Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, together with the Departments of Buildings (DOB) and Law (DOL), has published the Building Code Scofflaw List as mandated by the updated Building Code Scofflaw ordinance passed by city council in April.
The list released on Sept. 1 identifies 99 building addresses along with the associated circuit court cases, community areas and wards. Building owners will be added to the list by Oct. 1, as required by the ordinance to allow for time to determine ownership.
“As city leaders, we owe it to residents and visitors alike to provide the safest buildings possible,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “The best way we can accomplish this goal is by updating our building protocols and holding building owners accountable for unsafe conditions. This new Building Code Scofflaw List, with enhanced criteria and mandatory inspections, will do just that, as well as send a clear message that owners who do not remediate code violations will face consequences for their inaction.”
Building owners on the list face prohibition of business licenses, zoning changes, acquisition of city land or receipt of financial assistance like tax increment financing (TIF) or obtaining building permits.
Buildings on the list are also subject to follow-up inspections by DOB at least every 12 months, and once removed from the list, continued inspections until the building receives two consecutive inspections, at least six months apart, during which no serious violations are found.
Addresses included on the list meet the following criteria:
- Occupied buildings;
- Residential and nonresidential buildings;
- Buildings subject to proceedings initiated by the corporation counsel in the Circuit Court of Cook County to enforce building-related provisions of the Municipal Code;
- Buildings subject to active enforcement proceedings more than eighteen months after the initial hearing date in such proceedings; and
- Drug and gang houses or buildings being monitored pursuant to the troubled buildings initiative program.
The list does not include residential buildings containing four or fewer dwelling units if the owner’s primary residence is in the building or on the same premises.
“When building owners fail to keep their buildings safe, even after building code violations are issued and those violations are referred to Circuit Court, the Building Code Scofflaw List gives our department one more tool to hold building owners accountable,” said Building Commissioner Matthew Beaudet. “It is our hope that building owners on the list will work with the Department of Buildings to achieve compliance, which is our ultimate goal.”
DOB completes approximately 30,000 building inspections per year from the city’s 311 service request system. Residents with building-related concerns are encouraged to contact 311.