Whenever a buyer or seller engage in a transaction for a residential property containing 5 or fewer residential dwelling units (condos, co-ops, vacant & commercial property with no residential units are exempt) in the City of Chicago, a “Certificate of Zoning Compliance” is required in order to close the transaction and record the deed.
The certificate, or “Zoning Cert” for short, indicates the the number of legal dwelling units according to the City of Chicago. Under normal conditions, the City’s Department of Planning and Development makes an initial decision within five business days after an application is received. The City has been clear that the five business day period begins on the day after the application and payment for a Zoning Cert is made and the Zoning Cert is generally available for pickup on the day after the fifth business day assuming that there is not an issue with the number of units requested (so, somehow, five business days really equals seven business days).
Now that the Coronavirus pandemic is upon us, the City is not allowing for pickup or drop off in person. The new procedure at the City of Chicago is to mail the certifications. This is causing an additional delay for closings. In fact, anyone who intends to close quickly is going to have to account for the additional time it will take to obtain a zoning certification from the City. In these days where attorneys haven’t been attending closings as title companies seek to limit attendance at the closing table for the safety of the closing participants, it is more important than ever to have an experienced attorney who understands and can plan for the new challenges caused by the global pandemic.