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Building Department

Building Commissioner

Tom M. Tomschin, MPA
4949 West Cermak Road
Cicero, IL 60804
(p) 708-656-3600
(e) ttomschin@thetownofcicero.com

 

 

Important contact information:

To better and more efficiently serve you, the Town of Cicero Building Department is separated into specific divisions.  To have your questions answered properly and efficiently, please request the extension of the division listed below when calling the Department, or email the person directly if email is available.  The Town of Cicero Building Department’s main line is 708-656-3600.

 

Building Permits

  • Zone 2 (31st to Cermak)
  • Cain - Ext. 505

 

Compliance/Property Transfer

Debt Letter and Payoff Requests

 

Vacant Buildings

 

Property Complaints

 

Code Enforcement/Tickets

  • Whitney – Ext. 460
  • Gia – Ext. 808

Billing and Financial

 

 

Building Department Forms

These forms are made available here for your convenience.   Please keep in mind, that the Town’s original forms are carbonized, as multiple departments receive copies of these documents.  If you are taking advantage of downloading a form online, please make at least two (2) copies when you submit the documents to the Building Department.  The Town of Cicero Building Department is not accepting applications via email or the website at this time.  All documents must be printed and submitted directly the Building Department.  Thank you for your cooperation.

 

Mission Statement

The Building Department's mission is to enforce the adopted codes regarding the construction and maintenance of buildings and structures in order to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Town of Cicero. To this end, the Building Department will strive for excellence in educating its employees to provide quality inspections and customer service.

 

The Town of Cicero Building Department is separated into specific divisions, please click on the appropriate link below, to get more information on the specific area of inquiry.

Planning on Hiring a Contractor?  Read this first:

http://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/homerepair_construction.html

 

 

General Information

 

The Town of Cicero has adopted the following Codes which are applicable to all properties located in the Town of Cicero:

  1. 2009 International Building Code
  2. 2009 International Residential Code (With Local Amendments)*
  3. 2009 International Mechanical Code
  4. 2009 International Existing Buildings Code
  5. 2009 International Energy Code
  6. 2009 101 Life Safety Code
  7. 2009 International Fire Code (With Local Amendments)*
  8. 2008 National Electric Code (With Local Amendments)*
  9. 2005 Illinois Plumbing Code (With Local Amendments)*
  10. 1997 Illinois Accessibility Code
  11. Cicero, Illinois, Code of Ordinances
  12. Town of Cicero Zoning

Local Amendment Summary

Local Amendments

http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/icod/IC-P-2009-000019.htm

*Local Amendments are available for review from the Town of Cicero Clerk’s Office.

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Office Information

The Building Department office personnel are available between the hours of 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM, Monday through Thursday, to provide information and answer questions, including:

  • Accept building permit applications, plan submittals, and requests for Certification of Compliance
  • Accept payment for Compliance Inspections, Building Permits, Tickets, Fines, and liens.
  • Provide information relating to submittal requirements (compliance, permits, health, etc),
  • Provide code interpretations and specific information,
  • Issue building permits and accept payments for permits, re-inspection fees, tickets, liens, etc.
  • Issue transfer Stamps,
  • Issue Sanitary Certificates,
  • Record inspection requests for the following business day (until 4:00 PM),
  • Provide phone communication with inspectors,
  • Provide access to public files, plans, permit and inspection histories, via FOIA request(s).
  • Record and schedule inspections for complaints from residents,

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Hours of Operation

Hours of operation (8:00 AM – 8:00 PM, Monday - Thursday)

8:00 AM – 8:45 AM

Inspectors and a building official are normally available in the office to answer code questions, to provide approximate inspection times, to record inspection requests for the next business day, etc. Their time in the office is limited at this time of the day; therefore if a detailed discussion or a meeting is required, please use this time to request a time that would be convenient for both the inspectors and the caller. Most inspectors are usually also back in the office at 5:00 to accept calls, (depending upon their workload for the day).

8:00 AM- 8:00 PM

The Building Department is open for general business.  Inspection requests for the next business day are accepted up until 4:00 PM.  This does not guarantee an inspection can be scheduled the next business day – depending on inspector schedule, a longer lead time may be required. Transfer Stamps are issued until 6:00pm.

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Building Permits

The Town of Cicero requires Building Permits to ensure structures are safe with respect to public health, fire protection, code compliance, and structural sufficiency. A permit ensures that the construction meets the minimum standards set out in the Town of Cicero’s adopted building codes and ordinances.

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Seven (7) Steps of the Building Permit Process

(Does not apply to new construction and commercial construction, which may require additional steps (see New Construction Section for More Details))

Below are listed the seven (7) steps of the permit process.  Please remember that this process should be planned out and included in your project timeline.  While the Town makes every effort to expedite the permit process, delays do occur, and most delays can be avoided with careful planning, and providing detailed information with your permit application.

