Zoning & Building Safety:

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RI County Zoning Map

Zoning and Building Safety

Zoning

Welcome to the Zoning Homepage. Most people wonder "What is zoning?" The Supreme Court upheld the authority of governments to enforce zoning regulations in 1926 in the landmark case of Village of Euclid, Ohio v. Ambler Realty ExternalLink.gif. Since then, almost every major city has adopted a zoning code. Zoning regulates land use, including the size, shape and permitted uses of lots and structures. Zoning dictates where people live and where they work. It controls the size of our houses and the location of stores. In most cities, it is the primary tool that guides land use.

Local governments in Illinois are granted extensive powers from the state via home rule ordinances. One of those powers is to create and enforce regulations that promote public safety, health and general welfare. In 2000 Rock Island County adopted the Quad City Unified Ordinance. Since then we have made some minor changes to the ordinance, you can find a digital copy in our downloads section. Below you will find some common topics.

Day Care:

We have defined day care with two levels. A Day Care Center is defined by the Rock Island County Code of Ordinances as “A child care facility which regularly provides day care for less than twenty-four (24) hours per day for (a) more than 8 children in a family dwelling unit, or (b) more than three (3) children in a facility other than a family dwelling unit. Day Care Centers are allowed in Business Districts.

A Day Care Home is defined by the Rock Island County Code of Ordinances as “A family dwelling unit occupied by attending family which receives more than three (3) and up to a maximum of eight (8) children for less than twenty-four 24) hours a day. The maximum of eight (8) children includes the family's natural or adopted children and all other person under the age of twelve (12). A Day Care Home may also be a family home which receives adults who are sixty (60) years of age or older.”

Day Care Homes have become very popular as the economy has changed. Day Care Homes are exactly what it sounds like — daycare in a home instead of a center. This arrangement has been around as long as parents have had neighbors and friends nearby to help care for their kids. Today it's a way for many parents who prefer to stay at home and who truly enjoy taking care of children to do work they love and contribute to the family finances at the same time. Illinois has approximatley 8,000 licensed day care homes — almost three times the number of licensed day care centers. Day Care Homes often appeal to parents who want to keep their child in a warm, friendly, homelike environment but can't afford a nanny and can't or don't want to use a relative. Rock Island County has laws to manage and restrict how home day cares operates.

Zoning laws require home day care operators to follow specific rules regulations, including some that apply only to home day cares. These laws are designed to address the unique circumstances of a business operating in a residential or rural area. The laws seek to minimize the negative impact on the community, which can be affected by increased vehicle traffic and neighborhood noise. Some regulate how properties are altered, including the addition of business signage and the construction of fencing and playground equipment. Zoning laws also provide special requirements designed to address special circumstances related to these businesses. There are also building code issues to consider. The Illinios Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) also regulates home day care in Illinois. Zoning approval from our office is required to obtain a license.

A Special Use Permit is required if you meet the description of a Day Care Home. Day Care Homes are allowed in AG-1, AG-2, SE-1, SE-2 and R-1. To obtain a special use permit please consult with the Zoning Department. A public hearing in front of the Zoning Board of Appeals is required. The board will hear testimony from all objectors, listen to concerns, and make a recommendation to the county board to either approve or deny the application.

If granted, the permit is reviewable and must be renewed yearly for $40. If a dispute should arise concerning interpretation herein, a hearing shall be scheduled before the Zoning Board of Appeals and they shall make the final interpretation.


