Skip to main content

Community Development

Table 1: Contact information.
Contact Telephone
Main Line (630) 434-5515
Inspection Line (630) 434-5529
Stan Popovich, Planning Manager
(630) 434-6893
Alex Pellicano, Building Division Manager (630) 434-5516

The Community Development Department has many responsibilities throughout the Village organization.  In general, the Department provides services to residents, businesses and developers to improve and develop their properties.  The Community Development Department is comprised of the Planning and Code Compliance Divisions.

Planning Division

The Planning Division is responsible for providing guidance to residents, businesses and developers seeking development approvals from the Village.  The Division maintains, updates and administers the Village’s planning documents such as the Ogden Avenue and Downtown Mater Plans. The Division also helps regulate land-use in the Village through the administration of the Future Land Use Plan, the Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations. Staff provides support services to the Plan Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and Architectural Design Review Board.

  1. The Planning Division meets with residents, businesses and developers to discuss zoning and other land uses issues. The staff provides help and recommendations to customers regarding the Village’s land use ordinances and policies.
  2. The Division acts as a liaison to the Plan Commission, Architectural Design Review Board and Zoning Board of Appeals.  This activity includes reviewing development applications for special uses, variations, planned developments, historic landmark designation and subdivisions.
  3. The Division coordinates reviews and meetings on requests and issues that may eventually appear before the Village Council, Plan Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals or Architectural Design Review Board.

Special Events/Temporary Use Permits

A Special Event permit is required for events such as a carnival, circus, festival, parade, road race or similar event held on the streets or public right-of-way.  Event representatives should review the Guide to Special Events Planning in Downers Grove well in advance of their event and complete the Application for Temporary Use/Special Events.

A Temporary Use is an activity, event, sale or similar use which is open to the public and conducted upon the exterior portion of a zoning lot or on Village-owned streets, rights-of-way, parking lots or other open space and requires a permit from the Village.  Applicants must submit an Application for Temporary Use/Special Events.

For additional information, please see Chapter 4 of the Downers Grove Municipal Code. 

Keeping of Hens

On May 6, 2014, the Village Council approved an ordinance that will allow residents to keep hens in their rear yards, with a permit issued by the Village following proof of consent by neighboring property owners.

Hens are allowed under the following parameters:

  • Only hens will be permitted. All other fowl, including roosters, are prohibited.
  • No person shall keep more than four hens.
  • Properties currently eligible under the 50-foot setback requirements will not be required to obtain a permit, unless seeking to place the structure less than 50 feet from all property lines of an adjacent property
  • Structures housing hens shall be located in the rear yard only
  • Under the neighbor consent model, the setback requirement for a structure housing hens is seven feet from all property lines of an adjacent property. Adjacent is defined as a parcel that comes into contact with the applicant's property at one or more points.
  • The permit application shall include a consent form signed by each adjacent property owner and tenant.
  • The fee for the permit is $84 as defined in the Village's User-Fee, License and Fine Schedule.
  • Permits will be limited to single-family detached residences and will expire five years after the date of issuance
  • All feed shall be kept in rodent-proof containers

Residents seeking a permit to keep hens must use the consent form on the permit application provided by the Village. Permits will be issued beginning May 19, 2014.

Comprehensive Plan

On October 4, 2011, the Village Council adopted the Comprehensive Plan, a document which offers guidance on a wide range of issues including economic development, infrastructure, recreation, environmental impacts, and public safety, in addition to land use policies and maps. It illustrates a vision for the physical character of the Village for the next 15 to 20 years. The Village's prior plan was last updated in 1965. 

The process to develop the Plan began in February 2010 with the formation of the Comprehensive Plan Ad Hoc Committee, consisting of residents and other representatives from the facets of the community. 

Code Compliance

The Community Development Department is responsible for ensuring properties are maintained to the standards as described within the Municipal Code. These standards and regulations are employed to maintain the appearance and quality of life in the Village’s neighborhoods.

The Village’s code officers strive to inform all property owners of maintenance concerns so they do not create nuisances.  However, the Village relies on information from neighbors too.  If a code violation is witnessed, please contact the Community Development Department.

Generally, the Village’s goal is to work with property owners to obtain compliance versus issuing fines. The following is a typical enforcement process:

  1. A code violation is witnessed by Village staff or reported by a concerned resident.
  2. Code officers request compliance on ordinance violations through verbal communication with property owners. If compliance is obtained, no additional notices are issued to the affected property owner.
  3. Written notification is given through the issuance of a violation notice to the affected property owner if the code violation is not corrected. Code officers routinely follow up with site inspections and discussions with property owners to check on the status of the violations.
  4. If the affected owner has not corrected the problem after written notice, the code enforcement officer will take additional measures including issuance of tickets.
  5. If compliance is obtained prior to the court date, the officer will inform the judge that compliance has been obtained. The judge ultimately determines the course of action if the violation is not corrected. 

Building Permits/Inspections

Community Development Services 

Electrical Testing


Complete details about testing procedures and test scheduling can be found HERE:

  • Tests will be administered by PearsonVUE and can be taken at any of their locations by appointment. 
  • Tests may be scheduled by phone or online.
  • Downers Grove does not require pre-authorization to register for the test.  Therefore, when scheduling online, select the“Non-authorized Candidate” option
  • Tests are based upon the National Electrical Exams produced by the International Code Council.
  • Three types of electrical tests are offered:

    Test (N16) - Class “A” is a Non-Restricted type, including high rises and industrial
    Test (N17) - Class “B” is a Combined Residential and Commercial up to 250 volts
    Test (N18) - Class “C” is strictly Residential

Electrical Licensing

  • Prior to issuance of any license to an electrical contractor, the applicant shall take and pass an electrical test with a minimum score of seventy (70%) percent correct. 
  • An applicant failing to pass the test may retake the test after thirty days have passed.
  • Upon passing the test, a fee of $106.00 will be due to obtain the actual electrical license from the Village of Downers Grove.

Historic Preservation

The Village Council adopted a Historic Preservation Ordinance (Municipal Code: Chapter 12) on July 3, 2007 and the Historic Presevation Plan 2009 to preserve the Village’s historically significant buildings and sites. This ordinance established the Architectural Design Review Board as the Village’s Historic Preservation Commission and includes provisions to protect property owners from allowing others, including the Village, to enact preservation regulations without the owner’s consent.

Is your home a Historic Landmark?
The State of Illinois surveyed buildings in the Village in the early 1970s. The Village has reviewed the survey and mapped the buildings that were identified by the State. Many of the buildings have retained their historic character and significance. Check out the Village’s Interactive Maps to see if your home is a potential Landmark.  In early 2012, the Village began the process to survey areas that had been identified as having historical or architectural significance.  The results of that survey are available in the Village of Downers Grove Architectural + Historical Survey Report dated November 5, 2013.  See below to view individual sections of the report or the inventory forms for each of the four areas surveyed.  Note that the inventory form files are very large.

Village of Downers Grove Architectural + Historical Survey Report - Nov 5, 2013

Village of Downers Grove Architectural + Historical Survey Inventory Forms - Nov 5, 2013

Survey Area 1: Denburn Woods
Survey Area 2:  Shady Lane Estates
Survey Area 3:  E. H. Prince's Subdivision (this is a very large file that has been divided into smaller files below)

Survey Area 4:  Maple Avenue/Main Street Corridor


How do I make my property a Historic Landmark?
The Architectural Design Review Board and Village Council review applications for Landmark status. Click on the link to find out about the Historic Landmark Process or call the Community Development Department for an application packet.


Related Docs

Related Links