Amendment recognizes changing retail realities
By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
LINCOLN PARK – Based on a planning commission recommendation, the City Council approved amendments to nine sections of the city’s zoning code at its May 2 meeting to accommodate e-commerce uses.
E-commerce in the city often consists of existing commercial buildings used to store products to be sold online, along with office space.
It includes retail and wholesale sales where the business is conducted online. The transactions include order taking, closing sales, making purchases, providing customer service, processing and packaging orders, shipping by common carrier and other activities needed for the business to meet its purposes.
An e-commerce establishment is defined as a building that contains goods that are warehoused, distributed and retailed, and orders may occur online or in person at the site.
The planning commission held policy discussions in March, April and July 2021, January and February 2022, and held a public hearing on its proposals April 13, after which it submitted its recommendations to the city council for approval.
The amendment will allow e-commerce establishments in the neighborhood business district and the central business district of up to 5,000 square feet, and in the municipal business district and regional business district of up to 10,000 square feet. There would be no size limitations in the light industrial district and in the general industrial district.
E-commerce locations with less than 5,000 square feet of floor space could be permitted in the neighborhood business district with special approval.
A parking space for each employee per shift at peak occupancy would be required, plus parking spaces for retail customers if in-person sales are part of the business function.
Customer-facing retail space would range from 10 to 25 percent of the floor space, as needed.
Pickup and delivery trucks would be limited to 26 feet in length, and no semi tractor-trailers would be permitted for pickup or delivery.