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Fees:

Rezoning to AG-1, AG-2, SE-1, SE-2, R-1 or PUD, and any Special Use Petition within these Districts:

5 Acres or less $400.00
5+ acres to 20 acres $400.00 plus $20.00 per acre for acres 6-20
Greater than 20 $700.00 plus $15.00 per acre for all acres over 20
Maximum Fee $3,400.00

Rezoning to U, C, O, B, I or ORT, and any Special Use Petition within these Districts:

5 Acres or less $600.00
5+ acres to 20 acres $600.00 plus $20.00 per acre for acres 6-20
Greater than 20 $900.00 plus $15.00 per acre for all acres over 20
Maximum Fee $5,400.00

Variances:

Common $300.00
Administrative $150.00

ALL Others Not Listed:

Appeals, Special Accommodations $100.00
5 Acres or less $400.00
5+ acres to 20 acres $400.00 plus $20.00 per acre for acres 6-20
Greater than 20 $700.00 plus $15.00 per acre for all acres over 20
Maximum Fee $3,400.00

Any Rezoning or Special Use Permit in an AG district also has a fee of $400 plus $15 per acre for a Resource Review.

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Kennels:

A Kennel is defined by the Rock Island County Zoning Resolution as “Any Structure or premises where 5 (five) or more dogs and/or cats over 6 (six) months of age are kept as pets, or is intended and used for the breeding of animals for sale, or the training and/or overnight boarding of animals other than those of the owner of the lot. This does not include a veterinary clinic in which the overnight boarding of animals is necessary for and accessory to the testing and medical treatment of the physical disorders of animals.”

A Special Use Permit is required if you meet the description of a Kennel. Kennels are allowed in AG-1, AG-2, SE-1, SE-2 (all structures must be 100 feet from residentially zoned property) and R-1, when lot size is over one acre. To obtain a special use permit please consult with the Zoning Department. A public hearing in front of the Zoning Board of Appeals is required. The board will hear testimony from all objectors, listen to concerns, and make a recommendation to the county board to either approve or deny the application.

If granted, the permit is reviewable and must be renewed yearly for $40. The Zoning Board of Appeals has set some conditions to be followed:

  • Meet any and all State of Illinois regulations. (For more information please visit the Illinois Department of Agriculture ExternalLink.gif.) For an application, click here PDF Document.
  • Meet the requirements of the Rock Island County Health Department with regards to the septic system installed for the Kennel (if applicable).
  • Meet all requirements established by the Illinois EPA.
  • Limited number of animals, number will be recommended by Rock Island County Animal Control and the Rock Island County Zoning Department after an inspection of the address designated for the kennel and after viewing construction documents.  
  • Must meet all requirements of the "Illinois State Humane Care for Animals Act PDF Document", Illinois Animal Welfare Act, and Animal Control Act.
  • Provisions must be made to provide a continuous supply of freshwater and proper shelter.
  • Structures used for housing of Kennel must meet the building codes as adopted by Rock Island County and all applicable health standards.
  • Animals are to be prevented from running at large.
  • All animals to be prevented from causing a nuisance that may include frequent, habitual, excessive howling; barking; meowing; caterwauling or other noise making at any time of the day or night.
  • If animals are boarded or groomed, applicant shall require proof of registration for animals and current vaccination from the county they reside in.
  • The entire area must be kept clean and sanitary - daily.
  • Property shall be kept free of all feces and urine to prevent its accumulation from constituting a health hazard or odorous nuisance.
  • Special Use Permit shall be renewed annually by payment of renewal fee as invoiced.
  • Yearly renewal will also include an inspection by Rock Island County Animal Control ExternalLink.gif.
  • The Special Use permit is nontransferable.
  • Special Use must be established within one year of issuance.

If a dispute should arise concerning interpretation herein, a hearing shall be scheduled before the Zoning Board of Appeals and they shall make the final interpretation.


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Home Occupations:

A Home Occupation is defined by the Rock Island County Zoning Resolution as “An occupation or profession customarily carried on by an occupant of a dwelling unit as a secondary use, and which is clearly incidental to the use of the dwelling unit for residential purposes. There are major and minor home occupations which are clearly addressed under the General Provisions of this ordinance.”

