Proposed Downtown Zoning Regulations

The Village of Northbrook is currently in the process of considering new zoning regulations for the downtown area of the community, or what is also referred to as the Village Green Overlay Districts. The following links take you to a complete copy of the proposed regulations as well as links to key segments of the plan:

Current Status

On January 20, 2015, the Board of Trustees reviewed a presentation (PDF) containing a summary of the proposed downtown zoning regulations as recommended by the Downtown Zoning Committee (DZC). Before the Village Board further discusses the proposed regulations, the Board asked staff to reach out to major property owners in the downtown as well as developers to receive their feedback regarding the proposed regulations. Village staff is in the process of doing this.

The proposal creates a series of new zoning districts for the downtown area and would replace the current Village Green Overlay District and the related design guidelines in the Zoning Code. If the Village Board should forward the proposed regulations to the Plan Commission for review and a recommendation, public hearings would be required to not only amend the Zoning Code, but to also rezone properties in the downtown. The Village anticipates having an active public outreach program with all property owners and businesses in the vicinity to explain the regulations and make refinements based on community input prior to holding formal public hearings to explain the regulations and make refinements based on community input.


The development of the new downtown zoning regulations is the result of the 2011-12 downtown planning process and the development of the Downtown Area Plan. With the financial assistance of a Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) grant that funded the consultant services of Leslie Oberholtzer with CodaMetrics, the Downtown Zoning Committee (a list of members is below) and Development and Planning Services (DPS) staff have spent the last year and a half and five public meetings discussing and reviewing proposed regulations for the downtown. Using the Downtown Area Plan as a general framework for the proposed regulations, the Committee worked with the consultant and DPS staff to develop and refine a new set of zoning controls for the downtown that would help promote redevelopment in a manner that is consistent with the vision articulated in the plan. Among the key concepts in the Plan that were incorporated into the new zoning regulations were the following:
  • Allow up to 5-stories in specific areas and with proper design controls
  • Establish desired setbacks ("build-to-lines") for different streets
  • Refine the parking requirements for the downtown
  • Improve the design guidelines for the downtown by using "form based" elements
  • Amend/replace the C-1 Specialty Commercial District
Similar to our current zoning regulations, the proposed downtown code includes varying standards based on each new zoning district for such items as height of buildings, location of buildings, parking and loading on the site, the amount of required parking, and allowed land uses in each district. The proposed regulations differ from our current regulations by identifying additional standards based on the building type chosen and then ensuring that the building form has a proper relationship to the street and has a pedestrian scale.