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Government

Elmhurst City Council asks Zoning and Planning Commission to review rooftop decks

Elmhurst officials gather for the Aug. 6 Elmhurst City Council meeting, at which the 11 present aldermen decided the idea of allowing rooftop amenity decks in Elmhurst will be taken up in a public hearing held by the Zoning and Planning Commission.
Elmhurst officials gather for the Aug. 6 Elmhurst City Council meeting, at which the 11 present aldermen decided the idea of allowing rooftop amenity decks in Elmhurst will be taken up in a public hearing held by the Zoning and Planning Commission.

ELMHURST –áThe idea of allowing rooftop amenity decks in Elmhurst will be taken up in a public hearing the Zoning and Planning Commission will hold, the Elmhurst City Council decided Aug. 6.

The decision was part of the 11-0 approval of the consent agenda, which included the Development, Planning and Zoning Committee's report recommending the City Council send the proposal for a text amendment to the commission.

According to the report, city staff had presented memos recommending the amendment to regulate rooftop amenity decks, which might provide desired features for building residents such as fire pits, restaurants and swimming pools.

The report stated the committee agreed with staff recommendations that amenity decks should be permitted by right, even if the building is at maximum height; amenity decks should have a required 3-foot setback on all sides from the building exterior wall; and structures on amenity decks should have a height limit of 15 feet.

The committee also agreed that hours of operation for businesses open to the general public, such as a rooftop restaurant, should be limited to the same time frame as beer gardens in Elmhurst.

Additionally, the committee proposed any structure, such as a community room or workout room, on amenity decks should be limited to 25 percent of the roof footprint, the report stated.

City staff presented the idea of having amenity decks at the committee's June 11 meeting.

Elmhurst City Planner Eileen Franz said June 11 that developers have approached the city with the desire of having the amenity decks on downtown buildings. According to the current city code, chimneys or other accessory structures built on or above the roof of a building cannot extend more than 15 feet above the allowable building height restriction. The code also notes that space above the height limit of the building can only be used for housing mechanical equipment necessary to the operation of the building.

"I think the amenity decks are becoming an important thing to entice people who want to live in those types of facilities. ... It gives them an outdoor area to work within," alderman Mark Mulliner said at the June 11 meeting.

Mulliner added the mechanical facilities would need to be on the same horizontal level as the amenity deck.

"I see the pros and cons. I certainly want amenity decks because it's a good benefit and I think the market is demanding it," alderwoman Noel Talluto said June 11.

Franz said in an email Aug. 8 the location where amentity decks might be permitted has not yet been determined, but it could potentially be throughout Elmhurst.

Aldermen Jim Kennedy, Marti Deuter and Kevin York were absent from the Aug. 6 meeting.

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