Step 1 – Town of Cicero Building Department Permit Staff

A visit or telephone call to the Town of Cicero Building Department will provide you with the information necessary to make your project progress smoothly and to avoid potential problems which could cost you time and money.

Be prepared to discuss your project with permit staff who will ask you questions such as “What are you planning to do?” and “Where are you planning to do it?” The permit staff will discuss the specific process for your project with you.

Step 2 - Permit Application

A completed permit application is required prior to beginning the administrative review process. You may pick up a permit application at the Town of Cicero Building Department.  While the permit application may seem easy to complete, many do so incompletely.  The town recommends answering several questions when completing your application.

  1. “who” will perform the work and
  2.  “what,” “where,” and “how” the work will be completed.

Drawings, plans or other documentation of the proposed work may be required (consult with permit staff prior to visiting Town Hall to avoid multiple trips).  Please remember that delays can be avoided, by completing your application in full, and with as much detail as possible.  Also, please remember to include contact telephone information so staff can contact you if needed, and to schedule any required inspections.  Some important documents that may be required include but are not limited to: 

  • Plat of Survey,
  • Signed Contract for work to be performed,
  • Zoning Clearance, etc.)

When at the Building Department Counter, you should also ask if you or your contractor has outstanding debt to the town (see below).

Step 3 - The Review Process

Once your completed permit application has been received, the review process begins.  During the review process, your permit application will be reviewed by multiple people.  Town staff will determine if your project is in compliance with the building code(s), the zoning ordinances, and other town ordinances. The length of the review process will depend on the type and complexity of the project. Many small residential applications can be processed in one day.  Please keep in mind that you may be contacted for more information if needed.  During the review process, Town Building Inspectors may need to perform pre-inspections to ensure compliance with all applicable codes and ordinances.  You will be contacted as soon as this requirement has been determined.

Also during the review period, The Town investigates several items:

  • Is your contractor licensed and bonded to work in the Town of Cicero?
  • Does your contractor have a debt to the Town?
  • Do you have a debt to the Town?

All contractors performing work, must be licensed and bonded to work in the Town, if not, they will NOT be issued a permit.  Also NO permits will be issued if either you, or your contractor has outstanding debt to the Town.  All debt must be paid prior to the issuance of a building permit.

Step 4 - Permit Approval

When compliance with the code, zoning ordinances and other applicable statutes are determined, the permit application is approved by the Building Commissioner, and written up by the permit staff. You will be contacted when your permit is ready.  Once all final permit fees are paid, the permit is issued.

If the permit application is not approved or a review has failed, your permit application (as submitted) will be denied. When a permit application is denied, you must make the necessary corrections and resubmit the application (if you wish to continue your project). You will be contacted if your permit has been denied, and the reasons of said denial.

Step 5 - Construction

During the entire construction phase, the permit must be placed in a window or other prominent place at the project site and a copy approved building plan (if applicable) and related documents must be maintained at the site ready for inspection.

Step 6 - Inspections

Each major phase of construction must be inspected by a Town of Cicero Building Inspector to make certain the work conforms to the code, the permit as issued, and the approved plans.

It is up to the homeowner and/or contractor to ensure all applicable permit inspections are performed.  Please refer to your permit for information regarding which inspections are needed.  For example, for cement work, the town requires pre-pour inspections, and final inspections.  Normally, the response is one business day after the request is made.  Please work inspections into your project timeline, and call the town before 4:00 PM to schedule your inspection for the next available business day. 

FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH REQUIRED INSPECTIONS WILL RESULT IN YOU REMOVING THE IMPROVEMENTS MADE, SO APPROPRIATE INSPECTIONS CAN BE PROCESSED.  VIOLATION NOTICES AND/OR TICKETS MAY ALSO BE ISSUED.

If an inspector finds that work does not conform to the approved plans, the inspector will fail the inspection and provide comments. Corrections will need to be made, and another inspection will be necessary before work is resumed.

Step 7 - Project Completion

When the project is completed and code compliance is determined, the inspector issues a final inspection. The final inspection marks the completion of your project and grants permission to occupy a building with the knowledge that it has met the minimum safety standards as required by code.

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Eight (8) Steps of the New Construction Building Permit Process

 

Below are listed the eight (8) steps of the New Construction Building Permit process. Please remember that this process should be planned out and included in your project timeline. While the Town makes every effort to expedite the permit process, delays do occur, and most delays can be avoided with careful planning, and providing detailed information with your permit application.
 
These steps closely mirror those for regular rehabilitation, with several differences. This list is meant for overview, and other items may be required, please consult with Building Department Staff for more information.
 
