House Sharing FAQ

GENERAL

What is a Restricted Residential Zone?
A Restricted Residential Zone is a Precinct where house-sharing and vacation rentals are restricted. House-sharing and vacation rentals can be restricted through a petition process, as detailed in Chicago Municipal Code § 4-17-010, et. seq.

How can I tell what City of Chicago Precincts are Restricted Residential Zones?
The Office of the City Clerk will post a list of current Restricted Residential Zones at www.chicityclerk.com/houseshare. For more detailed information see Chicago Municipal Code § 4-17-060.

What options do I have if I am opposed to creating a Restricted Residential Zone in my Precinct?
You may contact your Alderman’s office to notify them of your opposition to the creation of a Restricted Residential Zone in your Precinct. You may also comment during the 30 day Petition posting comment period.

Is a Precinct the same as a Ward?
No. Wards are legislative districts and Precincts are small voting districts within a Ward. A Precinct is the smallest constituent territory within the City of Chicago. For a map of Chicago Precincts see www.chicagoelections.com.

What are my Precinct boundaries?
The Office of the City Clerk will assist you in identifying your Precinct boundaries or you may contact the Chicago Board of Elections at www.chicagoelections.com.

What is my Ward and/or Precinct number?
To find your Ward and/or Precinct number, either: (1) reference your Illinois Voter Registration Card, or (2) contact the Chicago Board of Elections at www.chicagoelections.com.

Does my Precinct qualify for restriction? (i.e. contain residentially-zoned property RS1, RS2, or RS3?)
The Office of the City Clerk may work to assist you in identifying whether your Precinct contains residentially-zoned property. You may also obtain this information by viewing the Chicago Zoning and Land Use Map at http://gisapps.cityofchicago.org/ZoningMapWeb/.

What does it mean to be a residentially zoned property RS1, RS2, or RS3?
The “RS” designation is for residential single-unit (detached house) districts. The primary purpose of RS districts is to accommodate the development of detached houses on individual lots. The three types of RS districts (RS1, RS2, and RS3) are differentiated primarily on the basis of minimum lot area requirements and floor area ratios. For more detailed information see Chicago Municipal Code §§ 17-2-0102; 17-2-0207.

Where do I obtain copies of Petition signature pages?
You may make copies of the original Petition signature page provided to you by the Office of the City Clerk. DO NOT number the Petition signature pages until you have gathered the required number of signatures.

How long will the Restricted Residential Zone be in effect?
The Restricted Residential Zone will remain in effect for four years following the effective date of the Ordinance establishing the zone unless the Restricted Residential Zone is repealed before the four-year time period expires. (Chicago Municipal Code § 4-17-040(d)).

Does the Office of the City Clerk support or oppose the Petitions posted on the City Clerk’s website?
No. The Office of the City Clerk operates as the facilitator of the petition process and does not support or oppose any Petitions posted on its website. However, the Office of the City Clerk does review every petition for legal sufficiency (See Petition FAQ below).

How will I know when my Alderman introduces the Ordinance created by my Petition?
Your Alderman’s office will notify constituents in the manner of the Alderman’s choosing if the Ordinance is introduced at City Hall.

How will I know if the Ordinance created by my Petition passes?
Legislation passed by the Chicago City Council can be found at https://chicago.legistar.com/Legislation.aspx.

When the Restricted Residential Zone expires do I have to go through the petition process again?
No. Once a Restricted Residential Zone is in effect, it is subject to renewal by ordinance when the four-year period expires. There is no need for another supporting Petition. (Chicago Municipal Code § 4-17-040(e)).

I am already a home-sharing/vacation rental host. What happens if a Restricted Residential Zone is created in my Precinct?
All current shared housing units and vacation rentals located in a newly-established Restricted Residential Zone that were operating prior to the restriction becoming law will be allowed to operate until their respective license or registration is allowed to expire, or the ownership or tenancy changes hands. For more detailed information see Chicago Municipal Code § 4-17-070.

Can I continue operating the home-share/vacation rental under the previous owner/tenant’s license?
No. Once ownership or tenancy of the home-share/vacation rental changes hands, the home-share/vacation rental must abide by the restrictions imposed by the Restricted Residential Zone.

PETITION PROCESS

How many signatures do I need for my Petition to be valid?
The number of required signatures depends on how many residents live in the Precinct. A valid petition must be signed by at least 25% of the registered voters in the Precinct. (Chicago Municipal Code § 4-17-020). The City Clerk may assist you in determining the number of signatures required. You may also request a list of voters registered in the Precinct from the Chicago Board of Elections.

Do I have to gather all of the signatures myself?
No. Any Illinois Legal Voter who is at least 18 years of age or older (or 17 years of age and qualified to vote in Illinois) and a citizen of the United States may circulate the Petition on behalf of the Petitioner. However, the Legal Voter who filed the Notice of Intent must be the one who submits the Petition signatures to the Office of the City Clerk.

Does the Petition need to be notarized?
Yes. Each Circulator must notarize the Petition signature pages that they themselves circulated. The Applicant CANNOT notarize other Circulator’s Petition signature pages.

What happens if my Petition is rejected?
If your petition is rejected for being legally insufficient or is not timely filed, or otherwise rejected, you must wait a minimum of 12 months from the time the City Clerk posts the Notice of Rejection before submitting a new Notice of Intent for that Precinct. The 12-month waiting period applies to all residents of the Precinct. (Chicago Municipal Code §4-17-030(e)).

What happens once a Petition is submitted to the Office of the City Clerk?
Once a Petition is submitted to the Office of the City Clerk, the Office of the City Clerk will undertake a 30-day comment period and legal review process to assess the legal sufficiency of the Petition. For more detailed information see Chicago Municipal Code §§ 4-17-020, 4-17-030, and 4-17-040.

How long do I have to gather the required number of signatures?
You have 90 days from the date the Notice of Intent is posted by the City Clerk to obtain the required number of signatures. (Chicago Municipal Code § 4-17-030(b)).

Can I withdraw my name from the petition after it is submitted to the Office of the
City Clerk?
Yes. You must submit in person to the City Hall Office of the City Clerk documents to verify your name, signature, and proof of address. The Clerk’s Office will then remove your name from the Petition.

How will I know if the Petition I signed is successful?
You can find Petition information online at www.chicityclerk.com/houseshare.

What is a legally sufficient Petition?
To be legally sufficient, a Petition must: 1) be signed by 25% of the registered voters in the Precinct, 2) be submitted to the Office of the City Clerk within 90 days from the date the Notice of Intent is posted by the City Clerk, 3)