Zoning & Development

Business Development 1Michele Smith understands that each of our neighborhoods have a unique character that needs to be preserved. That’s why she’s committed to working with all members of the community when making local development decisions in our ward.

Alderman Smith is committed to ensuring that development in the 43rd Ward occurs in a balanced and transparent manner. The two key elements that guide this process are input from local residents and neighborhood community organizations and data driven land use planning principles.

Alderman Smith requires the completion of a zoning checklist for all projects, and any project that requires a deviation from the zoning code requires community input.

As a matter of policy, Michele Smith does not accept political contributions from developers doing business within the 43rd Ward.

Significant developments in the 43rd Ward:


The initial proposal for this parcel would have resulted in the destruction of the current, historic structures at this location (including the former “Black Duck” and “King Crab” restaurants) and replaced them with a 6-story structure. After a community meeting to discuss this proposal with local residents, Alderman Smith rejected the proposal. The property was sold to a new party who will continue to operate the site as is.

Mulligan School

Michele supported the redevelopment of the late 1800s former Chicago Public School into a 24-unit apartment building, contingent upon landmark status, which was approved in early February of 2014.

20 East Scott

Working with community organizations and local residents, Michele initiated a downzone of this parcel to a new, “RM-5” classification to safeguard against future overzealous development in a location currently saturated with high- rises. The former zoning classification had virtually no height restrictions, and the new classification limits the height of a future development to a 47 feet “as of right,” and should the property be sold and any future applicant wish to create a larger structure they would be required to apply for a zoning change and would automatically trigger the community input process.

Children’s Memorial Hospital

Alderman Smith’s community – oriented approach resulted in a significantly downsized project on the site of the former Children’s Memorial Hospital and will create a new “neighborhood crossroads” that will serve as a new economic catalyst to revitalize the surrounding area, including an acre of new open space.

During the negotiations on this critical site, she hosted four large scale, community wide public meetings to discuss the proposals, held dozens of smaller meetings with interested local residents, and received thousands of letters and emails from members of the community in order to gain their feedback.

Lincoln Park Hospital

Alderman Smith negotiated key concessions from the developer on this already-approved project, protecting neighbors from additional commercial development on this residential street and reducing the overall number of units on site.