Step 1 – Town of Cicero Building Department Permit Staff
 
A visit or telephone call to the Town of Cicero Building Department will provide you with the information necessary to make your project progress smoothly and to avoid potential problems which could cost you time and money.
 
Be prepared to discuss your project with permit staff who will ask you questions such as “What are you planning to do?” and “Where are you planning to do it?” Is Zoning an issue with your proposed project? The permit staff will discuss the specific process for your project with you.
 
Step 2 – Architectural Review Committee (if applicable)
 
If the lot where the proposed new construction is taking place is a “non-standard lot” (under 3,500 square feet), the project must first be reviewed by the Architectural Review Committee (see Zoning Section 11). 
 
In order to have your proposed project reviewed by the Architectural Review Committee, the following documents are required to be submitted:
  • Completed Building and Architectural Review Committee Application (see building department for application).
  • Specification Sheet
  • Three (3) sets of Stamped blueprints, and one (1) digital version, including the PIN Number and Address 
(Only one [1] stamped set of plans is needed for architectural review… three (3) stamped sets and one (1) digital set will be needed once the Architectural Review Committee approves the plans, and the plans move to plan review).
  • Two (2) Checks or Money Orders 
One made payable to the “Town of Cicero Building Department”, and 
One made payable to the “Town of Cicero Architectural Review Committee”.
 
Once your plans are reviewed by the Architectural Review Committee, you will receive, in writing, the determination of that review. If approved, the regular technical review process of the Building Department will move forward (see item 2 below). If your plans are rejected, you will need to resubmit new plans with any changes requested.
 
Step 3 - Permit Application 
 
A completed permit application is required prior to beginning the administrative review process. You may pick up a permit application at the Town of Cicero Building Department.
 
If the lot where the proposed new construction is taking place is greater than 3,500 square feet, (or your plans have been approved by the Architectural Review Committee), the following documents are required to be submitted above and beyond the Seven (7) steps for a building permit.
 
One (1) set of digital plans must be submitted for technical review (Initial deposit toward the Plan Review fee deposit $500, and must be paid at time of application (if you went through architectural review committee, this was already paid).  The Town is reducing paper and printing costs for large projects, thus the digital set only for initial review.  At the time plans are approved, the Town of Cicero Building Department will require a stamped final set of plans, and the owner/contractor is required to maintain a full set of plans on site.
 
2. Completed Building Permit Application
 
3. Copy of all Contracts/Subcontracts totaling the value of construction (all contractors must be Licensed and Bonded to work in the Town of Cicero).
 
You may also be required to submit an application from the Water Department for any plumbing work required. Please contact the Water Department for more information on when their permit is required.
 
If your project is commercial, and requires a fire alarm system, and/or sprinkler system, the following must be submitted:
  • 1 set of digital Fire Alarm plans
  • 1 set of digital Sprinkler plans
  • 1 set of digital Hood and Asul plans
    • At the time plans are approved, the Town of Cicero Building Department will require a stamped final set of plans, and the owner/contractor is required to maintain a full set of plans on site.
  • Copy of Sign Specifications, including size, type, and location
  • Electrical Permit Application,
  • Contracts/Proposals on Company Letterhead
  • Address of Job Location
  • The Value of Construction
  • Contracts signed by both parties (Contractor doing work, and The person hiring the contractor)
  • Completed Electrical Permit Application
  • Completed Building Permit Application
Step 4 - The Review Process 
 
Once your completed permit application has been received, the review process begins. During the review process, your permit application will be reviewed by multiple people (including the plan review specialist). Town staff will determine if your project is in compliance with the building code(s), the zoning ordinances, and other town ordinances.
 
The length of the review process will depend on the type and complexity of the project. Minimum turn-around time for plan review is 4 business days. If the plan review specialist approves the plans, the project will move forward. If the plan review specialist rejects the plans, you will receive comments in writing, of changes needed. And three (3) revised sets of plans will need to be submitted for a re-review.
 
Also during the review period, The Town investigates several items:
  • Is your contractor licensed and bonded to work in the Town of Cicero?
  • Does your contractor have a debt to the Town?
  • Do you have a debt to the Town?
All contractors performing work, must be licensed and bonded to work in the Town, if not, they will NOT be issued a permit. Also NO permits will be issued if either you, or your contractor has outstanding debt to the Town. All debt must be paid prior to the issuance of a building permit.
 
Once plan review is completed, and plans have been approved, the project will move forward.
 
Step 5 - Permit Approval 
 
When compliance with the code, zoning ordinances and other applicable statutes are determined, the permit application is approved by the Building Commissioner, and written up by the permit staff. You will be contacted when your permit is ready. Once all final permit fees are paid, the permit is issued (there may be additional plan review fees due, based on square footage of the property, and re-review fees, and fees from the water department). 
 
