Rahm Considers Relaxing PMD Zoning Restrictions
It looks like Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to throw a bone to developers. The mayor is considering relaxing restrictions on zoning in Chicago's planned manufacturing districts that would facilitate retail and residential projects in areas that are strictly earmarked to preserve and strengthen the city's industrial base.
Developers have argued in favor of relaxing these zoning restrictions because developable land has become scarce and the economic base in PMDs such as Goose Island, Clybourn and Elston has shifted from industrial to tech, and developments surrounding these districts has trended toward high-priced residential.
Rahm's easing of the zoning restrictions would come with a price, according to Crain's. Developers who want to build non-industrial projects in PMDs would be charged a fee that would go towards funding infrastructure projects in these districts that would support increased density, such as public transit, bridges and other needs.
This is merely a trial balloon the mayor's office is floating but, in most cases involving Emanuel, where there's smoke, there's fire. [Crain's]