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RTA begins work on new zoning projects to encourage transit-friendly policies

July 14, 2022

Zoning Blog Pace Central Harlem Ave Corridor Plan 1

Updates to a community’s zoning code can encourage new transit-oriented development. So far in 2022, the RTA has begun work on several new zoning projects in Berwyn, Hanover Park, Maywood, Riverside, and Cicero to ensure those communities have zoning regulations that align with local priorities and plans.

Each of these projects is supported by the RTA Community Planning program, which helps communities address planning needs at the intersection of planning and land use to increase walkability, transit access, and transit use.

City of Berwyn Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Zoning Code Update

The RTA is partnering with the City of Berwyn to develop strategies to implement the recommendations of its Central Harlem Avenue study for transportation and land-use improvements. The study area includes Harlem Avenue on the west, Roosevelt Road on the north, Wisconsin Avenue on the east, and Pershing Road on the south. This encompasses the entirety of Harlem Avenue within the City and the Harlem Avenue Metra station.

The project will review existing zoning codes and procedures to ensure that they are consistent and clear to developers and residents while devising a comprehensive plan to encourage developers to build pedestrian and transit infrastructure in the study area.

The RTA will work with the city and an independent contractor. It is expected to be completed by mid-Spring 2023.

Village of Hanover Park Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Zoning Code Update

The RTA is partnering with the Village of Hanover Park to realize the goals of its 2010 Comprehensive Plan, which identified the village’s TOD area as a well-planned, transit-oriented, mixed-use, compact development in Hanover Park.

Currently, Hanover Park’s zoning code is not conducive to enabling the goals listed in its Comprehensive Plan without significant changes. The RTA will support the village in redefining its land use, parking, density, design guidelines, and more to prepare Hanover Park for the potential of redevelopment, creating a new Village Center.

The project will review the zoning process and procedures to ensure it is consistent and clear to developers and residents. It will also build upon and expand existing design standards in the Village Center TOD Plan and Comprehensive Plan for commercial, multifamily and townhouses.

The RTA has entered into a contract with Codametrics, who is responsible for the project. The code amendments are expected to be adopted by the Village Board in August.

Village of Maywood Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Zoning Code Update

The RTA is partnering with the Village of Maywood to execute the zoning code modification as outlined in their Downtown Transit-Oriented Development Plan, which offers a vision for downtown and its newly renovated Metra station.

To fulfil the vision outlined in the plan, the village’s zoning code must be modified to allow for the type of development the plan recommends, such as more dwelling units, mixed-use developments, affordable housing and more.

The project will establish zoning changes which will:


  • Create a new TOD zoning area to increase the number of dwelling units in the downtown TOD area.
  • Develop a new mixed-use zoning district to allow mixed-use developments downtown.
  • Modify existing residential zoning to encourage mixed-income and affordable housing.
  • Preserve and enhance transit/bus stop locations along the 5th Avenue and Lake Street corridors.


The project is expected to be completed by mid-Spring 2023.

Learn more about the Maywood zoning code updates here.

Village of Riverside and Town of Cicero

The RTA is partnering with the Village of Riverside and the Town of Cicero to apply the recommendations of their respective TOD-targeted comprehensive plans. The projects will review established zoning policies and codes to identify design standards and improvement opportunities, develop sustainable TOD regulations and prepare the communities for transit expansion projects. Furthermore, it will also establish general regulatory policies that will guide the zoning code amendment process and create new zoning districts that correctly consider existing development, better utilizes land for future development and protect the residential areas.

The RTA has entered into a contract with Savoy Consulting, who will be responsible for the project.

The Village of Riverside project is expected to be completed by September 2022, while the Town of Cicero project will be completed by November 2022.

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Tagged in: Community Planning | RTA | TOD

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