Step 6 - Construction 
 
During the entire construction phase, the permit must be placed in a window or other prominent place at the project site and a copy approved building plan (if applicable) and related documents must be maintained at the site ready for inspection.
 
Step 7 - Inspections 
 
Each major phase of construction must be inspected by a Town of Cicero Building Inspector to make certain the work conforms to the code, the permit as issued, and the approved plans. You will receive a listing of required inspection at the time your permit is issued.
 
It is up to the homeowner and/or contractor to ensure all applicable permit inspections are performed. Please refer to your permit for information regarding which inspections are needed. For example, for cement work, the town requires pre-pour inspections, and final inspections. Normally, the response is one business day after the request is made. Please work inspections into your project timeline, and call the town before 4:00 PM to schedule your inspection for the next available business day.
 
FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH REQUIRED INSPECTIONS WILL RESULT IN YOU REMOVING THE IMPROVEMENTS MADE, SO APPROPRIATE INSPECTIONS CAN BE PROCESSED. VIOLATION NOTICES AND/OR TICKETS MAY ALSO BE ISSUED.
 
If an inspector finds that work does not conform to the approved plans, the inspector will fail the inspection and provide comments. Corrections will need to be made, and another inspection will be necessary before work is resumed.
 
Step 8 - Project Completion 
 
When the project is completed and code compliance is determined, the inspector issues a final inspection. The final inspection marks the completion of your project and grants permission to occupy a building with the knowledge that it has met the minimum safety standards as required by code. Final inspections may also be needed from multiple departments, including the Fire Department. 
 
Please note that the turn-around times for plan review may delay your project. Please include these times into your project timeline. Please plan for, and make arrangements for if your plans are rejected, and require re-submission. Once rejected, it is the owner’s responsibility to re-submit plans for review. Town staff is on hand to assist with this process, so at any time during your project, you have questions, we are here to assist!
 

When Permits are Required

Homeowners are required to obtain building permits for the following work, whether or not they are performing that work themselves:

  1. Replacing existing plumbing, such as tubs, toilets, and shower stalls;

  2. Any roof work other than replacing or repairing loose or missing shingles;

  3. Replacing kitchen cabinets or countertops;

  4. Replacing windows;

  5. Replacing door and frame combinations in existing openings;

  6. Replacing any door or window unit in any opening which must be altered;

  7. All concrete work including, but not limited to, sidewalks, stairs, patios, or garage aprons;

  8. Installing all or any new plumbing faucets, tubs, sinks, shower stalls, or toilets in any nonexisting area;

  9. Installing all or any new bathroom vanities or countertops, kitchen cabinets or countertops in any non-existing area;

  10. Any and all major remodeling;

  11. Any and all electrical work requiring new electric lines or circuits, to be installed by a contractor licensed and bonded to work in the town;

  12. Installing a new shingle roof or performing any work on a flat roof, including but not limited to hot tar or rubber membrane, must be installed or performed by a contractor licensed and bonded to work in the town;

  13. Any and all fences;

  14. Demolition;

  15. Chimney work;

  16. Swimming pools;

  17. Any and all decks;

  18. Any and all patios;

  19. Replacing soffits, facias, siding, and roofing;

  20. Installing new furnace or central air conditioning, which must be installed by a contractor licensed and bonded to work in the town;

  21. Reconverting illegal rooms or apartments;

  22. Flood control systems, which must be installed by a contractor licensed and bonded to work in the town;

  23. Generators with converters or with natural gas lines;

  24. Fireplaces, skylights, or hot tubs, which must be installed by a contractor licensed and bonded to work in the town;

  25. Attic fans; and

  26. Inside backwater valve for flood control, the town's water department must be contacted for a follow-up inspection.

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When Permits are Not Required

 

When a homeowner is performing work by himself, he is not required to obtain building permits for the following work (all work done by a contractor requires a building permit):

  1. Painting of house and garage, both the inside and the outside;

  2. Replacing a broken pane of glass in a window or a door;

  3. Installing rugs or carpeting;

  4. Sanding and finishing floors;

  5. Landscaping, including planting sod, grass, flowers, trees, shrubs, and installing an automatic sprinkler system;

  6. Installing wood floors, linoleum tile or ceramic tile flooring;

  7. Replacing existing plumbing, such as faucets and sinks;

  8. Repairing existing plumbing, such as faucets, sinks, tubs, toilets, and shower stalls;

  9. Installing shutoff valves;

  10. Repairing or replacing existing bathroom vanities and/or countertops;

  11. Replacing doors, including storm doors, screen doors, or overhead garage doors in existing openings;

  12. Minor patching of cement, including in sidewalks or stairways;

  13. Tuck-pointing;

  14. Fixing, repairing, or replacing gutters on a house or garage;

  15. Repairing drywall, plaster, or paneling on interior walls or ceilings;

  16. Installing a new hot water heater;

  17. Installing new awnings or canopies; however, the homeowner doing the work must submit a plan as to the size and design of the awning or canopy in order to ensure compliance with all other ordinances;

