Lakefront Regulations

Village Council has devoted significant time in early 2023 to discussing zoning, development, and engineering regulations that apply to properties within the Village that abut the lakefront of Lake Michigan as a result of public debate and numerous questions raised about the nature and extent of public and private property rights along the lakeshore.

January 10: Study Session

At the Council study session on January 10, 2023, representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Village attorney, and Village staff from the Community Development and Engineering departments presented information regarding existing zoning, development, and engineering regulations that currently apply to lakefront properties. Village staff surveyed comparable communities and presented information regarding these communities' lakefront regulations. Council reviewed and discussed the existing Federal, State and local regulations, legal options, and comparable community regulations.

Due to the late hour, the January 10 Study session was continued at a special Study Session on January 31.

January 31: Special Study Session

March 7: Regular Council Meeting

The Village Council directed the Village Attorney and staff to prepare an ordinance amending certain provisions of the Village Code related to lakefront regulations. In providing this direction, the Council recognized that it was important to prepare amendments now to establish more clearly the nature and extent of the Village's permit requirements for construction of structures in and adjacent to Lake Michigan. At the same time, it was recognized that this first set of amendments was intended to be narrow and in place for a relatively short period of time while the Village undertakes a more comprehensive study and analysis of possible additional lakefront and steep slope regulations that the Village may want to adopt. At the March 7, 2023 Council meeting, a draft ordinance amending certain provisions of the Village Code related to lake front regulations was introduced for discussion.