Corrupt Officials in Chicago Allowed to Trump Zoning and Planning

In a continuing investigation, the Chicago Tribune reports on the bribes and corruption that have resulted from the Chicago policy of allowing local aldermen final say -- over local zoning and planning -- on what gets built.

"Like so many Chicagoans, Walter and Alice Sopala didn't like how their alderman let a real estate developer build a new condo building that placed their home in its shadows.

And they really don't like it now that the developer-a donor to the alderman's political fund-has abandoned his three-unit project.

"They've boarded up the windows and the doors," said Alice Sopala of the building in the 2900 block of North Sacramento Avenue. "Someone even broke in and stole something, like a jacuzzi. It looks pathetic."

Neighborhoods that recently bustled with teardowns and new construction are now filled with many such unsold homes, testament to a collapsed housing boom with a unique Chicago flavor: Much of the development was fueled by campaign donations to aldermen whose power trumped citywide planning."

Full Story: House of cards emerges in zoning-change game

Comments

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25
Red necktie with map of Boston

For dads and grads: tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
$19.95
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95