Commercial Information

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Commercial Information

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Welcome to the Planning Division’s page for business owners and commercial property owners! The Planning Division coordinates site plan review, non-residential variation review, signage review, and Commercial Property Improvement Program enforcement.

Plan Review

Proposing a Commercial Development

Site Plan Review is required for all new development and any expansion or modifications to existing properties. Site plan review consists of (but is not limited to) review of the site plan layout, engineering plans, building design, landscaping, lighting, parking, and traffic circulation. The proposed site plan will be reviewed relative to the Zoning and Subdivision Code requirements as well as the potential effects on the surrounding properties and road network. Once all the issues identified by Village staff have been resolved, the project can be reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Commission and Village Board.

A meeting should be scheduled with Planning Division staff early in the planning stages of a new commercial development or modification to an existing property to discuss the project and obtain more information about the plan review process. Contact the Planning Division at 847-781-2660 for more information.

Commercial Property Improvements

The Commercial Property Improvement Program was established in order to promote an attractive image of the community and to bring existing commercial properties up to current code standards. Many older commercial properties were designed and built prior to current Zoning and Subdivision Code requirements and lack sufficient dumpster enclosures, landscape islands, trees, curbs, fences, sidewalks, lighting, and similar site amenities. The Village Code requires such exterior site improvements in conjunction with interior additions, alterations, or changes in use.  When a new shopping center tenant occupies a space, the property owner is required to make site improvements in proportion to the size of the new tenant space.  A plan can be developed for comprehensive site improvements instead of incremental changes.  The program has successfully led to site improvements at several shopping centers in the community.  Please contact Planning Division staff at 847-781-2660 for more information about this program.

Business Signage

A sign permit application can be obtained by clicking here. Each permanent and temporary sign must have a valid sign permit issued by the Village. When submitting a sign permit application, please include a drawing showing dimensions of the proposed sign, a site plan showing the sign’s proposed location, and a photo or drawing showing the proposed sign on the building, if a permit for a wall sign is requested. Permit fees for each sign are determined upon approval of the sign permit based on sign size, electrical information, etc. For questions on sign regulations, please contact the Planning Division at 847-781-2660.

Master Sign Plans are developed by office, retail, and other commercial land uses in lieu of variations in order to maintain a comprehensive unified theme for sign design throughout a specific property. Master Sign Plans are reviewed by the Planning & Zoning Commission which makes a recommendation to the Village Board.  A planner will help guide you through the sign plan creation and review process. Please contact Planning Division staff to schedule an initial meeting to discuss the Master Sign Plan review process.

Special Use

A Special Use approval, or what in some communities is referred to as a "Conditional Use Permit," is required for any business that is not listed as a Permitted Use in the Zoning District in which the business is proposed. Special Uses typically are businesses that may have a unique or potentially negative affect on the property or neighboring properties. Such businesses require a staff review followed by a public hearing process through the Village's Planning and Zoning Commission and Village Board. To review the Zoning for a particular district please visit the Municipal Code Online -Chapter 9. Planning staff should be contacted at 847-781-2660 to discuss this process. After submitting a completed application and the appropriate review is completed by staff, a date for a Planning and Zoning Commission hearing will be scheduled.

Non-Residential Zoning Variations

Non-Residential zoning variations are required when a proposed commercial development does not meet the Zoning Code requirements. Planning staff should be contacted at 847-781-2660 to discuss this process. After submitting a completed application and the appropriate review is completed by staff, a date for a Planning and Zoning Commission hearing will be scheduled. Please see the Planning and Zoning Commission page for more information about the hearing process.

Additional Helpful Resources

The Development Services Department provides a variety of services for residents via the four Department Divisions: Planning, Code Enforcement, Transportation and Engineering, and Economic Development; such services include:

  • Information about building permits and inspections, contractor licensing requirements, archived construction plans, building codes, and code violations can be found by visiting the Code Enforcement or calling 847-781-2631.
  • Information about road construction, traffic control, floodplain maps, and stormwater drainage can be found by visiting Transportation and Engineering or calling 847-252-5800.
  • Information about new businesses and efforts to attract new businesses and development can be found by visiting Economic Development or calling 847-781-2662.
If you have questions about the above topics or other Planning or Zoning questions, please call us at 847-781-2660 or email us at planning@hoffmanestates.org.

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