LINCOLN SQUARE — Planning to rent in a transit-oriented development?
Be sure to read the fine print in your lease.
Transit-oriented developments, constructed near CTA and Metra rail stations, are given major zoning relief in terms of the number of parking spaces that need to be provided on site — up to a 100 percent reduction in certain cases.
They're also allowed to be taller and denser than non-transit-oriented buildings, which tends to raise concerns from neighbors about parking and traffic.
In pitching these projects at community meetings — often planned for congested areas like Wicker Park and Lakeview — developers typically paint a portrait of tenants who will bike, walk, ride the train, or use car-sharing or ride-hailing services to get around the city.
And if they do own cars?
Leases are being written to discourage that behavior.
Several aldermen are approving transit-oriented developments with the contingency that lessees are ineligible for zoned parking permits.
Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th) said he has made it a standard requirement of transit-oriented developments in his ward, including a pair of proposals on the table for Lawrence Avenue.
Of the two transit-oriented developments that have come through Ald. Tom Tunney's 44th Ward office — one on Southport and one on Belmont — similar restrictions are likely.
Though no formal policy is in place and the process is still developing, "the consensus is to deny permanent zone permits," said Chris Jessup, 44th Ward director of public safety and community affairs.
Parking is at a premium in Lakeview, he said, and transit-oriented developments are supposed to be targeting a different market.
Limits on guest passes, or outright denial, are also being negotiated. "Some of that is still being worked out," Jessup said.
The onus is on the developer or building's management company to convey the parking permit information to tenants.
The owner of the transit-oriented development at 1611 W. Division St. has done a good job of informing potential renters up front that if they have a car, they won't receive exception letters allowing them to park on adjacent residential permit parking streets, according to Raymond Valadez, chief of staff for Ald. Joe Moreno (1st).
The handful of requests received by the office from the property's tenants have been denied, he said.
"I believe this has discouraged those with cars to rent in a TOD building with no available parking," Valadez said.
"As a result, we have not had any complaints from neighbors indicating that they cannot park on their street due to the influx of residents of the 1611 West Division building," he said.