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Choosing Your Site

Locating Space / Zoning 
The City maintains a list of retail and commercial space for rent or sale. For more information or assistance with finding a space for your business, please contact the Office of Business Development at 847.926.1027.

The Highland Park zoning ordinances regulate the use of land within the City to protect the character and stability of residential, business, commercial and manufacturing areas. Prior to choosing a  site, please review the Highland Park Zoning Ordinances and Codes and the Zoning Ordinance District Map. GIS Maps are available for detailed property information. If you need further assistance to determine if the site you are considering is zoned for your business, contact the Department of Community Development at 847.432.0867. 

Letter of Intent to Occupy / Permits / Certificate of Occupancy 
Once you have selected your space, you must obtain a certificate of occupancy in order to move in and begin conducting business. All businesses are required to go through this process, including existing businesses that have been acquired by a new owner. 

  • Submitting a completed Letter of Intent (LOI) form is the first step in the review and approval process. The LOI provides the Building Division with information about the type of business you will be operating so that it may be determined whether the proposed business use conforms to the zoning district regulations. In addition, the LOI process will also let you know the condition of the building and what building permits may be needed for planned interior or exterior changes to the property. 
  • After you submit your completed LOI to the Building Division, you will be contacted to schedule the required City inspections for compliance with the following codes: Fire and life-safety, commercial building, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing. The Fire Department conducts Fire and Life Safety inspections of all businesses including establishments where the public might assemble including but not limited to: places of worship, schools day care facilities and public events.  For more information, please contact the Fire Department. The fee is $150.
  • After the inspection, the Fire Department and Building Division will issue an inspection report to the tenant and the property owner specifying requirements, if any, which must be met before a certificate of occupancy can be issued. Any required work is the responsibility of the property owner or tenant.
  • One of the elements of obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy is a signed and stamped statement of maximum occupancy load from an architect.  If the maximum occupancy load has been established previously for a unit, the fire department will determine based on business use and construction changes if the previous Certificate of Occupancy can be used.
  • Building permits are required for all construction. For information regarding building permits, please contact the Building Division at 847.432.0808.

Letter of Intent (LOI) Form