City Code Is No Setback

Design requirement created lots more room for windows

FROM $439,900
TO $499,900

At Lexington Square, a townhouse development at 3704 South Sangamon Street, a safety feature required by city code turned out to have a hidden benefit. Thanks to the deep setbacks that were needed to provide emergency exits from the rooftop decks, about 80 percent of the 39 townhouses will have windows on three sides (rather than just on the front and back). “That really pays off in the feeling you get when you’re inside,” says Jeff Benach, a co-principal of the developer, Lexington Homes.

The windows contribute to a comfortable layout that includes a large combined living and dining room, a big kitchen, three bedrooms, two-plus baths, a balcony, and a two-car garage. The townhouses come in three sizes, starting with a 2,250-square-foot model priced at $439,900, and topping out at 2,560-square-foot homes priced at $499,900. At presstime, one of the ten completed townhouses had been sold. Benach intends to complete all 39 homes, though it will likely take two or three years. “In 2005 or 2006,” he says, “we would have thought of this as a one-year project.”


Photograph: Lexington Homes



5 years ago
Posted by AndrewWilson

Not all code requirements are opportunities, but some are, as this article points out. Another relatively unknown aspect of the open space impact requirement can be used to save thousands in permitting fees.

Home owners and builders who work with an architect and/or real estate agent with knowledge of the Chicago Building Code and Zoning Ordinance will reap benefits and can proceed with confidence.


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