Minor Home Occupations. A permit is required if you meet the description of a Minor Home Occupation. The application PDF Document fee is $150.00. An inspection will be performed to verify compliance with the following conditions and that the area being used is compliant with the adopted building codes. Minor home occupations are home occupations which shall not have nonresident customers and employees and where:

  1. Shall be conducted entirely within a dwelling and carried on by the inhabitants thereof and no other.
  2. Shall be clearly incidental and secondary to the use of the dwelling for dwelling purposes, and the appearance of the structure shall not be altered or the occupation within the residence be conducted in a manner that would cause the premises to differ from its residential character either by the use of colors, materials, construction, lighting, signs, or other emission of sounds or vibrations that carry beyond the premises.
  3. Shall have no more than two hundred (200) square feet of floor area used for the home occupation.
  4. Shall be no advertising, display, or other indications of a home occupation on the premises.
  5. Shall not be conducted on the premises the business of selling stocks of merchandise, supplies or products, provided that orders previously made by telephone or at a sales party may be filled on the premises. That is, direct sales of products off display shelves, racks or from inventory is not allowed, but a person may pick up an order placed earlier as described above.
  6. Shall have no storage or display of goods visible from outside the structure.
  7. Shall have no highly explosive or combustible material used or stored on the premises unless approved by the fire inspector. No activity shall be allowed that would interfere with radio or television reception in the area, nor shall there be any offensive noise, vibration, smoke, dust, odors, heat or glare noticeable at or beyond the property line.
  8. Shall not create greater vehicle or pedestrian traffic than normal for the district in which it is located, including commercial and general delivery services.
  9. Shall have no use of material or equipment not recognized as being part of the normal practices of owning and maintaining a residence allowed.
  10. Notwithstanding any provision contained herein to the contrary, garage, basement, yard or other similar sales shall not be allowed more than twice a year, and each sale shall not last more than seventy-two (72) consecutive hours, and only goods which have been generated from within the household and not purchased elsewhere for resale. Sales shall be conducted on the owner's property except that multiple family sales are permitted if they are held on the property of one of the participants and any such sale shall be considered to be a sale for all participants.
  11. Shall have no deliveries from commercial suppliers made more than once a week, and the deliveries shall not be made from semi-tractor trailer trucks.
  12. Shall include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
    • Artists and sculptors;
    • Authors, desktop publishers and composers;
    • Home crafts for sale off-site;
    • Office facility of clergy;
    • Office facility of a salesman, sales representative or manufacturer's representative provided that no transactions are made in person on the premises;
    • Address of convenience used solely for receiving and making telephone calls including computer usage, mail, keeping business records in connection with a profession or occupation;
    • Individual tutoring;
    • Preserving and home cooking for sale off-site;
    • Individual instrument and vocal instruction provided that no instrument may be amplified;
    • Telephone solicitation work;
  13. Any other similar uses deemed to be consistent by the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Major Home Occupations. A Special Use Permit is required if you meet the description of a Major Home Occupation. An inspection will be performed to verify compliance with the following conditions and that the area being used is compliant with the adopted building codes. Major home occupations are home occupations where customers and employees may come to the home and where the occupation:

  1. Shall be conducted entirely within a dwelling unit or one accessory structure and carried on by the inhabitants thereof and one employee not residing on the parcel.
  2. Shall be clearly incidental and secondary to the use of the dwelling for dwelling purposes, and the appearance of the structure shall not be altered or the occupation within the residence be conducted in a manner that would cause the premises to differ from its residential character either by the use of colors, materials, construction, lighting, signs, or the emission of sounds or vibrations that carry beyond the premises.
  3. Shall have no more than two hundred (200) square feet of floor area used for the home occupation.
  4. Shall have no signs present on the property except for one sign, not exceeding two square feet, and not illuminated.
  5. Shall not be conducted on the premises the business of selling stocks of merchandise, supplies or products, provided that incidental retail sales may be made in connection with other permitted home occupations, for example, a single-chair beauty parlor would be allowed to sell combs, hair spray, and other miscellaneous items to customers. However, a dressmaker would be required to do only custom work for specific clients and would not be allowed to develop stocks of dresses for sale to the general public on-site.
  6. Shall have no storage or display of goods visible from outside the structure.
  7. Shall have no highly explosive or combustible material used or stored on the premises unless approved by the fire inspector. No activity shall be allowed that would interfere with radio or television reception in the area, nor shall there be any offensive noise, vibration, smoke, dust, odors, heat, or glare noticeable at or beyond the property line.
  8. Shall have adequate off street parking spaces available to compensate for additional parking needs generated.
  9. Deliveries from commercial suppliers may be made more than once a week, and the deliveries shall not be made from semi-tractor trailer trucks.
  10. Shall include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
    • Single-chair beauty parlors and barber shops;
    • Photo developing and printing;
    • Organized classes with up to six students at a time;
    • Television and other electric or electronic repair, excluding major appliances such as refrigerators or storage;
    • Upholstering;
    • Dressmaking and millinery; and
    • Woodworking excluding cabinet making.
  11. Special Use Permit shall be renewed annually by payment of renewal fee as invoiced.
  12. The Special Use permit is nontransferable.
  13. Special Use must be established within one year of issuance.

