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Address numbers should be clearly visible and prominently displayed on the street side of residential buildings and on the street and rear (alley) side of commercial buildings. Numbers should be numeric (not script), no less than 4 inches in height, and in a color that contrasts with the background color, and no larger than 1 1/2 square feet in area.
Though a permit from the Village is not required for garage sales, a garage sale must comply with the following requirement:
Building and construction codes are adopted by the Village to confirm the construction meets life safety requirements for the building owners and occupants. Such codes are updated regularly to reflect improvement in building techniques, materials, and technology. Building permits are required to confirm that design professionals and contractors working on your home do so in a professional manner and compliant with the latest updated codes.
Most work performed by a contractor to alter, upgrade or repair elements of your home or building will require issuance of a building permit and inspection of work to confirm compliance with adopted codes. A permit is required to remove, relocate, construct or alter building walls, or to perform any other structural alterations. In addition, any work involving the mechanical, electrical, or plumbing systems requires a permit. Non-structural work including replacement of an existing roof, fence or wall also requires a permit.
All work to the exterior of a commercial or institutional building, or to a multiple-family residential building, including replacement of windows, siding or other architectural elements requires a permit.
We encourage you to contact the Community Development Department at 847-716-3520 before undertaking any work to determine if a permit is required.
The time frame for processing a permit is dependent upon a number of factors, including but not limited to the type of permit being applied for, completeness and accuracy of plans, revisions by the architect, and the time of year. Typical process times are as follows:
A representative of the Community Development Department will email or call the primary contact listed on the building permit application.
A building permit is valid for 15 months from the date of approval. The Village does allow for a permit to be extended for an additional 9 months from the expiration date provided that the permit holder submits prior to the permit’s expiration:
During a construction project, a permit is necessary only if a dumpster is to be placed on the public street or parkway. No permit is required if a dumpster is placed on private property.
Residents who currently have permanent or temporary trampolines installed on their properties or plan to install this equipment should contact the Community Development Department at 847-716-3587 for zoning information and a trampoline permit application.
Over the years, the Village has retained property surveys submitted with building permit applications. It is best to check with us to see if we do have one; however, a property survey cannot be more than 5 years old when applying for a building permit. Call 847-716-3527 or email LoriAnne Weaver.
The Zoning Ordinance establishes standards which control the development and use of land. All building permits must comply with the Zoning Ordinance. Call the Community Development Department at 847-716-3587 with questions regarding the Zoning Ordinance. The Village Zoning Ordinance can be found in Title 17 of the Village Code on the Village website.
Limited exceptions exist to these standard limitations listed above. For additional information call 847-716-3521.
If construction activity is occurring outside of the hours, please contact Winnetka Police Department non-emergency phone number at 847-501-6034.
Construction sites and adjacent public rights-of-way must be maintained in a safe and clean condition at all times. This includes sanitary facilities; parking and loading areas; fencing for security and tree protection; and proper storage and removal of debris. Email Winnetka's Code Enforcement Officer, or call at 847-716-3521 with concerns related to the condition of construction sites.
The Community Development Department is open Monday - Friday from 8:30 AM to 5 PM
Building inspections are scheduled for either a morning inspection (between 8:30 AM and 11:30 AM) or an afternoon inspection (between 1 PM and 3:30 PM). Due to the length of each inspection on an inspector’s schedule will vary, we are unable to schedule specific arrival times.
Call the Community Development Department at 847-716-3525. The Department is responsible for administering and implementing the Village’s Zoning Ordinance, which regulates which uses are allowed in certain districts of the community.
A Certificate of Occupancy must be issued by the Community Development Director prior to occupancy of any commercial premises by a new business. To obtain a Certificate of Occupancy, the proposed business must:
This inspection is performed at no cost to the applicant or owner, and is intended to assist the tenant in understanding code compliance matters prior to signing a lease. Inspections may be scheduled by contacting the Community Development Department at 847-716-3520.
Any business located in a residential zoning district must comply with the followings standards of the Winnetka Zoning Ordinance:
Please email the Community Development Department or call at 847-716-3525, with any questions.
All grass and weeds must be mowed by property owners or those responsible for property maintenance before the growth reaches 8 inches. Email the Village's Code Enforcement Officer, or call 847-716-3521.
Noisy landscaping activity may only occur:
In Winnetka, the use of gasoline powered leaf blowers is only allowed during the following hours, and only between October 1 and May 31:
If you employ landscapers, please make sure that they are aware of Winnetka’s leaf blower ordinance. Violators will be ticketed. Please contact the Winnetka Police Department non-emergency phone number, 847-501-6034, with any questions.
Winnetka’s leaf blower restrictions do not apply to golf course lawn upkeep activities, to employees of the Village working on road maintenance, to electric leaf blowers plugged into normal electric outlets, or to battery-powered leaf blowers.
A Certificate of Appropriateness of Design must be issued by the Design Review Board prior to any external architectural feature changes, including awnings, storefronts, painting, landscaping, and certain signage for commercial, multi-family or institutional buildings. Single-family homes are not required to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness. Email Christopher Marx or call at 847-716-3587 with any questions regarding certificate of appropriateness applications.
Except for temporary real estate or contractor signs, commercial signs are not permitted in residential areas. No sign may be placed on the public right-of-way, which is generally the area between the curb and sidewalk. For commercial property signs, a sign permit application must be submitted and approved by the Design Review Board. Email Christopher Marx in the Community Development Department or call at 847-716-3587 with any questions.
All refuse should be placed in the container with the yellow top; all recycling must be placed in the solid green containers only.
Your refuse container has a radio-frequency identification chip that links your container with your utility billing account.
