Green Zoning and Building Code Project
GREENING OF THE WILL COUNTY ZONING & BUILDING ORDINANCES
REVISED WILL COUNTY ZONING ORDINANCE
The U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant provided funds for a consulting team - Duncan Associates, with the Lakota Group and Primera - to assist Will County in updating and greening the County's zoning ordinance. The project was coordinated by the Land Use Department of the County Executive’s Office and the County Board’s Ordinance Review Subcommittee. It included a comprehensive revision of the zoning ordinance which became effective October 1, 2012.
The revised zoning ordinance either removes impediments to sustainability and energy conservation practices or offers encouragement for adopting such innovative development methods. The revised zoning ordinance drew support from the Will County Farm Bureau, Three Rivers Manufacturers Association, the Will County Center for Economic Development and many others.
Examples of changes include the following:
Expanded administrative adjustment (variance) authority. The changes reflect the authority granted by state law and will result in a greater number of minor matters being eligible for expedited processing as administrative adjustments.
Expanded Planning and Zoning Commission authority. As a way to streamline the approval process, changes give the Planning and Zoning Commission authority to approve a much wider variety of variances, which could cut as much as 45 days from the typical process.
LEED-ND. The ordinance outlines the incorporation of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Neighborhood Development, into the Planned Unit Development process. LEED-ND includes performance standards for certifying the planning and development of neighborhoods. The intent is to promote healthful, durable, affordable, and environmentally sound practices in building design and construction;
Alternative energy sources. Changes authorize and expand opportunities for voluntary utilization of wind, solar and geothermal energy sources.
[provide link to www.willcountylanduse.com (ordinance) for download]