  18. Minor repairs of wooden porches, balconies, stairs, and steps;

  19. Minor repairs to fences;

  20. Changing, replacing, or repairing electric light switches, receptacles, or ceiling fans in existing hard wired, hand mounted boxes in single-family dwellings only;

  21. Installing GFIs in existing hard wired, hand mounted boxes, in single-family dwellings only;

  22. Replacing existing roof vent units; and

  23. Installing gas stove, dryer, or range to existing gas line.

*Please note, many homeowners go above and beyond “minor” repairs listed above, and therefore were required to obtain a building permit.  Please avoid problems from arising, by consulting with permit staff to see if your project meets the “minor” standard.  For example, you may consider replacing a fence post as being minor, but the town requires a pre-pour inspection for post holes, so you were required to obtain a permit.  The lesson here is, ask first!

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Permit Fees

Every homeowner is allowed up to $700.00 as a per year allowance for repairs for work that the homeowner is performing himself, up to which a building permit shall be given free of charge.

The homeowner is still required to apply for a building permit even if he has not exceeded the $700.00 allowance. The $700.00 allowance does not include work to be performed by contractors.

No permit fees shall be charged for installation of lifts for persons with disabilities. The contractor installing the lift for the disabled is required to apply for all necessary permits and submit to all necessary inspections; however, there will be no fee imposed for either the permit allowing the installation of such lift or for the inspection of the lift.

No permit fees established by Section 22-3(1), Section 22-3(2) or Section 22-3(3) of the Town of Cicero Code of Ordinances shall be charged to entities operating solely for charitable, religious or educational purposes, school districts, units of local government or other entities exempt from taxation as determined by the Internal Revenue Service. This shall not affect the imposition of any other applicable fee, including, but not limited to, plan examination fees, sprinkler review fees, electrical review fees and fire prevention review fees.

A fee for each plan examination, building permit and inspection shall be paid in accordance with the following schedule:

Residential structures. The building permit and inspection fee for residential structures shall be 1.5 percent of the cost of construction, but shall not be less than the minimum fees set forth in this section. The applicant shall submit to the building commissioner a notarized affidavit attesting to the cost of construction and a copy of any contract for the work to be performed at the time the application for a building permit is filed.

Commercial structures. The building permit and inspection fee for commercial structures shall be one percent of the cost of construction, but shall not be less than the minimum fees set forth in this section. Structures having both commercial and residential uses shall be charged at the rate set forth for commercial structures. The applicant shall submit to the building commissioner a notarized affidavit attesting to the cost of construction and a copy of any contract for the work to be performed at the time the application for a building permit is filed.

Minimum fees. Minimum fees shall be as follows:

Air conditioning work $50.00
Antenna installation $50.00
Asphalt work $50.00
Carpentry $50.00
Cement work $50.00
Demolition and wrecking $150.00
Drywall installation $50.00
Electrical work $50.00
Fencing $50.00
Garage door (overhead) installation $50.00
Glazing $50.00
Gutter hanging $50.00
Heating work $50.00
Masonry $50.00
Plastering and lathing $50.00
Plumbing $50.00
Refrigeration installation $50.00
Roofing $50.00
Siding $50.00
Steel work, including lintels $50.00
Windows, storm $25.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Demolition and Wrecking Permits. Before the Town will issue any permit for demolition or wrecking work, the individual or entity requesting the permit must provide the Town with adequate proof that the individual or entity requesting the permit owns the property to be demolished or wrecked. In the event that the name of the applicant is different than the name of the owner of said property, the Town shall deny the request for a permit. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the applicant is applying for a demolition permit at the request of the owner of the property to be demolished or wrecked and if the Town receives a notarized affidavit from the owner stating that the owner of the property has authorized the demolition and wrecking permit to be filed on his, her or its behalf, then the Town may issue the permit.

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Property Maintenance

 

Each year, The Town of Cicero Building Department conducts a Property Maintenance Program.  Designated Inspectors will perform exterior inspections of every property in the Town of Cicero.  If Code Violations are found, the owner will be notified of those violations on a “Property Maintenance Inspection” Form.   THIS FORM IS NOT A TICKET!!!  This form is a friendly notice that code violations have been identified on your property; and instead of issuing a ticket, you have received this notice.  Each property will be given a timeline to correct the repairs.  In the event the repairs are not completed, the owner may be issued a ticket, fine, and a court date.

Besides this routine Property Maintenance Program, this Division also responds to complaints from residents, reporting Code Compliance Violations.  If you know of a violation, you are asked to report it to the Town of Cicero Building Department for investigation.

