Zoning Ordinance Administration

Service Information

Zoning Ordinance Administration

Administration of the zoning ordinance shall be exercised through a person in the Department of Building and Zoning designated as the Zoning Administrator.

All permits for use of land or buildings and certificates of occupancy, except as otherwise provided by the zoning ordinance, shall be reviewed and approved by the Department of Building and Zoning. The Zoning Administrator shall affix a certificate to the permit indicating that the proposed building or structure complies with all the provisions of this ordinance.

Zoning Classification Search

The Department of Building and Zoning allows you to review the current zoning classification of parcels located in unincorporated Cook County (only). In order to learn a property’s zoning classification, you must enter the property’s fourteen (14) digit permanent real estate index number (PIN).

Click here to link to the Zoning Classification Search

Zoning Requirements Application

You can search for Zoning of the property in Unincorporated Areas of Cook County. The Zoning District Requirements are listed to help you in planning your projects. 

Click here to link the Zoning & District Requirements 

Letter of Zoning Compliance

Effective March 21, 2015, any property in Unincorporated Cook County that goes under contract is required to obtain a Zoning Certificate from this department in order to verify its current zoning classification, or any outstanding building permits and outstanding violations or judgments on said property prior to closing.

Apply online for the Letter of Zoning Compliance.

After you apply you will receive an email with an invoice and a link to pay it online. Send back the proof of payment and the Zoning Certificate will be emailed to you. 

Administrative Adjustments

In order to provide a streamlined approval process for minor modifications of selected zoning standards, the Zoning Administrator is hereby given the authority to review and approve applications for variances of ten percent or less of the regulations as to location of structures or as to bulk requirements without referral to the Zoning Board of Appeals and without a public hearing in accordance with the zoning ordinance.


A “variance” means a grant of relief from the requirements of the Cook County Zoning Ordinance which permits construction in a manner that would otherwise be prohibited by the Ordinance.

Special Use

A “special use” of land or buildings, or both, described in the Cook County Zoning Ordinance is a use subject to special provisions because of unique characteristics that do not allow the use to be properly classified as a permitted use.

Map Amendment

A "map amendment" means to rezone a property's zoning designation.  Consideration shall be given to existing conditions, property values, trends of development and uses to which property is devoted.

Extension of Time on Zoning Cases (variance, special use)
  • A special use which has been approved but not established on a zoning lot within one year or as otherwise provided by the special use permit shall be null and void.
  • A variance which has been granted will expire after one year unless a building permit is obtained and construction of the building or the use commenced.

In order not to loose this privilege an extension of time request can be made to the department of building and zoning.  See the form under downloads for more information.