The options are as follows, and prices reflect 2 months of service:
Curbside service:$54: 35 Gallon once/week$72: 65 Gallon once/week$90: 95 Gallon once/week
Back door service:$100 once/week$200 twice/week
Residents who choose the curbside option will receive a Village-issued receptacle; the receptacle is delivered to a resident’s home at no additional charge.
No, only residents who select one of the curbside options will be provided with a new refuse receptacle based upon the service level selected. Residents that subscribe to back door refuse collection are responsible for purchasing their own refuse receptacles, which includes the collection of two 37-gallon or smaller refuse receptacles.
Yes, residents will need to use the Village-issued refuse containers as the Village’s equipment is able to service those containers.
Residents are required to place their new curbside refuse receptacle on the edge of the pavement or the curb. Residents residing in a house with an alleyway will continue to place their receptacles in the alleyway.
No, residents who choose to continue with back door service will still be required to use two 37 gallon refuse containers for service.
For residents that have refuse service in the alley, that will be considered curbside. Residents who have alley service will still be required to complete the selection form to indicate which size container they would like.
Yes, curbside collection twice per week is only available for the 95-gallon curbside refuse option.
No, residents will only be allowed one container for the curbside service.
Questions about a high/low bill, change of address, meter reading, or starting/stopping service can be made directly to Utility Billing by phone at 847-446-9550.
The Village issues a bill to most residents bimonthly. Commercial and large residential accounts may be billed monthly. Most bills include charges for electricity, water, sewer, and refuse pickup. There are also customer charges which partially pay for the cost to read and maintain the meters, billing the account and covering additional fixed costs in providing services.
Village code requires that any dog over the age of six months living in Winnetka must have a Village license and that the appropriate tag be displayed on its collar or harness. Current registration tags must be displayed by January 1 of each year. The license fee for un-spayed female dogs is $15, for all other dogs it is $10. A rabies vaccination certificate must be presented before a license can be issued. View a guide for renewing licenses online.
The Village of Winnetka requires the purchase of an annual license for vehicles. Application forms for vehicles that were previously registered in Winnetka are mailed to residents in the fall of every year. New residents and residents who acquire new vehicles can obtain license application forms at Village Hall. Vehicle license stickers for the current year must be displayed by January 1. View the online renewal page here. View a guide for online renewals.
The Village has an Aaa bond rating from Moody’s, which is the highest credit rating available
The Park District can give you information about the beaches, call the Winnetka Park District at 847-501-2040.
The Winnetka Park District issues these passes. They are located at Elm and Hibbard Street and their phone number is 847-501-2040.
No. Questions about property records should be directed to the New Trier Tax Assessor at 847-446-8200.
Have a plan and practice the plan. Sound fire prevention activities include developing a family escape plan that includes two ways out of your home and a family meeting place outside the home. Practice the plan so that it becomes second nature when the smoke alarm sounds.
All standard 9-volt battery smoke alarms should be replaced with the new 10-year battery smoke alarms. These new smoke alarms will last 10 years and eliminate the need to remember to replace the batteries annually. New smoke alarms are also sold with carbon monoxide alarms in the same unit. This is a good way to provide the necessary carbon monoxide detection within the same area of the required smoke alarm(s). Smoke alarms are an inexpensive yet important defense against smoke and fire for your family and your house.
State law requires your landlord to provide a working smoke alarm in every residential unit, but it is your responsibility to maintain the battery. If the smoke alarm is not a 10 year device, you must replace the battery once a year to ensure you have a working smoke alarm.
Carbon Monoxide detectors are required by State law to be installed within 15 feet of all sleeping areas.
Ambulance bill payments should be mailed to:
Winnetka Fire DepartmentPO Box 457Wheeling, IL 60090
Questions regarding ambulance billing can be directed to Andres Medical Billing at 800-244-2345.
Yes, never hesitate to dial 911! We are here to serve and protect. Your fire department is composed of highly trained professionals who can best determine the safest course of action.
When dialing 911, a caller may become confused as to whether the system is working properly due to a 5 to 12 second delay that can occur just prior to the "ringing" signal. This silence is due to a component of the system called "call setup time" which is part of the 911 system. 911 is independent of local telephone networks. This was done to prevent 911 calls from being blocked when the local network becomes overloaded.
No. Once the 911 Telecommunicator gathers the necessary information, wait until they tell you they are done before you hang up. They may need additional information or may direct you with pre-arrival instructions via the telephone while the Fire Department responds.
A fire engine responds on every ambulance call for several reasons. With both units being dispatched, you will get the fastest possible response. The ambulance may not be the closest unit or may be on another call, and the engine is paramedic-equipped to begin treatment while an ambulance is en route. Secondly, in order to perform the quality of service one would expect, a minimum crew of five paramedics are needed on each ambulance call, as there are many tasks to perform, from patient treatment to patient movement to the ambulance for transportation to the emergency room. If the fire engine crew is not needed, they can always be called off by the ambulance.
The Winnetka Fire Department provides ambulance transportation to the following hospitals:
We strongly recommend that you bring all sharp containers to the Winnetka Fire Department for proper disposal. The Fire Department participates in the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County’s (SWANCC) Residential Prescription Drug and Sharps Disposal Program. Sharps can be dropped off at the Fire Department. Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 5 PM. This is a free service. Sharp containers are also available at no charge.
Home prescription medications may be dropped off at the Fire Department Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 5 PM. Please note that the Fire Department cannot accept narcotics.
EMD stands for “Emergency Medical Dispatch.” EMD allows the dispatchers to give life-saving instructions over the phone to assist the caller in caring for the patient until Fire Department arrives. All of our 911 Fire Dispatchers are trained in it.