Fines, and court dates can be avoided by complying with the notice in a timely manner.  Should additional time be required of you to complete the repairs, you should call the Building Department, and speak to the inspector who issued the notice, and see if an extension can be granted.

Some common items you should check around your property to avoid getting a Property Maintenance Report include but are not limited to:

  • Make sure your home and garage have address numbers posted
  • Make sure your home/garage window frames, door and door frames, eves, and soffits do not have chipped or cracked paint
  • Make sure your windows have screens, and they are not torn.
  • Make sure your homes porch/steps are maintained and are free from rotted wood and cracked or peeling paint (deteriorated concrete if applicable)
  • Make sure your gutters and downspouts are free from chipped and/or cracked paint our properties tuck pointing (if applicable) is sound and color matched
  • Make sure your home’s siding (if applicable) is free of chipped or cracked paint
  • Make sure your lawn is maintained and cut
  • Make sure your sidewalks are free from cracks
  • Make sure your fences/gates are maintained and are not falling, rotting, rusting, etc…
  • Make sure your property is free of “Soft Ground Parking”

The Town of Cicero consists primarily of older homes, which require maintenance on an ongoing basis.  A little preventative maintenance each year, will allow you to avoid getting notices from the Town of Cicero, and will help you preserve a higher quality of life, and extend the life of your property.   For most of us, our home is our largest investment, and routine maintenance of that investment helps preserve the value and will help maintain the quality of our neighborhoods. 

The Town of Cicero Building Commissioner recommends that you walk your property at least once a month to look for potential items that may require your attention.   Make a checklist of items, similar to those items above, as a guide to your own property maintenance.  Maintaining your lawn on a weekly basis will also ensure no overgrown weed/grass tickets are issued (make sure to trim overgrowth in alley.  If you ever have questions regarding property maintenance, you can contact the Building Department, and ask to speak to your Property Maintenance Inspector.

The Town of Cicero Building Department promotes voluntary compliance (meaning the owner does the work prior to be issued a ticket); but sometimes this isn’t possible.  As a last resort, The Town of Cicero will issue tickets to non-compliant home-owners.  However there are instances, where tickets are issued immediately to ensure compliance, the building inspector on the scene will make that determination.  You will need to follow the instructions on the ticket issued to obtain compliance.

For any questions regarding a property maintenance report, or ticket you have received, or to report a property in violation, please contact the Building Department.

 

Buying & Selling a Property

 

If you are buying and/or selling a home, this is a “transfer” of real estate.  The Town of Cicero also defines “transfer” as:

Transfer means any conveyance of real property, whether by deed, articles of agreement for deed, or assignment of the beneficial interest under a land trust; any transaction in which real property is used as collateral for a loan; and any transaction in which a present beneficiary is added to a land trust. 

When you transfer a property in the Town of Cicero, there are two (2) main items that must be completed:

  1. Purchase Real Estate Transfer Stamps, and
  2. Obtain a Certificate of Compliance (the property is in compliance with all applicable building codes and Town Ordinances).

Real Estate Transfer Stamps are required for ALL Transfers in the Town of Cicero, even exempt transactions.  The Certificate of Compliance is required for all non-exempt transactions.  

Exempt transfers include but may not be limited to:

  • Transfers of title made with tax deeds, sheriff's deeds, or other transfers made pursuant to orders issued by local, county, state or federal courts, 
  • Transfers involving only vacant land,
  • Transfers not resulting in any additional party acquiring an ownership interest or a present beneficial interest in the real property.
    • Exempt transfers do not require inspections or a Certificate of Compliance.

The Compliance Process involves:

  • An inspection of the property being transferred by a Town of Cicero Building Inspector,
  • The owner receives a list of all items not in compliance with the Town’s Code, and 
  • The requirement to bring the property into Code Compliance, before the Certificate of Compliance is issued.

Please use this informational brochure as guidance through the transfer process.  In no way is this brochure all inclusive, and you should always consult with Town of Cicero Building Department Compliance Staff while working through this process.  Please allow ample time for this process, as multiple items will be reviewed during the course of the process.

 

There are three ways to sell/transfer a home in Cicero:

  1. With a Current Certificate of Compliance (meaning the seller has already brought the property up to code compliance, and
  2. “As-Is” Sale, where the buyer of the property assumes the responsibility of bringing the property into code compliance, and will obtain a Certificate of Compliance.  
  3. Exempt Transaction

 

Certificate of Compliance Process and “As-Is” Sale

Step 1 – Preliminary Information

A visit or telephone call to the Town of Cicero Building Department will provide you with the information necessary to make your transfer of real estate progress smoothly and to avoid potential problems which could cost you time and money.  Be prepared to discuss your transaction with compliance staff who will ask you questions such as “What type of transaction are you planning on doing?” and “How many units does the property consist of?”  When at the Building Department counter or on phone with staff, you should also ask if the property being transferred has any outstanding debt to the town; all debt must be paid prior to transferring the property.

