Oswego adopts new ordinance to update zoning districts

Village: Revisions meet ‘unique needs’ of downtown businesses

Oswego community members will have the chance to comment on the village’s proposed new zoning ordinance and map during a public hearing this week.

Oswego now has a new zoning ordinance and map.

At the April 16 Oswego Village Board meeting, village trustees approved a Unified Development Ordinance and accompanying zoning map.

Since May 2021, village officials, stakeholders, community members and staff have worked together, with help from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency on Planning, to draft a Unified Development Ordinance to replace the current zoning ordinance and subdivision regulations.

Officials said the Unified Development Ordinance will modernize the village’s zoning practices while aligning Oswego’s development regulations, land-use practices and community vision with the village’s 2015 Comprehensive Plan.

Village Administrator Dan Di Santo told trustees that changes can be made to the new ordinance in the future.

“You’ll be able to amend it any time you want,” he said. “Every year we do lots of zoning ordinance changes. We will continue to do lots of zoning ordinance changes.”

As part of the new Unified Development Ordinance, the village looks to establish a new D-1 downtown district that will take place of existing B-1, B-2 and B-3 zoned parcels in the downtown.

“The D-1 district was designed to acknowledge the unique needs of downtown businesses and the village’s goals for the area,” Oswego Development Services Director Rod Zenner said. “In the downtown area, there are several M-1 manufacturing zoned parcels along Harrison Street; under the proposed zoning map, these properties would be rezoned to the D-1 district.”

For these parcels, the current legally established uses and structures can continue to operate as they do today, he said.

“If these properties redevelop in the future, or if the existing manufacturing use discontinues for a period of six-months, then the property could only be used for uses permitted or allowed by special use permit in the D-1 district,” Zenner said.

In response to trustee concerns about temporary signage, the new ordinance puts restrictions on the number, size and amount of time temporary signs can be posted.