That a one-size ordinance may not fit all neighborhoods.
Ald. Pat Dowell, whose 3rd Ward includes a swath of Bronzeville from Roosevelt Road to 55th Street told Crain’s that she supports allowing ADUs, but only if the owner lives in one of the units on-site.
“I have a thousand privately owned vacant lots in my community,” Dowell said. “I’m concerned about someone being able to build extra on that lot without having a principal resident living there.”
The existing ADU proposal does not stipulate any ownership requirements.
Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson, 11th, told Crain’s the proposal could have at least two unintended consequences.
First, in the hot Bridgeport neighborhood, which is part of his ward and where he lives, the ADU ordinance could have the unintended consequence of making property less affordable rather than more.
If owners know it’s permissible to add another rent-generating unit to a residential property, Thompson said, “they’ll charge a higher price for (selling) it,” adding to the escalation in home prices there.
Second, encouraging construction of additional units would intensify development in neighborhoods like Bridgeport when what’s needed to help solve some of the city’s inequities is a push for development in Englewood, Austin and other disinvested areas.
“You’re going to get more vertical growth, but we need horizontal growth in this city,” Thompson said.
Osterman said delaying the vote gives him and others time to resolve the aldermen’s concerns.