Fax or Email Payoff Requests (to expedite process) to:

708-656-9708

kcalderon@thetownofcicero.com

 

Step 2 - Compliance Application & Zoning Form

While at the Building Department, you will be required to complete:

  1. Certificate of Compliance Application
    1. The Compliance Application will ask you to complete some basic information required to process the request:
  2. “who” is the seller(s)/ grantor(s)
  3. “who” is the buyer(s)/ grantee (s)
  4. “who” is the Broker, Loan Officer, Attorney representing this transaction
  5. Zoning Request Form.
    1. The Zoning Request form asks for basic information, to verify the property is in compliance with the Town’s Zoning Ordinances.  

These two (2) documents are required prior to beginning the compliance review process.  You may pick up both the Compliance Application and Zoning Request Form at the Town of Cicero Building Department (Sorry applications cannot be faxed or e-mailed at this time).

Also, please remember to include contact information for all above mentioned parties, so staff can contact you if needed, and to schedule any required inspections.   

Some other important documents that may be required include but are not limited to:

  • Real Estate Listing Sheet,
  • Signed Contract from all parties,
  • Zoning Clearance, 
  • Copy of Death Certificate
  • Copy of Executor of Estate
  • Copy of Probate Papers
  • Copy of Trust Agreement (page that is stipulating Person(s) name on Agreement)

 

Step 3- Paying for and Scheduling Inspections 

At the time of application for an inspection, the initial inspection fees are due.   Certified Funds, Money Orders, Personal Check, or Cash is acceptable payable to the “Town of Cicero”.  The inspection fee schedule is as follows:

 

Residential Property:

Single family.......................................... $50.00

Two Units.............................................. $70.00

For each additional units....................... $20.00

Empty Lots with Accessory Structures.. $35.00

 

Commercial & Industrial properties:

For properties up to an including 5,000 square feet......   $100.00

For each additional square foot over 5,000 add.............. $0.01

 

Also, if the property is “Vacant” there are additional requirements and fees (See Vacant Building Section):

Vacant Building Registration Fee……..$200.00

 

*Please note an Electrical inspection is required by our Town Electrical Inspector 

for residential properties over (3) three units, all Commercial, and Industrial properties.

 

*Please schedule your inspection at least 30 days before proposed closing to avoid any delay in transfer.

 

Step 4 – Review Process

Once the property has been inspected the review process begins.  During the review process, your compliance application will be reviewed by multiple people.  Town staff will determine if your compliance inspection shows your property is up to code with the building code(s), the zoning ordinances, and other town ordinances. The length of the review process will depend on the condition of each property.  Please keep in mind that you may be contacted for more information if needed.

If violations are found, they will be documented on the Compliance Inspection Report.  This report will be used by either the buyer (see Escrow Process below) or the seller, to obtain the Certificate of Compliance.  All violations listed on the Application, will need to be corrected prior to the issuance of the Certificate of Compliance.  The Compliance Inspection Report is NOT a Building Permit.  Please consult with Building Department Staff to determine what work will require a separate Building Permit.

 

Step 5 – Process to comply for violations:

If the seller is not selling as-is, the violations identified on the Compliance Application will need to be corrected by the seller prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Compliance and Real Estate Transfer Stamps.  The seller is required to provide all required submissions, and ensure all work required on the Application is completed.  Please see our Permit requirements for information on work requiring a permit.  

 

Step 5a– Escrow Process Approval (Optional)

Property Transfers sold either as an “as is” transaction, a short sale, or forecloses must adhere to the following submissions and/or requirements:

  • Must summit original seller’s letter signed and notarized stipulating that the property will be sold “as is” and reasoning for such transaction.
  • Must summit original buyer(s) letter signed and notarized acknowledging the obligation to comply with all the repairs after closing.
  • All debt to the Town of Cicero must be paid before the Repair Agreement and Escrow is approved.
  • A Repair Agreement must be approved by the Building Commissioner in order to process “As-Is” transfers.  The Escrow Deposit Fees are as follows:
    • 1-Unit: $   500 plus a non-refundable filing fee of $100
    • 2-Unit: $1,000 plus a non-refundable filing fee of $100
    • 3-Unit: $1,500 plus a non-refundable filing fee of $100
    • 4-Units and above, Mixed Use, and Commercial: Requires Estimate from Licensed and Bonded General Contractor in the Town of Cicero.
      • Escrow Deposit will be 10% the total cost of the estimate (Minimum $1,500) plus a non-refundable filing fee of $100

 

Step 6 – Completion of Repairs and Issuance of a Certificate of Compliance:

When the Compliance repairs are completed and meet code, you must schedule the inspector to do a final inspection.  The initial inspection fees include your first and last inspections.  Any inspections over this amount will be charged separately (this includes missed inspections), and payment is required prior to issuing Certificate of Compliance.

