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Will Changes at O'Hare Affect Property Values? County Conducts Research

By Kelly Bauer | August 13, 2015 5:28pm
 A plan soars over the Northwest Side.
A plan soars over the Northwest Side.
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DNAinfo/Heather Cherone

CHICAGO — County officials have taken another step toward determining if noise from a reconfiguration of O'Hare runways will impact the market value of nearby homes.

Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios announced on Thursday that his office is comparing noise contour maps with sales and market data to determine how jet noise already has affected the property value of homes around O'Hare International Airport. The office is getting help from graduate and doctoral students and is using data from noise complaints that residents have filed.

The review began in March 2014 and also is using data from 25 airport-impact studies in North America and other environmental impact studies.

Residents of the area have complained that noises from airplanes have been a major disturbance, with more than 145,000 complaints about the noise being filed from Chicago. Residents and community groups have spoken out against changes at the airport that they fear will mean more noise.

Once the assessor's office has determined how noise has affected property values, it may use that information to predict how real estate markets will react to proposed changes at O'Hare.

Some of the communities that could be involved in the assessor's study are parts of Jefferson Township, which covers a swath of the northwest side of the city, Harwood Heights, Norridge and Park Ridge, according to a news release from the assessor's office.

Jefferson Township neighborhoods will be reassessed as early as next year, according to the assessor's office, instead of having to wait for their next triennial assessment.

The office's work determines the market value of homes, which helps determine how much owners pay in property taxes. If the assessor's office determines that homes are worth less because of the noise from O'Hare, property taxes would drop.

But, it has not been determined yet if any homes would see their market values adversely impacted by the O'Hare jet noise, according to the assessor's office.

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