We all share the responsibility of knowing and practicing proper driving behaviors. One of the most important "rules of the road" deals with yielding the right of way to emergency vehicles. Remain calm and move your vehicle appropriately. You can’t go wrong by pulling to the right and coming to a stop. That’s the general rule in all cases. When you are in the right lane, pull onto the right shoulder if there is room and stop or at least slow down significantly if you are on an open high-speed road.
Open fires are not permitted in Winnetka. Call 847-501-6034 to report a violation. If the fire is creating a hazardous situation, call 911.
A Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR) is not the same thing as a durable power of attorney for medical decisions. A DNR is a standardized State of Illinois form that is signed by the patient, the patient’s doctor and two witnesses, which states that the patient “Does not authorize cardiopulmonary resuscitation” if their breathing or heart stops. A DNR is not part of a normal last will as is a durable power of attorney, and a DNR is only issued by a physician to a patient who has a terminal illness and has no chance for recovery. Please consult with your attorney to determine the proper documents needed.
No, current estimates suggest “on average” a home fire sprinkler system add only 1% to 1.5% of the total building cost in new construction.
Insurance costs will vary depending on the type of coverage. The discounts for residential sprinklers now range between 5 to 15%.
A blood pressure reading provides an important and quick summary of an individual’s cardiovascular health status. Trained EMS personnel are available to take blood pressure readings at the Winnetka Fire Department between the hours of 8:30 AM and 12 PM and 1 PM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday. There is no charge for this service. The Fire Department is located at:428 Green Bay RoadWinnetka, IL 60093
Early administration of CPR to cardiac arrest victims increases their chances for survival. The Winnetka Fire Department conducts CPR recognition and re-recognition classes quarterly. These classes are available to Winnetka residents for a nominal fee. For a fee, classes may also be scheduled for special groups. To schedule a class, please call 847-501-6029.
Each year the Winnetka Fire Department performs maintenance inspections and fire flow tests on more than 600 fire hydrants in the Village. Flow testing of fire hydrants aids the Fire and Water departments in determining the water system capacities and is used in pre-planning for emergencies.
Help the fire department help you! You can ensure that fire hydrants are easily accessible if there is a fire in your neighborhood by keeping hydrants clear of all obstructions. Hedge rows, trees, bushes, snow, and fences located close to a hydrant can considerably slow or prevent fire vehicles from obtaining water. Please notify the Winnetka Fire Department at 847-501-6029 if you notice a problem with a hydrant, and in the winter, you can perform a public service by shoveling snow away from hydrants.
Educational tours of the Winnetka Fire Station are available for scout organizations, school and pre-school groups, and other interests. To schedule a tour, call 847-501-6029. Residents may stop by (any day) during normal business hours for a tour, just ring the bell!
Home fire safety surveys will be performed by Fire Department personnel who will identify potential fire hazards in the home and provide advice concerning general fire safety practices. To schedule an appointment for a free home safety survey, call the Winnetka Fire Department at 847-501-6029, or email the Fire Department.
The 100-year floodplain, also known as the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), is an area of land that has been determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as having a 1% chance of flooding in any given year. The floodplain is composed of a flood way and a flood fringe. The flood way is typically determined to be the channel of a river or stream and the overbank areas adjacent to the channel. The flood fringe is the area to either side of the flood way that is subject to flooding but conveys little or no flow. In Winnetka, there are two sources of floodplain: the Skokie River and Lake Michigan.
The Village of Winnetka’s Flood Hazard Protection Ordinance is Chapter 15.68 in the Municipal Code. In addition, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Watershed Management Ordinance (WMO) contains floodplain regulations that all municipalities within Cook County are required comply.
The Base Flood Elevation (BFE) is the elevation below which areas are at risk of flooding for the 100-year flood event. The current BFE for the 100-year flood event for the Skokie River is 625.3 NAVD 1988, which is generally consistent throughout the limits of Winnetka (between Hill Road and the northern Village Limits), but does vary south of Hill Road. The BFE and Flood Zone Designation for Lake Michigan have recently undergone revisions. Based upon the results of the Great Lakes Coastal Flood Study, FEMA has revised the BFE for Lake Michigan to a variable BFE ranging from 587 to 594 NAVD 1988, depending upon where the property is situated along the lake front in Winnetka. The Flood Zone Designation will also change from Zone AE to Zone VE, which is a coastal flood zone that takes into account wave action.
Any grade that is equal to or below this elevation is considered in the floodplain, when tributary to that floodplain. This elevation is referenced from the North American Vertical Datum (NAVD) of 1988.
The Flood Protection Elevation (FPE) is the elevation to which any structures within the floodplain are required to be protected. In compliance with the MWRD WMO, the Flood Protection Elevation is two feet above the BFE. Within the Village of Winnetka, the FPE for the Skokie River is 627.3 NAVD 1988.
If any grade adjacent to the foundation of the house is at or below the BFE, the entire house is determined to be in the floodplain and must comply with the Village’s Flood Hazard Protection Ordinance.
In addition, the MWRD’s WMO stipulates that if a home is within 100’ of the mapped BFE, any permit applicant who is wanting to construct a new home or make substantial improvements to an existing home must prove, by means of a topographic survey, that all grades adjacent to the home are above the BFE (by at least 0.1 feet) to be considered outside of the floodplain.
FEMA completed two re-mappings of Winnetka’s western floodplains, one in November 2000 and one in August 2008, and one remapping of the lake Michigan coastline in September 2021. Due to increased rainfall intensities and various other topographic changes, the BFE rose approximately 9”, as part of the 2000 remapping. In addition, the 2008 remapping and modernization more accurately reflects the floodplain limits north of Willow Road. The 2021 remapping of Lake Michigan takes into effect wave action and wave velocities.
