16-1017 v3.0/University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy - Keller Center/Exclude Parking in a City Planned Development Zone in a Campus Setting


The Keller Center project is a gut-rehab of an existing building located on the University of Chicago’s South campus.  The building is surrounded on three sides by existing landscape that will be preserved and enhanced to the greatest extent possible, including the preservation of existing trees and root structures. The forth side of the building consists of building services and an adjacent surface parking lot that is zoned as a University Planned Development and is a requirement per the City of Chicago Zoning Ordinance.  In essence, the Planned Development requirements is a form of Scale Jumping as it encourages coordinated shared parking and “…minimize the need for redundant, or large quantities of parking,…”  We are seeking an exception to exclude the existing parking lot from the project site boundary as further explained below.

The surface parking lot located to the south of our project is part of a campus-wide parking count.  The existing 55 spaces are not, and have never been, solely dedicated to the original building.  Buildings on campus are required to comply with a parking quantity as defined by the Planned Development.  Parking passes are granted to University faculty, employees, and students to access parking throughout the campus. 

Being that the Keller Center is part of a Planned Development City ordinance and there are simultaneous construction projects adjacent to our project site, we have exhausted all other options for construction staging. It is expected that construction staging will have minimal impact on the parking lot and result in resurfacing and stripping only to bring it back to use for the Campus Planned Development parking. 

Construction staging for the Keller Center has no alternate location other than this existing surface parking lot.  The lack of open space within the project boundary as well as the constraints of the boundary streets that must remain open leave no other option for staging.  All other neighboring lots have existing buildings or are occupied by protected green space of the Midway Plaisance. 

We intend to restore the 55 existing spaces.  There will be three relocated ADA spaces immediately adjacent to the building, inclusive of the existing 55 spaces.  This meets the University’s campus Planned Development required parking spaces.

We fully intend to meet all other Human Scale Design Guidelines as listed in Table 1: Streets + Intersections, Signage, Proportion and Human Scale requirements where applicable. 

Excluding the parking lot from the project area will have no other impacts on our pursuit of all other imperatives under the Materials, Equity and Beauty Petals.

Project Information Data:

Gross Building Area:                                        126,240 SF

Current site area (including parking lot):              115,211 SF

Parking lot area:                                             18,800 SF

Current FAR:                                                  1.096

Proposed site area (excluding parking lot):           95,940 SF

FAR (excluding parking lot):                              1.32

Living Transect L4: General Urban Zone


Existing parking that is disturbed by construction staging or re-surfacing must be included in the project area and must meet the limits defined by Imperative 15, Human Scale + Humane Places. The same area must also meet the requirements of all other Imperatives pursued by the project.
However, projects with existing shared parking lots  that serve multiple buildings may, instead of including the entire parking lot area, include the larger of either their parking proportional to the building's size or the actual staging area. The team must show, through calculations, that the amount of parking included in the project area is pro-rated or attributed appropriately.

Post ID 6215

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