If a dispute should arise concerning interpretation herein, a hearing shall be scheduled before the Zoning Board of Appeals and they shall make the final interpretation.


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The Rezoning Process:

Rezoning applications are made at the Office of Zoning and Building Safety.

  1. Application
    • An application for a map amendment, or more commonly known as a rezoning, shall be filed with the Zoning Officer accompanied by the necessary information (surveys, legal descriptions, power of attorney, etc) as may be required. Such application shall be forwarded to the Zoning Board Of Appeals with the request to hold a public hearing on said application for amendment. An application to rezone property must be signed by the property owner(s). Applications are available at the Zoning And Building office, in most cases the office staff will fill out the application.
     
  2. Zoning Staff Review
    • Following submittal of a completed application to rezone property, Zoning Staff reviews the request for compliance with the criteria of the Rock Island County Land Use Policies and prepares a staff report for the Zoning Board of Appeals. The Township Supervisor, Township Road Commissioner and County Board Member are notified of the request, as well as the Clerk of any City or Village located within 1.5 miles of the area to be rezoned. In cooperation with the Soil and Water Conservations District Rock Island County has created a Land Evaluation and Site Assessment (LESA) review process to help preserve prime farm ground. When application is made of a Property Zoned AG-1 or AG-2, office staff requests a LESA review. All written comments are forwarded with the Zoning staff report to the Zoning Board of Appeals at the public hearing.
     
  3. Public Hearing - Zoning Board of Appeals 
    • All adjoining property owners are notified of the location, time and date of the public hearing at least 15 days in advance. A notice is published in the local newspaper. The Zoning Board of Appeals is a quasi-judicial board created by the Rock Island County Board. As a Board of the County, they welcome all testimony. They make our decisions based on the facts and evidence allowed under County Code, presented in open meeting. Testimony before the board must be given under oath. Any person may submit comments or testify at the public hearing. We also supply a Guide to the Zoning Board of Appeals PDF Document. After the public hearing, the Zoning Board of Appeals will make a recommendation to approve, disapprove, or modify to the Rock Island County Board.
     
  4. Public Hearing - Public Works Committee 
    • No new testimony may be introduced at this hearing and is not open to discussion from the general public. This committee will review the Finding of Facts and Recommendation from the Zoning Board of Appeals and votes to approve the recommendation.
     
  5. Public Hearing - Rock Island County Board 
    • No new testimony may be introduced at this hearing (relating to the zoning cases) and is not open to discussion from the general public. The County Board reviews the Resolution prepared and approved by the Public Works committee.
     

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What Does Zoning Affect?

Zoning can preserve natural features, promote infill development and mixed-use development, minimize dependence on the car, provide public community spaces and otherwise help make cities and towns more livable.

Uncoordinated development at the suburban fringe can permanently destroy farmland and wildlife habitats and exacerbate traffic gridlock. Regional and local policies to promote infill development can direct new jobs and housing to mature communities that have the necessary infrastructure to support them. Zoning, for instance, can prohibit new development on certain parcels and encourage more compact development on others.