Anyone in Winnetka can purchase flood insurance, even if the property (a building and/or its contents) is not located within the floodplain. However, if your property is located within the 100-year floodplain, and you have a federally backed loan or mortgage on the property, you are required by law to purchase flood insurance.
Yes, new construction is permitted in the floodplain in accordance with the Village of Winnetka’s Flood Hazard Protection Ordinance, Sections 15.68.050.G and 15.68.080.
Construction of a new home or structure with a basement may be permitted in the floodplain if a Letter of Map Revision – Fill (LOMR-F) is first obtained from FEMA. The LOMR-F can be obtained if engineered fill has been placed and compacted on the site to create a clay building pad for the home. All work must be done in accordance with the Village’s Flood Hazard Protection Ordinance. A LOMR-F, removes that portion of the property that was filled from the floodplain, thereby allowing a home to be constructed with an engineered basement. Otherwise, if site constraints do not allow for a LOMR-F, a home with a floodable crawlspace (no basement) may be constructed. The details of the design requirements are outlined in Section 15.68.050.G and 15.68.080 of the Flood Hazard Protection Ordinance.
Compensatory storage must be provided to offset any fill that is placed in the floodplain, under any circumstance. Compensatory storage must equal a minimum of 1.1 x Fill volume.
The MWRD’s WMO requires that new home construction and/or substantial improvements to existing homes need to prove, by means of a certified topographic survey, prepared by either an Illinois Registered Land Surveyor or Professional Engineer, that the existing/new home and/or improvements are above the BFE by at least 0.10 feet.
Regardless, if you are considering constructing a new home that is within 100’ of the BFE, the following design criteria must be met:
These requirements include:
There are two main criteria:
First, there is the Minimum Average Lot Grade Requirement:
Per the Village’s flood hazard protection ordinance, the Average Lot Grade must be greater than the Minimum Average Lot Grade. That means that if you took the average lot grade, which is the average of the existing elevations taken at the intersection of the setback lines, it must be a greater value than the Minimum Average Lot Grade. The Minimum Average Lot Grade Equations is as follows:
Minimum Average Lot Grade: (627.3-2) - [(total required side yard permitted by Zoning – 12’) x 0.0833] It is recommended that the prospective builder consult with a Professional Civil Engineer to investigate the logistics of constructing a new home with a basement on a lot.
Second, there are clay pad construction restrictions which may directly affect the size of the home, and are as follows:
There are additional criteria that must be met, but they are more material related.
Yes, as long as the Flood Hazard Protection Ordinance criteria are met. Improvements to an existing structure can be classified as either a Non-Substantial Improvement or a Substantial Improvement. A Substantial Improvement to an existing structure will require that the entire structure be brought into compliance with the Village’s Flood Hazard Protection Ordinance, whereby the lowest level of the structure and all attendant utilities must be elevated to the Flood Protection Elevation (FPE), which is 2’ above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). These requirements are summarized, as follows:
For any improvements to the home (including an attached garage), to be considered a Non-Substantial Improvement, the total cost of the improvements must be less than 50% of the current market value of the structure, excluding the land, and must be calculated cumulatively over the remaining life of the structure, beginning with any permit issued on or after May 2014.
If additions to an existing structure increases the building’s footprint by more than 20%, the addition must be elevated to the FPE. This increase in footprint is cumulated in aggregate, beginning with any permit issued on or after May 2019.
To determine the current market value, you can either use the Cook County’s Assessor’s information, or get a certified appraisal, using the depreciated value of the structure. The Village cannot take the replacement value of the structure, as it does not accurately reflect the market value.
Cook County’s Assessor’s website can be found here. You can search by address or property PIN. To obtain the adjusted assessed value for the structure, take the assessed value for the structure and multiply by 10. Then, to determine the substantial improvement value threshold, divide that number by 2.
Once the 50% cost of improvement threshold has been met or exceeded, it is considered a substantial improvement, and as noted above, the entire home and attendant utilities need to be elevated such that the lowest floor is at or above the Flood Protection Elevation (BFE + 2’). This would most likely mean that you would need to fill in the basement and potentially jack up the rest of the home. As part of the permitting submittal, copies of the executed contracts that outline the entire scope of work, and any subcontracts that may be necessary, must be submitted for review.
Compensatory storage is an artificially excavated, storage volume within the 100-year floodplain that is required to offset the loss of natural storage capacity caused by the placement of fill, structures, or other materials above the existing natural grade. Compensatory storage must meet the following requirements (For the full description of the requirements, please see the Section 15.68 of the Village’s Flood Hazard Protection Ordinance and the MWRD WMO, Article 6):
Call Emily Grimm at 847-716-3532: as the Flood Plain Manager in the Village of Winnetka, she will be able to read the Flood Insurance Rate Maps and give an approximation of whether your property is within a flood zone. However, in order to make an exact determination, a topographic survey would need to be obtained by either an Illinois Licensed Land Surveyor or Professional Engineer.
Also, the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) can be found in the FEMA map center. However, in order to make an exact determination, a topographic survey or elevation certificate would need to be obtained by either an Illinois Licensed Land Surveyor or Professional Engineer.
Lead service lines are generally a dull gray color and are very soft. The service line typically enters your residence near your water meter. Lead service lines can be easily identified by carefully scratching them with a key or coin. If the pipe is made of lead, the area you’ve scratched will turn a bright silver color.
