Codeguy | Chicago Reader

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Re: “Bread & Circuses

I applaud Ms. Murray’s entrepreneurial skills and wish her success in obtaining a variance, However, blaming the Business License expeditor, as Beduin_Architect does elsewhere in this blog, is absurd. It is ultimately the responsibility of the Illinois licensed design professional to prepare drawings and permit applications that are consistent with the codes and ordinances applied by the local jurisdiction – that is one of the primary reasons why architects are licensed, and why clients rely on them for their expertise.

There certainly are problems in the City licensing process, but the real problem identified by this article was the lack of a proper Zoning analysis from the beginning. City officials can only act upon the information they are given. None of the people that the architect met with, as cited in the article, were from the Zoning Department – they were all Dept. of Buildings personnel. They work from an entirely different Title in the Municipal Code and use different terminology when describing Use or Occupancy.

In this case, it appears that the architect was simply unfamiliar with the Use descriptions in the Chicago Zoning Ordinance. When the architect states that “the zoning code is old”, Ms. Bayne should have checked this by looking at the date that the current Zoning Ordinance was passed by the City Council (November, 2004). How is this “old”?

When the drawings were submitted for a building permit, there was no reason for Zoning to disapprove of a restaurant use if that what was represented on the drawings. The inspector had every right to question the validity of the operation when the use was clearly not a restaurant, but a food prep kitchen with potential banquet space.

Posted by Codeguy on 10/09/2010 at 9:50 PM

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