I am in Chicago, IL and I purchased a 2-unit building with a conforming basement unit. The unit in the basement meets all local ordinances and I am looking to have the property re-zoned to a legal 3-unit.
Does anyone have experience going through this process?
First, look at the underlying zoning of the land. It probably is R3. If it is R4, you should by right be able to get that unit. Second, does the unit have a minimum ceiling height (think it is 7') and two entrances. Third, if the unit existed, or can be proven to have existed before 1957, you can get it grandfathered. How do you do that? If there are old vintage mouldings, or some kind of long term proof. Next, there is a high chance that you continue on and no one gets at you. If it looks proper, than you have a chance. Last, you hire a zoning attorney who can look at your case. It can be argued that making that unit legal will increase the value of the property.