A certified plumber can tell you for sure if you have a lead service line, check for lead solders in your internal pipes and look for fixtures containing lead. You may also check the service line material inventory listing published by the Water & Electric Department. In accordance with 415 ILCS 5/17.12, the utility is required to publish an inventory of water service materials on the distribution system which is updated on a yearly basis. Address-level information on water services may be found here.
Private property water services are owned by the customer. The Village will make repairs to a leaking water service in the public right-of-way. However, replacement of the lead water service is the responsibility of the customer.
If work is performed on your individual lead water service, it could increase the amount of lead in your water service. During repair activities or partial replacement of the lead service line, the corrosion control coating is potentially disrupted at the site of the repair and/or some lead may be released into the water during repairs.
Yes. Unfortunately, this is not a test that the Village’s Water Plant can perform. If you want to have your water tested, you should contact a certified laboratory. One such facility in the area is PDC Labs at 309-683-1743. Tests run approximately $60 per sample.
Additional information is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791 or at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Ground Water and Drinking Water webpage.
If you feel a parking ticket you received was issued in error, you may fill out an Appeal Form and return it within 21 days if the issuance of the citation. The Administrative Hearing Officer will review the citation and determine if it was indeed issued in error. If so, the citation will be voided and you will be notified by mail. If the Hearing Officer determines that the citation was issued properly it will be returned to you and the due date extended to allow payment or court appeal.
There is a $40 Administrative Hearing fee for citations upheld by the Hearing Officer. You may choose to appear in person at the hearing, be sure to mark that option on the form.
Residents are encouraged to register their bicycles with the Winnetka Police Department for easy identification in the event they are lost or stolen. Bicycles can be registered at the police station, which is located at 410 Green Bay Road or by completing the application form online. The registration sticker will be mailed. There is no charge for bicycle registration.
Dogs must be under the control of their owners at all times. When dogs are not on their own property, owners must ensure that their pets are under immediate control by means of a leash, cord, chain or like device, and that the dog does not commit an act that is declared by Village ordinance to be a public nuisance. It is unlawful to permit a dog to run loose or trespass on private property. By law, owners must clean up after their dogs if they defecate on other than their own property.
In Winnetka, dogs are not allowed in Village parks or on most beaches. They are allowed on Centennial Beach, but only with the appropriate pass. Call the Winnetka Park District at 847-501-2040 for more information.
Village ordinance limits the number of dogs kept in a household to three.
Parking is prohibited on all Winnetka streets between the hours of 2 AM and 6AM. When temporary, extraordinary circumstances require that a vehicle be left on the street overnight, you may submit your parking permission request online or call the Police department at 847-501-6034 to request special parking consideration.
The Village designates parking areas around the three train stations (Indian Hill, Elm Street, and Hubbard Woods) for commuter parking. Commuter cars must display daily or six-month passes to park in these lots. Passes may be purchased at Village Hall. In some areas, a valid Village sticker must be displayed in addition to a daily or six-month commuter pass. It is best to always read signs carefully before parking a vehicle.
No permit is required for use of Village permit lots overnight or on weekends. Most lots, however, are restricted to either odd or even days when three inches of snow has fallen. Signs are posted in the affected lots.
A snow removal emergency exists whenever two or more inches of snow falls within a 24-hour period or when two or more inches of snow remains on any roadway in the Village. Winnetka’s snow ordinance prohibits parking of vehicles on any Village street during a snow emergency. Vehicles parked in a manner that obstructs the clearance of snow during an emergency may be towed.
Village parking lots in the business districts are posted as No Parking on either odd or even days after three inches of snow. There is no parking in these lots from midnight to 6 a.m. on either odd or even days as posted.
Residents and businesses may display "No Solicitors or Peddlers" signs on their property. Solicitors not heeding the signs are subject to the issuance of a citation. Every solicitor is required to carry a permit issued by the Village. Concerns about solicitors should be reported to the police department by calling 847-501-6034.
Winnetka residents who do not wish to have solicitors visit them can request to have their homes included on a registry maintained by the police department. There is no charge for this service. To be included on the registry, email the police department or call 847-501-6034.
Persons 17 years of age and under are subject to State curfew law. Curfew is from 11 PM to 6 AM. Sunday through Thursday, and Midnight to 6 AM. Friday and Saturday. A graduated driver’s license restricts drivers from operating a vehicle after 10 PM on Sundays through Thursdays, and after 11 PM on Fridays and Saturdays.
The operation of motor driven scooters and other "mini motorcycles" or mini bikes on anything other than private property is prohibited by the Illinois Vehicle Code. Additionally, the Cook County Board has enacted an ordinance banning motor driven scooters in Cook County.
Skateboarding is prohibited on roadways, sidewalks or parkways in the following Winnetka locations:
The use of BB guns and other similar devices is permitted on private property with certain restrictions. Additional information can be found in the Winnetka Village Code, Section 9.12 and 720 ILCS 5/24.8.
Tours of the Winnetka Police Station can be arranged for youth and school groups by calling 847-501-6034. Due to operational needs, tours for parties and other private functions cannot be accommodated.
Homeowners are responsible for insuring that no minors consume alcoholic beverages on their premises. This responsibility exists even when homeowners are not personally present.
If you wish to hold a block party that will block off a public street, you must obtain permission from the Village. Call the Village Manager’s Office at 847-716-3541. When possible, the fire and police departments will try to visit your block party. Call the fire department at 847-501-6029, or the police department at 847-501-6034, to make arrangements.
Contact the Winnetka Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit at 847-501-6034 and request a security survey of your residence or business. There is no charge for this service.
When making vacation plans, and whenever a house will be unoccupied for a period of time, residents are urged to contact the Winnetka Police Department to request their home be placed on its "House Watch List." House Watch request forms are available on the Village website or call Records at 847-501-6034.
