Community Development

Macomb, Illinois

Land Developments

The Office of Community Development is responsible for making sure that new developments adhere to regulations set forth in the City’s Zoning Ordinance. The City of Macomb seeks to use land intelligently, lower infrastructure cost, support high quality development, and increase the quality of life for its residents.

The Community Development staff can help:

  • Determine the zoning designation of a property
  • Determine what regulations apply to that district
  • Determine whether there are any special overlay districts that could apply to a property
  • Subdivide a property or join two properties together
  • Explain the City’s Sign Code
  • Explain the historic preservation regulations of the Zoning Ordinance, especially with regard to the Historic Downtown
  • Provide annexation assistance

Site and Building Plan Review Procedures

A formal site plan is required for any new construction project pertaining to the development of multiple-family residential, fraternities and sororities, commercial, industrial, institutional, or office developments.

Minor Subdivision Procedure

A minor subdivision is a division of land into two or fewer lots. The intent of a minor subdivision is to eliminate the requirement that all subdivision plats be approved by the City council under the circumstances the subdivision involves only a minor change in the configuration of land, the subdivision will not likely impact surrounding property in a manner significantly different than if the property had not been subdivided, or if the subdivision otherwise conforms to all other applicable regulations. There are several other conditions and requirements necessary for the submittal of a minor subdivision application. The first step is to schedule an appointment with the Community Development Coordinator at (309) 833-4944 to discuss the procedure.

The certificate of exemption is intended to allow minor conveyances of property between contiguous land owners through an administrative review process. The procedure is detailed in Sections 17-191 through 17-195 of the Municipal Code. The owner of subdivided land may apply for a certificate of exemption under several conditions listed in Sec. 17-196 of the Municipal code: Municipal Code 2012.

Subdivision Procedure

The subdivision procedure involves three principal steps. The process should be initiated by scheduling an appointment with the City of Macomb Plat Officer (Community Development Coordinator) to discuss the procedure.

  1. Meeting with Plat Officer – Parties discuss requirements of site design, infrastructure improvements, the reservation of land, availability of existing services. The plat officer also advices applicant to meet with other relevant officials.
  2. Sketch plan – Submission of subdivision information outlining details such as covenants, land characteristics and other relevant details, along with a location map and simple sketch of the proposed layout.
  3. Preliminary plat – Submission of improvement plans (4 copies) prepared by a licensed land surveyor. Plans must include: Existing conditions, proposed improvements, permits and certificates, existing covenants and restrictions – all detailed in Sec. 17-183 of the Municipal Code: Municipal Code 2012.
  4. Final subdivision plat – After the Preliminary plat gets approved, it must be submitted to the plat officer (4 copies) within 12 months. The plat officer transmits the plans to the planning commission within 15 days before it is due for review. The details of the final plat contents can be found in Sec. 17-184 of the Municipal Code: Municipal Code 2012. The commission has 40 days to approve, partially approve, or disapprove the subdivision.

Special Use Permits

There are three types of use: permitted, special, and provisional.

  1. Permitted uses: these uses are permitted “by-right” and only need a building permit, and sometimes a site plan (for new construction).
  2. Provisional uses: these uses are specified in the Zoning Ordinance and are generally compatible to other uses in a zoning district as long as they comply with certain restrictions regarding location, operation, etc.
  3. Special uses are potentially appropriate for the zoning district, but have the potential to have a major negative impact on other uses in the district. Therefore, these special uses require close examination, site plan review, individual regulation, and notification of surrounding property owners to ensure the special use serves a special need or is required for the public convenience.

Please see the Planning Commission section under the Boards and Commissions tab of the Office of Community Development section of the City of Macomb website for further information about special uses and the procedures to obtain one.


A Rezoning Map Amendment must go through the Planning Commission, and 3 readings of the City Council / Committee of the Whole.

The LaSalle Criteria are a set of standards established by the State of Illinois as criteria that communities can use when judging the appropriateness of a rezoning.  These criteria help the Plan Commission and City Council objectively review the rezoning before acting on an application.  The application for a rezoning asks the petitioner to state how the proposed rezoning meets all of the LaSalle Criteria, which helps justify the rezoning.  Below are the LaSalle Criteria: The existing uses and zoning of nearby properties.

  • The extent to which property values are diminished by the particular zoning restriction.
  • The extent to which destruction of the property value of the petitioner promotes the health, safety, morals, and general welfare of the public.
  • The relative gain to the public as compared to the hardship imposed upon the individual property owner.
  • The suitability of the subject property for the zoned purpose.
  • The length of time the property has been vacant as zoned considered in the context of land developed in the area in the vicinity of the subject property.
  • The care which a community has undertaken to plan its land use development.
  • The community need for the use proposed by the plaintiff.

Please see the Planning Commission section under the Boards and Commissions tab of the Office of Community Development section of the City of Macomb website for further information about special uses and the procedures to obtain one.


A variance is a grant of relief from the terms of the Zoning Ordinance. These special cases should not directly involve the principal activity of the property. If major changes need to be made to the principal activity of the property, a special use or rezoning would be the more appropriate solution.

The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBOA) will make the decision with a staff recommendation on variances to the Zoning Ordinance. These variances typically involve lot widths, setbacks, front, rear or side yards, required off-street parking, driveways, or other variations to the Zoning Ordinance that do not affect the principal activity of property.

For example, a business zoned in a B-1 (Business District) seeking to expand their existing business may seek to get a variance on the side yard or setback requirement if not doing so would cause there to be inadequate on-site parking.

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