Loading & Standing Zones
Loading zones are designated areas in the parking lane for the loading and unloading of deliveries to buildings. These zones are for commercial vehicles or vehicles which hold a valid Non-Commercial Loading Zone Permit only. They are not designated to reserve parking for business patrons or employees. Any commercial vehicle may park in any loading zone for the purpose of loading and unloading for up to thirty minutes.
Loading zones are intended for businesses and areas experiencing a high level of commercial activity. Traffic congestion, parking availability, business hours, requested hours of use and scope of deliveries will all be used to determine the length of the zone and the restriction times. Please provide this information of your application.
Additionally, given the premium on parking spaces throughout the 43rd Ward, businesses may be asked to share loading zones. If businesses require space for both commercial deliveries and patrons, we may recommend a standing zone.
15 Minute Standing Zones
Standing zones are designated areas in the parking lane for temporary parking. Vehicles parking in standing zones must have their hazard lights flashing while the driver is away from the vehicle. The process for determining a standing zone and approval is similar to that of a loading zone. Active hours of the zone will be limited to hours of operation. Note that even though the standing zone is placed adjacent to your business, vehicles standing in the zone for the allotted time are not obligated to patronize your business. Nearby businesses may be asked to share their standing zones.
Valet zones are special loading zone areas in the parking lane for the operation of a valet service. The process for determining a valet zone and approval is similar to that of a loading zone. Active hours will be limited to the hours of operation of your valet service.
If your business establishment wishes to conduct valet services independently on an incidental basis, you must obtain a valet parking service license from the Department of Consumer Services. Otherwise, you must contract a licensed valet operator. A list of valet operators licenses in the City of Chicago is available here.
To apply for a standing, loading or valet zone, please submit a completed application, a letter on company letterhead formally requesting the signage and two photos of the proposed location. Further requirements are detailed in the application.
All loading zone application are reviewed with the considerations that the installation of loading zone signs reduces the amount of available parking in the vicinity. If your primary business activity does not depend on having a standing, loading or valet zone, your application may be denied. If there is a high concentration of zones in your area, the 43rd Ward office may consolidate zones or ask businesses to share spaces.
A standing/loading zone ordinance is introduced to the City Council at the discretion of 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith. Submission of an application does not guarantee the granting of a standing/loading zone. The analysis of an application will weigh the benefits of placing the zone adjacent to your business versus the disadvantages of the reduction of available street parking in the area. The issuance of a standing/loading zone is a privilege granted by the City of Chicago and not a right of business ownership. Please remember that a standing/loading zone can be utilized by anyone, as long as it is being done so according to the regulations set forth in the Municipal Code.
If the decision is made to proceed with the installation of a standing or loading zone, the Alderman introduces an ordinance to the City Council requesting that the zone be approved. Once introduced, the ordinance goes to the Committee on Traffic Control and Public Safety, and then for final passage at City Council. Upon approval, the Department of Transportation Bureau of Signs and Markings surveys the site and the Chicago Department of Revenue is informed to bill you. Once the initial invoice is paid, the signs can be installed. Typical charges for a loading zone include: $110 dollars per sign, a charge of $50 per foot for any loading zone that exceeds 20 feet and the annual maintenance fee; you will receive an invoice from the Department of Revenue once the zone is approved. The whole process takes a minimum of nine months.
If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact us.