Any motor vehicle being used to transport a person who is disabled that displays a handicapped parking placard (issued either in Illinois or in another state) may use parking areas designated for disabled individuals. Drivers of these vehicles are exempt from ordinances imposing limitations on parking with the exception of paid permit zones. However, handicapped license plates and cards do not permit parking in areas where parking is prohibited.
The Secretary of State’s Office issues handicapped license plates and temporary or permanent handicapped parking placards. Applications can be obtained by calling the New Trier Township Office at 847-446-8202. Motor vehicles parked in handicapped parking areas without handicapped identification may be subject to $250 fines.
Family members who may walk away or otherwise become missing and are unable to provide identifying information (e.g. persons with Alzheimer’s, Autism, Down’s syndrome, stroke victims), can register with the Winnetka Police Department to help assist their safe return home. For more information call Records at 847-501-6034.
Our consolidated dispatch center maintains a Telephone Device for the Deaf (TDD) that can be accessed 24-hours a day by calling 847-501-6034. Requests for any Village service can be directed to the TDD; however, the device recognizes only TDD transmissions and will not respond to audio (voice) contact.
The Winnetka Fire Department will assist special-needs citizens with the installation of smoke detectors. Call 847-501-6029 for more information. The Village Water and Electric Department will attempt to keep power outages to a minimum and will give priority to restoring service to homes where life support equipment is in use.
Call the Water and Electric Department at 847-716-3558, to let them know if someone in your home uses this equipment. The Winnetka Village Hall, Police Department, Fire Department, and Public Works Yards buildings are accessible to individuals with disabilities.
The Winnetka Police Department employs a part-time social worker to provide short-term counseling services to individuals, groups and families, as well as crisis intervention, resource and referral information and community education to Winnetka residents of all ages. Services are provided without charge. Call 847-716-3431 for more information.
To solicit fares in Winnetka, taxi drivers must be licensed by the Village and their cabs must pass inspection by the Winnetka Police Department.
Wild animals are considered to be indigenous to our area and generally are beyond the responsibility of the Village animal control program. However, the Winnetka Police Department will provide assistance on those occasions when wild animals enter the living space of a residence and pose a threat to persons. Wild animals in eaves, walls, under decks, in garages, etc. are not considered to be a threat and, according to Village policy, cannot be handled by the police. Contact a licensed animal control service for these situations.
Firearms dealers are prohibited. No person shall engage in the business of a firearms dealer in the Village, including exchange, loan, rental or other transfer for consideration of firearms or ammunition.
The Village subscribes to "Rave Alert" an automated emergency notification service. This allows residents to be notified in the event of an emergency, such as hazardous material leaks, missing persons, water outages, boil orders, and other important messages. To receive notifications, sign-up at Smart911.com.
If residents have back door refuse collection, the Village will empty two 37-gallon garbage receptacles from each single-family household once per week at the back door if available and accessible by 7 AM. All receptacles must not weigh more than 20 pounds when empty and not more than 60 pounds when full. On collection days, garbage receptacles should be located in an accessible place outside of garages or other secured enclosures.
If residents have curbside collection, the Village will empty one 35, 65, or 95 gallon receptacle once per week at the curb. To ensure the receptacle is available and accessible on the day of pickup, it may be placed at the curb or edge of pavement not earlier than 7 PM the evening before collection day and not later than 7 AM the day of collection. Residents should remove their receptacles by 7 AM the morning following collection.
A Village refuse sticker is required to be adhered to each additional 37-gallon receptacle or bag. Refuse and yard waste stickers may be purchased at Village Hall (510 Green Bay Road), Grand Foods (606 Green Bay Road), and Lakeside Foods (800 Elm).
Please fill out our missed collection form or contact the Public Works Department at 847-716-3568 or e-mail the Public Works department to report a missed collection. If you get our voicemail, please be sure to leave your name and address, as well as a phone number where you can be reached.
Back door service: Refuse receptacles can be purchased at home improvements stores and the Village prefers them to be galvanized. Refuse receptacles may not exceed 37-gallons in size.
Curbside: Refuse receptacles are available for replacement by contacting the Public Works department at 847-716-3568, or via email. Three options are available: 35, 65, or 95 gallons.
Recycling receptacles are available for replacement by contacting the Public Works department at 847-716-3568 or via e-mail. The two options available are 35 Gallon or 95 gallon receptacles.
Stickers are available for sale at Village Hall (510 Green Bay Road), Grand Foods (606 Green Bay Road), and Lakeside Foods (800 Elm Street) for $2.50 each.
For large objects or quantities not practical for regular refuse pickup, a special curbside pickup may be requested. Special pickups are billed by volume and must consist of general household items that are small and light enough to be handled by two persons without danger of injury. You will be charged $35 for the first cubic yard and $13 for each additional cubic yard (A cubic yard is 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet). This cost will be reflected later on your utility bill.
Major appliances and large heavy furnishings may also be collected, but a special handling charge will be assessed to cover costs and disposal. Call 847-716-3568 two to three working days before the desired collection date to schedule a special pickup.
Residents may not place the following materials in the refuse containers:
Any refuse containers containing these materials will not be collected.
From April through November, yard waste is collected twice per week: on both Mondays and Thursdays from residents who have either Monday or Thursday refuse collection and, on both Tuesdays and Fridays from residents who have either Tuesday or Friday refuse collection.
Illinois law prohibits disposing of yard waste with regular household refuse. Therefore, yard waste collection is done separately from regular refuse (typically in the afternoon following the completion of refuse service).
Recyclables will be picked up at the curb the same day that refuse is collected. Please do not place recycling receptacles at the curb earlier than 7 PM the evening prior to your collection day. All receptacles must be out and ready for collection by 7 AM on the scheduled pickup day.
