What Happens When a New Development/Construction is Proposed in the City of Marseilles?

Proposed new development/construction projects are highly regulated in the City of Marseilles (City) to ensure they do not have a negative effect on the health, safety or welfare of residents and stakeholders, and that they will positively benefit the community. Proposals and plans must be presented to residents and stakeholders, City Staff, the Planning Commission (PC) and City Council (CC) for a variety of approvals before any project can move forward.

Through the entire process, a proposed project must comply with National Health and Safety codes, as well as plumbing and electrical codes. Additionally, it must either fit within current zoning codes, or the project owner can request a variance/new zoning to fit within the proposal parameters – which can be approved or denied by the City.

Regulation Process for Proposed Construction/Development Projects

Neighborhood Meetings & Zoning Request Public Notifications: Neighborhood meetings are required for some developments and would take place 3-6 months prior to the proposed project owner’s desired groundbreaking date. If a zoning change is requested, it is reviewed by the PC and approval must be obtained for the project to move forward in the approval/denial process.

When zoning changes are requested, all adjoining property owners, and those who live on or own a property within a 300-foot radius of the proposed project area, are notified and invited to attend the PC meeting to share their thoughts on the proposal. For residents, and stakeholders who live on or own property outside of this radius, zoning change requests are published in the Ottawa Times and on the City website in advance of the meetings at cityofmarseilles.com/project-proposals. *These meetings are normally the first time a proposed project is made public.

Conceptual Review & Public Notifications: At a Conceptual Review (CR), the project owner presents their initial concept to the PC, and if approved, it will then go to the CC for final approval to continue to move forward in the process. Initial input is provided about the concept, including an indication of initial support or opposition, and what changes may be requested for the project to potentially obtain approval. The timing of the CR is between 3-6 months of the proposed project owner’s desired groundbreaking date. At this time, a formal project application has not yet been submitted to the City. Conceptual Reviews for any proposed project will be listed as an agenda item at https://cityofmarseilles.com/council-meeting-agendas.

First Official Step – Planning Commission Application: If a proposed project gains initial support during the CR process, the project owner will then submit an application, which includes a Development Plan (DP). The DP provides project details, such as the usage, size, density, height, parking ratio, stormwater management, traffic and environmental studies, and other due diligence. Applications include related requests that must also gain approval and can include, but are not limited to:

  • Rezoning: If the land or existing building(s) are zoned for a use that is different than the proposed project, the project owner must request the property be rezoned for the proposed new use.
  • Comprehensive Plan Amendment: Rezoning requests can require an amendment(s) to the City’s Comprehensive Plan that guides (and in some cases restricts) future development and growth. The project owner must make the case for why their intended use is an appropriate fit for the proposed project site.
  • Conditional Use Permit: The City Zoning Ordinance allows for uses other than what a property is zoned for, and in these cases, a project owner can request a Conditional Use Permit. This permit can be obtained only if the request is approved by the PC and is made between 3-6 months of the desired groundbreaking date.

Applications for proposed projects are included in the City agendas published online at cityofmarseilles.com/agendas. The public is invited to provide comments on projects at these public meetings. The initial approval of a proposed project is the most challenging step in the process and where objections will be raised. If approval is given by the PC, the project has a higher likelihood of being approved by the CC.

Sale of Land/Building: If a project owner gains approval from the PC and the CC, the purchase of the land or building(s) to be developed/redeveloped can be finalized. This step will take place 1–2 months before the desired groundbreaking date. When a real estate transaction is finalized, it becomes a public record, and is accessible on the LaSalle County GIS system at gis-lasallecoil.opendata.arcgis.com and the LaSalle County Recorder’s Office at lasallecountyil.gov/recorder/. Once the sale of property is finalized, a project is almost guaranteed to come to fruition.

Building Permit: The project architect will submit plans to the City’s Building Inspection Office, which will ensure the project meets all required codes to obtain a Building Permit. If a permit is issued, the project is cleared for groundbreaking. The project owner is normally required to begin construction within one year of the date the permit is issued. The Building Permit request is normally made 1–2 weeks before the desired groundbreaking date.

If you have questions about proposed development/construction projects in the City, please call 815-795-1233.

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