Zoning must also consider the market demand for land uses, since a zoning map essentially allocates the amount of land available for industry, commerce and housing within the city. The zoning code should have the flexibility to adapt to changes in the market's demand for space.

Zoning will rarely be the only sensible growth tool communities use, but it can help communities reach their land-use goals when combined with effective planning.


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What is my Property Zoned?

You may now look up Zoning Codes online or if you call our office with an address or parcel number we can provide this information very quickly. Our office only has the correct zoning for property in unincorporated Rock Island County (not within a city or village) and the Village of Hillsdale. A Zoning Map PDF Document is available in 11X17 “PDF” format.

Any questions about what you can use your property for or if can you split your property should be directed to Doug Moslehi Click to send e-mail. This depends on the consistency with the Rock Island County Land Use Plan PDF Document and Map PDF Document. The minimum lot size varies all throughout the county ranging from 20,000 square feet and in some outlying areas it requires a minimum lot size of 40 acres to build a residence.


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The Zoning Districts?

The entire Zoning resolution with a full explanation of all zoning districts is available for download here PDF Document. Here are some brief descriptions of our Zoning Districts:

Agricultural - Rock island County has two AG zoning districts; AG-1, Agricultural Preservation District and AG-2, General Agricultural District. The districts are intended to permit a range of uses related to agriculture, to encourage preservation of large blocks of farmland, and to permanently protect development the tracts of and which remain after permitted residential development has occurred. AG-1 is a minimum 40-acre lot size and AG-2 is a minimum 15-acre lot size.

Business - Rock Island County has 4 Business Districts ranging from Neighborhood to Highway Intensive Districts. Almost all businesses you can think of are allowed somewhere in one of these districts. These districts do not generally allow exterior storage.

Conservation - The C-1 and C-2 districts are intended to provide for the conservation and preservation of wetlands, marshes, swamps, scenic areas, wildlife protection, etc.

Industrial - Industrial districts are intended to provide for the development of small to large scale industry with regulations designed to protect adjacent properties. An example of an industrial zoned property would be the nuclear plant in Cordova.

Office - The O-1 and ORT districts are designed to be a transitional use of land between commercial and residential uses.

Planned Unit Development - The PUD district is intended to provide for a development incorporating a single type or a variety of related uses which are planned and developed as a unit but departs from the normal standards and requirements of other sections of the Zoning resolution. A PUD may also provide other amenities not otherwise required by law and may establish facilities and open space greater than the minimums required by law.

Residential - Rock Island County has 7 R districts, which range from single-family dwelling districts to multi-family residence districts. Lot sizes are generally very small, the largest being 20,000 square feet in the R-1 district. R-7 is a Mobile/Manufactured Housing District. The zoning resolution does not allow multi-family districts unless a central or municipal sewerage system is available to the property.

Suburban Estates- Rock island County has two SE zoning districts; SE-1, Suburban Estates Low Density District and SE-2, Suburban Estates Medium Density District. These Districts are established s to provide for single family detached housing opportunities in a rural to urban transitional setting at a medium to low density level and to preserve open space and natural features. These districts were intended to provide a natural buffer area between Agricultural areas and High Density Residential areas. SE-1 is a minimum 5-acre lot size and SE-2 is a minimum 1-acre lot size. The main difference is SE-2 does not allow farm animals.

University/College- This district is established to provide an area for colleges, universities, seminaries, and other such institutions of higher education. The Intent of the district is to establish an area in which institutions of higher education may operate compatibly with surrounding residential and business areas.


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Rock Island County Office Building (map ExternalLink.gif)
1504 Third Avenue, Room 305, Rock Island IL 61204-8624
Phone: (309) 558-3771      Fax: (309) 786-4456

      Hours: 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM - Monday thru Friday
Inspectors are in the field from 9:30 AM until 3:00 PM