Residents are not charged for recyclables. All Recyclables may be comingled in one cart. Paper products should not be bundled or tied. Recycling is provided free of charge to any Winnetka business that uses the Village’s refuse services.
For more information on recycling in Winnetka, please visit the Public Works department’s Refuse and Recycling page.
Waste resulting from work done by contractors will not be picked up by the Village. Contractors must make their own arrangements for removal.
Residents may contact the following organizations to schedule a pick-up or drop-off of construction material at:
Lakeshore Recycling Systems (LRS)2300 Carlson Dr.,Northbrook, IL 60062847-291-1222
SWANCC Glenview Transfer Station3 Providence Way,Des Plaines, IL 60016847-724-9205
Oil based paint, stains, or finishes are considered a household chemical waste and are properly disposed via household chemical waste collections sponsored by Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC) and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and available to all Illinois residents. Latex paint is non-toxic and will not be accepted at Household Chemical Waste collections. Let the paint dry out completely. After the paint has dried, dispose of it in your regular trash with the lid off so the waste hauler knows the can is empty.
A paint can which previously contained oil-based or latex based paint may be disposed of in the regular trash. If the paint can is of an acceptable recyclable material such as steel, tin, or a plastic container stamped recyclable 1 to 5, the can may be recycled in the community’s recycling program.
Residential electronics may not be disposed through the backdoor residential waste program. Residents may take advantage of the Village’s seasonal electronic disposal program free of charge. Residential electronics may be dropped at the Winnetka Public Works Yards, 1390 Willow, April through November on Thursdays between 1 and 3 pm. Residents may also drop off electronic waste at the SWANCC Transfer Station, 1151 North River Road in Glenview, most Saturdays from 9 to 11 am. Please note that household appliances that contain motors (i.e. mixers, food processors, blenders, hair dryers, etc.) cannot be recycled through these programs.
Fuels, oil-based paints, insecticides, etc. cannot be placed in your trash cans and will not be picked up. The Illinois EPA and other agencies sponsor occasional special household hazardous waste pickups. These pickups are advertised in the Winnetka Report and the Village newsletter. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency - Household Chemical Waste webpage includes information concerning collections and a complete schedule of upcoming collection events.
Year round, all types of holiday string-type lights will be accepted at the drop-off location at Public Works, 1390 Willow Road during regular business hours. Accepted for recycling will be:
All colors and lengths will be accepted. The Village cannot accept garland, live greens, wreathes, or other non-recyclables.
Christmas trees will be picked up from the curbside for shredding, chipping, and composting annually in January. After the publicized deadline listed on the Village's website, $2.50 refuse sticker will be required to ensure pickup.
When available, compost can be picked up at no charge at the Winnetka Public Works Yards, 1390 Willow Road, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 3 pm. Bring your own shovel and container.
Call JULIE (Joint Utility Location Information for Excavators) at least 48 hours prior to undertaking any digging activity on your property or the public parkway. JULIE provides a toll-free number (811) through which underground utilities in the vicinity of digging activity can be located.
Before contacting a plumber about a backup, call the Public Works department at 847-716-3568 to determine if the problem is the responsibility of the Village or the homeowner. If the problem occurs after hours, call 847-501-2531.
Drainage problems and concerns can be discussed with the Public Works Department. Village field inspectors may recommend corrective work; however, the responsibility for solving private drainage problems normally rests with the homeowner. Questions should be directed to 847-716-3530, or by emailing Obaid Khalid.
Residential drainage swales cannot be altered without first obtaining the required permits from the Public Works Department. Call 847-716-3530, or by emailing Obaid Khalid.
Property owners are responsible for routine maintenance of the public parkways (generally the area between the curb and the sidewalk) adjacent to their properties. This includes mowing, trimming weeds, etc. In addition, tree limbs and bushes on or adjacent to parkway areas should be kept trimmed so that they do not block visibility or encroach upon sidewalks.
It is illegal to attach to parkway trees:
Also, the Village requires that a permit be obtained in order to plant material other than grass and Village-approved tree species within parkway areas. For more information call 847-716-3289, or by emailing Andrew Lueck.
The Village makes annual repairs to its sidewalks at no cost to the abutting property owner. Sidewalk safety hazards should be reported to the Public Works Department at 847-716-3530, or by emailing Obaid Khalid.
Call the Public Works Department at 847-716-3568 and leave a message. Please be sure to give the street address nearest to the pothole location. The Department will add it to the list of scheduled patches.
The Village of Winnetka plants 2 1/2-inch-trunk-diameter trees on parkways at no cost to residents. Also offered is a "share the cost" arrangement for planting larger trees on parkways. For tree species descriptions and availability call 847-716-3289, or by emailing Andrew Lueck.
The Village of Winnetka requires a removal permit for any private property tree measuring 8 inches or more in trunk diameter (measured at 4.5 feet from ground level). Removal applications are available at:
To obtain a tree removal permit, click here. The Village will determine if tree replacement is required by inspecting each requested removal. For more information, call 847-716-3289, or emailing Andrew Lueck.
If you have a question about traffic flow, signage, traffic signals or related issues call 847-716-3261, or by emailing James Bernahl.
Call the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District at 847-446-9434.
The Village’s annual leaf collection normally begins in October and runs through November.
The time needed for the Public Works staff to complete one round of leaf pick-up varies; however, the Village aims to complete 6 to 8 rounds during the length of the program.
Due to the high demand for leaf collection and the limited time to collect leaves, the Public Works department will not be accept callbacks. Residents may keep the leaves on the parkway until Public Works crews return, but once the program has ended, leaves must be placed in yard waste bags and must have yard waste stickers affixed; stickers may be purchased at Village Hall, Grand Foods or Lakeside Foods.
