Planning Approval

Home Occupations

Section 118-43(c) of the Park Forest Zoning Ordinance limits the type of business that can be conducted from home, within any residential zoning district, and defines the manner in which the business can operate. In general, the following applies to home occupations:

  • Boarding of animals or the operation of a kennel is not permitted
  • Business must be conducted entirely within the home
  • Business use must be clearly incidental to the residential use of the home (no more than 25% of the floor area of the home can be devoted to the business use)
  • Delivery of goods, supplies, or equipment must take place between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Home occupation must obtain a business certification from the village
  • No equipment may be used that creates noise, vibration, glare, fumes, odors, or electrical interference that is detectable off the lot to the normal senses
  • No traffic greater than what is typical for a residential area may be generated
  • Only one person, other than family members who reside in the home, may work for the business
  • There can be no change in the outside appearance of the building
  • There may be no sales of commodities on the premises

Zoning Map Amendments

In order to determine the zoning designation for a property, access the Zoning Map. By viewing the Zoning Map, you can pan around and zoom in and out of various sections of the community using the tool features. The Zoning District legend is located at the bottom of the map. Street names are identified, but the addresses and property index numbers are not shown for each parcel. In most cases, however, you will be able to obtain the zoning for a property if the street name is all that is needed.

If you cannot determine the zoning designation of a particular parcel using the attached map, contact the Economic Development and Planning Department for assistance. If the land use you wish to develop is not permitted in the zoning district, the staff can also advise you on the appropriateness of seeking a Zoning Map Amendment. The appropriateness of a particular zoning change will depend on a variety of factors, such as the surrounding land uses and zoning districts, and the village’s future plans for the area as documented in the village’s comprehensive plan. Requests for Zoning Map Amendments must be considered by the Plan Commission and approved by the Board of Trustees.

Conditional Use

In some cases, a land use may only be permitted within a Zoning District with a Conditional Use permit. Park Forest’s Zoning Ordinance largely limits Conditional Uses to the Residential Zoning Districts for uses such as religious facilities, day care centers, hospitals, and nursing homes. In limited cases, fabrication, repair, and processing uses are permitted as a Conditional Use in the C-2A Commercial Zoning District. Approval of a Conditional Use must be considered by the Plan Commission and approved by the Board of Trustees.

 Planned Unit Developments

A planned unit development is a zoning overlay district that allows for the creation of unique standards for the use of land within a particular development. Some of these unique standards may provide for a variety of housing types or land uses, greater residential densities, appropriate common open space, and alternative setbacks between buildings. In addition, the Zoning Ordinance recognizes that due to the uniqueness of each plan, it may be necessary to modify or waive specifications for public improvements, such as utilities, streets, and sidewalks. A planned unit development application is typically submitted concurrent with a preliminary plat of subdivision, and both must be considered by the Plan Commission and approved by the Board of Trustees.


If the location of buildings or other improvements on your property does not comply with the design requirements established by the Zoning Ordinance for elements such as building setbacks, building height, and lot coverage, then it may be appropriate to obtain a variance. An application for a variance must be considered by the Zoning Board of Appeals, and in some cases by the Board of Trustees. Variances for land uses cannot be considered.


Whenever land is to be subdivided into two or more parcels with the intent of transferring ownership or developing the land, it is necessary to create a plat of subdivision. If the property is not currently served by public water and sewer services, then this process requires both a preliminary plat and a final plat. These applications are considered by the Plan Commission and approved by the Board of Trustees. Property owners are encouraged to meet with village staff early in the process to obtain feedback about the proposed subdivision design and the process for consideration of a subdivision plat.


Properties that are not within the municipal boundaries of the Village of Park Forest, but are contiguous to the village’s corporate limits, must be annexed to Park Forest as part of the development process. This process requires the approval of an annexation agreement that is considered by the Plan Commission and approved by the Board of Trustees. Contact the Department of Economic Development and Planning to begin the discussion of this process.