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La Grange Park considers zoning amendment to encourage front porches

Published: Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013 2:01 p.m. CDT

LA GRANGE PARK – The village is considering an amendment to its zoning ordinance that would encourage the building of more front porches in the community.

McNaughton Development, Inc., a developer building eight homes in the new Heatherdale subdivision, requested the amendment, which would exempt the first 200 square feet of an unenclosed front porch from a property's building coverage calculation.

Currently, only 30 percent of a property's lot size can be taken up by all combined principal structures, which include the house itself and features like porches. 

The Zoning Board of Appeals recommended approval of the amendment with a vote of 3 to 1 (three members were absent), sending it to the Village Board, which will vote on the amendment in September.

Residents are encouraged to attend the Sept. 10 Village Board work session to provide input, Village Manager Julia Cedillo said. 

Over the past five years, less than 30 percent of homes built in the village have included unenclosed front porches, indicating homeowners are instead opting to maximize interior space, according to a village study. By excluding porch space from lot use calculations, the village hopes to encourage the addition of porches, which it says encourage residents to spend time outside and get to know fellow residents.

When residents spend more time outside their homes, there are more "eyes on the streets," resulting in safer neighborhoods, the village study said. 

The amendment would not apply to enclosed or wrap-around porches. 

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