Designated Historic Landmark Coach Houses are allowed to be used as separate residences.

New accessory buildings can be up to 800 square feet, but they must meet lot coverage and impervious surface limits. New accessory buildings can also be slightly taller, but taller buildings must be set back further from adjacent property lines. Residents may download a summary of the standards for accessory buildings. The full Ordinance is also available for review. Residents should review the Village's home-based business zoning requirements if they intend to use an accessory building for that purpose.

The Ordinance will be incorporated into the online version of the Village's Code in April 2023.

Village Sign Code Updates

March 2, 2023Projecting Sign

On February 16, 2023, the Riverside Board of Trustees approved an Ordinance to update the Village's Sign Code. The updates create standards for the new B1-TOD Subdistrict, update standards for the other B1 Subdistricts, and ensure the code is legally sound and complies with recent court decisions. As the RTA prepares the Harlem Avenue Corridor for enhanced transit services and Metra updates their station signage, the Sign Code updates ensure RTA and Metra's new signs will comply with the Village’s standards. The Ordinance will be incorporated into the online version of the Village's Code in April 2023.

Temporary Event Tents

March 2, 2023

The Riverside Board of Trustees recently approved a Zoning Ordinance update to allow more flexibility in the use of temporary event tents. The code now distinguishes between temporary storage tents and temporary event tents and has standards for temporary event tents. The Ordinance is available for review. The Ordinance will be incorporated into the online version of the Village's Code in April 2023.

Temporary event tents:festival tent

  • Do not require a building permit, but they must meet all applicable building and fire safety codes.
  • Can be installed up to two days prior to the event and must come down within two days after the event ends.
  • Can be installed for up to 7 consecutive days and up to 30 days total in a calendar year. 
  • Temporary event tents cannot be located in a street yard (the area between the front of a building/house and the street) unless given approval from the Zoning Administrator. 
  • Residential temporary event tents are allowed in street yards, as long as the tent is up for less than 24 hours.

Recent Zoning Code Amendments

February 6, 2023

On February 2, the Village Board voted to adopt Ordinances to amend the Village's Zoning Code.

One set of Ordinances is meant to encourage the development of commercial properties, particularly on Harlem Avenue, and make other changes to enhance commercial activity and the community's quality of life. Read the Ordinances here.

Another Ordinance will allow the use of accessory buildings on residential properties for home offices and other approved residential uses. Read the Ordinance here.

These Ordinances will be incorporated into the online version of the Village's Code in April 2023.

Community Survey on Harlem Avenue Uses and Development Types

February 2, 20235 Story Building

The Village of Riverside is revising the Zoning Ordinance to encourage the development and redevelopment of commercial properties on Harlem Avenue. The Village conducted a survey in November 2022, polling the community on the types of businesses and development that should be on Harlem Avenue. The results of the survey are available below:

Results of Community Survey on Harlem Avenue Uses and Development Types

The type of development on Harlem Avenue matters to the Riverside community not only because of the additional amenities for our residents but also from additional sales tax revenue generated and growth in the taxable value Equalized Assessed Valuation ("EAV") of those developments. New EAV increases the permitted tax levy and distributes more of the tax burden to others. For example, if residential density increases, then the Village is allocated more resources at the state level through the U.S. Census count. If retail uses are developed, then the Village would receive more non-home rule sales tax which can be invested in streets maintenance. Variety in development and redevelopment of properties can help the Village minimize changes to its tax levy and fees for services based on the distribution of resources available.