Land Use Types

Downtown has been divided into nine land use types. In each type, the use of land and the form of the buildings are described. Maximum heights and in some cases minimum heights are established. There are also three areas in which some flexibility is permitted.

Guide


These land use types are not zoning, per se, but a guide to the preferred uses and building forms at each location. The pattern of land uses is based on TOD principles. The land use areas around the transit hubs are more intense closer to the hubs and less intense further from the hubs.

Downtown Employment


This land use type includes well-designed buildings that are not along retail streets, generally north and south of Searle Parkway, integrating higher-intensity uses with publicly accessible open spaces near transit access. Similar to the current B6 Downtown Science and Technology zoning district, buildings can be up to 180 feet in height, but all development is subject to site plan approval by the Plan Commission and Village Board. Residential uses should be prohibited in these areas.

Downtown Core Mixed-use


This land use type includes areas close to rapid transit hubs and employment centers. Buildings should be designed to promote walking and have a pedestrian orientation, with curb cuts on retail streets strongly discouraged. Ground floor uses on retail streets must be reserved for retail and other service uses open to customers. Upper story uses can be other commercial uses or residences. Similar to the current B5 Downtown zoning district, buildings in this area can be up to 156 feet in height, but must have a minimum of two usable floors of building along retail streets.

Buildings over 45 feet tall are subject to site plan approval by the Plan Commission and Village Board. When possible, entire blocks should be designated to increase opportunities for good site and building design, conveniently located public parking, and open spaces.

Transit Oriented Mixed-use


This land use type includes areas within 2,000 feet of rapid transit or adjacent to Downtown Core Mixed-use types. Buildings should be designed to promote walking and pedestrian orientation. Curb cuts are discouraged on retail streets. Ground floor uses on commercial streets must be reserved for retail and other service uses open to customers. Upper story uses can be other commercial uses or residences. Like the transit oriented developments in the current B3 Commercial zoning district, buildings can be up to 75 feet in height, but must have a minimum of two usable floors along retail streets.

Buildings over 45 feet are subject to site plan approval by the Plan Commission and Village Board. When possible, entire blocks should be designated to increase opportunities for good site and building design, conveniently located public parking, and open spaces.

Neighborhood Mixed-use


This land use type includes commercial areas adjacent to single-family districts that are not adjacent to Downtown Mixed-use areas. In these areas, buildings should be designed to promote walking and pedestrian orientation. Ground floor uses must be commercially used but not necessarily reserved for retail and other service uses open to customers. Upper story uses can be other commercial uses or residences. Buildings can be up to 39 feet in height, similar to uses in the Single-family Housing district.

Transit Oriented Housing


This land use type includes higher-density housing adjacent to the Downtown Core or Transit Oriented Mixed-use types but not adjacent to a Single-family Housing district. Purely residential buildings, including multifamily and townhome dwellings, and institutional uses, such as schools and religious assembly, may be permitted. Additional public open spaces should be required for larger developments. Detached single-family dwellings are prohibited. Buildings can be up to 75 feet in height, similar to uses in Transit Oriented Mixed-uses. All buildings over 45 feet are subject to site plan approval by the Plan Commission and Village Board.

Multifamily Housing


This land use type includes areas generally adjacent to Transit Oriented Mixed-use and Transit Oriented Housing areas with a lower height and density than in those areas. Purely residential buildings, including multifamily and townhome dwellings, and institutional uses, such as schools and religious assembly, may be permitted. Additional public open spaces are encouraged. Detached single-family dwellings are prohibited. Buildings can be up to 60 feet in height, similar to current planned developments in the R4 General residential zoning district.

Combined Housing


This land use type includes areas generally adjacent to Single-family Housing districts as a transition between Single-family Housing and other districts. Purely residential buildings, including smaller multifamily, townhomes, and detached single-family dwellings, and institutional uses, such as schools and religious assembly, may be permitted. Additional public open spaces are encouraged. Buildings can be up to 45 feet in height, less than the 60-foot maximum allowed for planned developments in the R3 Two-family residential zoning district.

Single-family Housing


This land use type includes areas generally reserved for detached single-family residences, but lower-density townhome residences may be allowed on larger sites with a special use permit for a planned development. Institutional uses such as schools and religious assembly may also be permitted. Additional public open spaces are encouraged.

Buildings can be up to 39 feet in height for non-residential buildings like schools and religious assembly uses, less than the 60-foot maximum allowed for planned developments in R1 and R2 Single-family zoning districts, although lower heights for detached single-family residences would remain lower as in the current zoning.

Parks & Open Space


This land use type includes existing public parks owned by the Village of Skokie and Skokie Park District, private spaces that will be open to the public at the IS+TP, as well as the Skokie Valley Trail. Additional parks and open spaces are highly encouraged. Policies and potential locations will be more formally developed in a future open space and environmental policy.

Flexible Areas


There are three areas on the map where multiple use types might be compatible: Floral Avenue, Niles Avenue, and Madison/Elmwood. These areas are diagonally striped in the colors for the land use types that may be appropriate. The direction of development will depend on the market timing and the form of nearby development.

For example, if the east side of Floral Avenue is redeveloped in a way that produces commercial activity, such as restaurants, shopping, or office uses, future use of the west side of Floral might include office uses or retail activity. Otherwise, residential uses may be more appropriate. Similarly, one way to connect Oakton Community College users to the retail uses north of the campus is to develop retail uses along Niles Avenue. If commercial development occurs, it should start at street intersections and be contiguous with other existing or planned commercial uses.
2020 Plan Sector A  Map