Plowing activities begin with snow accumulation of about 2 inches on sidewalks and streets. Main roads (Hibbard Road, Green Bay Road, etc.) receive first priority during a snow and ice events, followed by minor streets/sidewalks, then cul-de-sacs and alleys after the event ends.
There are approximately 4,000 driveways in the Village. Unfortunately, we are not able to compromise our priority on public safety by devoting resources to clearing driveways.
Due to high demand and limited time, the Public Works department will not respond to callbacks if materials are not at the curb by the deadline. Residents can call the Public Works department at 847-716-3568 or by email to request a special pick up.
Do not place the following items out for collection:
Due to a high demand and limited time the Public Works Department will not respond to callbacks. Residents can call the Public Works Department at 847-716-3568 to request a special pick up.
The Village provides a recycling drop-off service for holiday lights and cords, small hand-held electronics and athletic shoes at the Municipal Yards Building, located at 1390 Willow Road, for all of these items, during regular business hours of 7:30 AM to 4 PM.
The Village provides a recycling drop-off service for block polystyrene and clean food service containers only on Mondays from 1 PM to 3 PM (weather permitting) at the Public Works Yards Building, located at 1390 Willow Road. This service is available for Winnetka residents only. In addition, public Styrofoam drop-off is available at ABT (1200 N. Milwaukee Ave, Glenview) during store hours 7 days per week.
The flag and/or spray paint identify underground utilities (water, electric, sewer, gas, cable, etc.) for excavation activity. These excavation activities could include but are not limited to, water main repairs, fence installation, or landscaping repair for your property or your neighbor's. JULIE (Joint Utility Location Information for Excavators) can be contacted using the toll-free number (811) for additional information.
The spray paint utilized to identify underground utilities is water-based and will wash out on its own.
Council agendas and all supporting material are available at the Winnetka Public Library Reference Librarian’s Desk. Council agendas are also posted on the Village website.
Municipal employment opportunities are advertised on the Village’s Job Opportunities page. Applications and resumes will not be considered or retained for positions not currently available. The Village of Winnetka is an equal opportunity employer.
If you have an Illinois driver’s license or state ID, you may register online through the Cook County Clerk's voter registration interface.
Whether you are a new resident to our Village or you just have a new address within the Village, you must change your voter registration.
Every Winnetka restaurant or business that wishes to serve or otherwise sell food and/or liquor must be registered and licensed by the Village. The Village also licenses home milk delivery, amusement devices, grocery stores, all food dealers, parades, fireworks and service stations. Contact the Village Manager’s Office at 847-716-3541 for applications and fee schedules.
The Village does not issue home business licenses.
Residents should contact Comcast’s Customer Service directly at 866-594-1234 or visit the Comcast website. Although the Village has limited authority regarding the operations of the cable companies, we do document problems or issues Winnetka residents may have with Comcast. If you are unable to resolve your complaint or would like to document a comment, you can notify the Village directly via an online form.
Contact the Finance Department at 847-446-9550 for an application for service. The Village must verify your identity in order to provide service, so you will be asked to show a government-issued photo ID in order to establish service. The Village will accept a photocopy of your out-of-state photo ID if you are new to Illinois.
Calls regarding electric service problems should be made to 847-501-2531. This number is answered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by employees who are familiar with the operation of the Village electric utility. In case of severe weather, your call may not be answered immediately. Please keep trying. Your call is important to the Winnetka Water and Electric Department.
When calling to report a problem with electric service, residents should be prepared to describe what is occurring:
Call utility billing at 847-446-9550.
Call utility billing at 847-446-9550. We must physically read the actual meter, before service can be discontinued. You will need to make arrangements for the meter reader to obtain the final readings.
Call the Water and Electric Department at 847-716-3558. If it is after hours, you can leave the information on voice mail. You can also submit a repair request by email.
The Water and Electric Department emergency line is 847-501-2531. This number is staffed at all times.
In compliance with regulations established by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for allocation of Lake Michigan water, the Village was required to adopt new water conservation measures in 2016. Lawn sprinkling is no longer allowed on consecutive days. Sprinkling is also prohibited between the hours of noon and 6 pm.
The restricted sprinkling hours begin May 15 and are effective until September 15. Please assist the Village in adhering to the new Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) requirements by following the Village Code. Sprinkling during otherwise prohibited hours may be permitted for a limited time with special approval by the Director of the Water and Electric Department. Sprinkling may be allowed for newly seeded or sod areas and for the annual activation or repair of sprinkler systems. To obtain the special approval, or if you have questions, call 847-716-3558, or email.
Residents are cautioned never to remove a water or electric meter or to allow a contractor to do so. Meters are sealed to prevent tampering. To keep costs to residents as low as possible, theft of service will be prosecuted. For more information call 847-716-3558.
Low flow water devices are required and certain uses of water are prohibited.
Winnetka receives its potable water from Lake Michigan. For additional information or tours of the Water Plant, call 847-716-3644, or email.
The Village publishes an annual water quality report every July in the Winnetka Report (the Village’s print newsletter). In addition, the report is available through the website.
Some residents report receiving phone calls or door hangers from Spark Energy and Constellation Energy to switch energy providers. The Village of Winnetka owns and operates its own municipal electric system; therefore, Spark Energy and Constellation Energy cannot provide electric service to Village residents or businesses.
Investor-owned utilities such as ComEd are required to allow third party suppliers to offer their services to residential customers within their service territory. If you have additional questions, please contact the Water and Electric Department at 847-716-3558.