Aldermen propose fewer restrictions on live/work space

Want to have a live/work space, or live where you work? Chicago Aldermen are trying to make that easier for Chicago residents and small business owners by changing zoning codes throughout the city and proposing a new ordinance.

Angela Komperda works and lives in her 1,000 square foot space in Pilsen. Courtesy Brian Eaves of Chicago Journal

As it stands now, people are only allowed to work where they live in certain ground-floor apartments in just five business districts. But if 1st ward Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno has his way, that’ll all change.

Moreno started working on this live/space ordinance after a number of his constituents approached him with the idea. He’s now pushing to allow any retail, service, or business owner to live/work in the same spot, as long as only 30% of a given space is residential.

“It’s pro-business, and we’re seeing tough times, so that’s where it kind of came from,” Matt Bailey, Moreno’s spokesman, said. “It can anchor people within the community where they do business, and that’s a good thing,”

Changing zoning codes though is only a first step by Chicago Aldermen. If the measure is passed, building owners also have to agree.

But in many neighborhoods in Chicago, particularly those with many abandoned storefronts, residents see a benefit to a shared live/work space.

What do you think of the proposal? Are you a small business owner who wants to live where you work?

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