Planning and Zoning Principles for Streeterville Development

The following principles which inform and guide SOAR's real estate review process, were first codified in 2004 and updated in 2011.These are published when some significant issues emerge and others become less consequential. 

SOAR encourages developers to review, consider and adopt these principles, which represent the collective pillars of good development espoused by volunteer neighbors in SOAR task forces and the Board of Directors:

Maintain a Balance of Uses

  • Ensure the balance between residential, institutional, commercial, retail, recreational and mixed uses  

Build and preserve world-class design

  • Give thoughtful consideration to landmarking and preserving—including thoughtfully readapting—the historic and architecturally important buildings remaining in Streeterville
  • Approach new development in the context of complementing and enhancing existing buildings and neighborhood ambiance
  • Develop buildings that meet the highest aesthetic, engineering, environmental and functional standards
  • Utilize top-grade, sustainable, aesthetically pleasing exterior materials
  • Create open, airy designs, and minimize canyonization
  • Conceal mechanicals, avoiding noise and visual distraction
  • Conceal accessory parking by placing it underground or behind active-use perimeter space
  • Design and position non-intrusive signage

 Create and maintain a pedestrian friendly environment

  • Incorporate wide generous sidewalks beyond the minimums specified in the code, including areas where outdoor cafes are considered
  • Optimize natural light between structures and at street level
  • Connect institutional buildings through underground tunnels, not overhead bridges
  • Employ sufficient exterior lighting, consistent with the character of the street, that safely and attractively illuminates the pedestrian way without intruding into surrounding windows
  • Incorporate desirable, diverse, attractive and well-lit retail space at ground level
  • Provide ample and attractive landscaping including pocket parks, grassy areas, flower beds, planters and mature trees
  • Incorporate public art, functional art and street furniture in the streetscape
  • Provide concealed space for waste and recycling bins


Embrace a green, safe, and healthy environment

  • Seek LEED certification at the Platinum Level, whenever possible
  • Set aside 75% or more space for green roof coverage
  • Enhance neighborhood aesthetics and help prevent crime by landscaping empty lots where construction is delayed for longer than six months


Mitigate traffic issues

  • Conduct a broad based traffic study and analysis beyond the specific bounds of the property under development; plan within the parameters of existing and known future traffic
  • Minimize traffic circulation and pedestrian interference through the careful design of garage ingress/egress, loading docks and valet/taxi operations
  • Incorporate fully enclosed off-street service areas to accommodate service vehicles, shuttle services, valet and taxi operations and parking queues; provide unblocked right-of-ways for pedestrians
  • Ensure visibility of traffic signs and signals for pedestrians, drivers and bicyclists


Address parking needs

  • Develop underground garages or conceal garage space behind actively used perimeter spaces, avoiding construction of additional freestanding garages in the community
  • Promote the use of nearby existing public parking facilities and provide shuttles and trolleys for visitors and workers into the community
  • Incorporate shuttle pick-ups and drop-offs, valet parking, taxi stands, bicycle parking, auto charging facilities and car-sharing services’ spaces on the property