Multiple affidavits will be required to be signed.  Please consult with Compliance Staff on these affidavits.

Once verified and approved, the Building Commissioner will issue a Certificate of Compliance, and a refund of the escrow deposit will be processed (if work was done in a timely manner per the repair agreement/approved extensions) (if applicable). The final inspection marks the completion of your project and grants permission to occupy a building with the knowledge that it has met the minimum safety standards as required by code.

 

Vacant Properties

The Town of Cicero was negatively affected by the Foreclosure Crisis that has spread through the Nation.  The Town, due to the extreme devastation of this crisis qualified as an Entitlement Community for Neighborhood Stabilization funds through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Due to this crisis, vacant and abandoned properties increased substantially, creating a nuisance to the Town of Cicero, leading to the adoption of a Vacant Building Ordinance:  Sec. 22-611 of the Town Code.  

The Ordinance, 

  • Establishes a program for the identification, registration and regulation of Buildings that are vacant or that become vacant on and after the effective date of this Article; and 
  • Determines the responsibilities of Owners of Vacant Buildings; and
  • Provides for the administration, the enforcement, which includes abating Public Nuisances, and the imposition of penalties for violations of this Article. 

 

This program involves the following fees:

Vacant Building Registration Fee……..$200.00

 

Any Premises where a Vacant Building is located and for which inspection fees or registration fees imposed pursuant to this Article have not been paid in full is not eligible for Town real estate transfer tax stamps. 

Vacant Building Registration Forms can be received at the Building Department.  The forms clearly outline all requirements of the owners of vacant properties. Vacant Properties should be registered as soon as they are vacant, as a failure to register does not bypass this process.

An Owner of a Building determined by the Building Commissioner to be a Vacant Building may appeal that determination to the Vacant Building Appeals Committee. Such appeal shall be in writing and shall be filed with the Vacant Building Appeals Committee within 15 calendar days of the date of the mailing of the notice of determination. 

An Owner who wishes to challenge applicability of this Article to his or her Building without the Building Commissioner's determination having been made, shall set forth specific facts to support the non-applicability in writing to the Building Commissioner. In the event the Building Commissioner determines that the subject Building is a Vacant Building, the Owner shall have the right to appeal the Building Commissioner's determination to the Vacant Building Appeals Committee, as provided for herein.

Forms for both the Appeal of Determination and the Challenge of Applicability are available in the Building Department.  When submitting, please provide as much documentation to support your appeal and/or challenge.  

 

Real Estate Transfer Tax Stamps Process - Regular Transactions*

 

The following documents are required to be submitted and reviewed before transfer stamps are issued:

  • Completed Town of Cicero Transfer Tax Form  (available at Building Department)
  • State and County forms (PTAX FORMS), originals or copies 
  • ORIGINAL deed (We affix stamps)
  • Proof of final paid water bill, valid for 72 hours prior to purchasing transfer stamps.
  • All debt must be paid prior to the issuance of any transfer or exempt stamps.  
  • Certificate of Compliance is required (or a copy of the approved Escrow Repair Agreement with the Town of Cicero for As-Is Transfers)
  • All required buyers affidavits signed and notarized by all purchasers which must be submitted prior to issuance of a certificate of compliance and transfer stamps.
  • Transfer tax rate is $10 per $1,000.00
    • (Only attorney’s check, money order, certified checks, cashier's check accepted for this transaction.  NO CASH OR PERSONAL CHECKS)

*Other items may be needed depending on type of transfer – see Compliance Staff for more information

 

Real Estate Transfer Tax Stamps Process - Exempt Transactions**

  • Completed Town of Cicero Transfer Tax Form  (available at Building Department)
  • Town of Cicero Exempt Transaction affidavit signed and notarized
  • ORIGINAL deed or document to be recorded (We affix stamps)
  • Certificate of Compliance is required (or a copy of an approved Escrow Agreement with the Town of Cicero).  (not needed if dropping a name of title only)  
  • Final paid water bill, valid 72 hours prior to purchasing exempt stamp OR zero water balance if dropping an entity off title only. 
  • All debt must be paid prior to the issuance of any transfer or exempt stamps.  
  • Copy of an old deed or title commitment/policy necessary under certain transactions.
  • Exempt fee is $50.00 per transaction
    • (Only attorney’s check, money order, certified checks, cashier's check accepted for this transaction. NO CASH OR PERSONAL CHECKS)

** Other items may be needed depending on type of transfer – see Compliance Staff for more information

 

Transfer Stamps can be obtained in the Building Department

4949 W. Cermak Road (Second Floor)

Monday – Thursday

9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Closed Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Certain Holidays

 

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