A few weeks ago, the city's epic plan to revitalize several South Side neighborhoods went to the Chicago Plan Commission and passed. The proposal dubbed Green Healthy Neighborhoods had a litany of measures to bring new investment and development to the area, including major streetscape improvements and adding a plethora of new park/green spaces to the Englewood, Woodlawn, and Washington Park neighborhoods. However, at the Plan Commission, an addition to the proposal was revealed for the first time, which included the city's Large Lot Program, a measure that would allow Englewood homeowners to purchase empty city-owned lots on their block for only $1.
First of all, the city isn't just handing these lots out. Well sort of. However, there is an application process, and according to the language on the city's website, residents who want to purchase a city owned lot for $1 must already own property on the same block. And an Englewood resident can purchase up to two lots total according to the program.
The whole thing seems a bit confusing, but there's where neighborhood nonprofit organization LISC-Chicago's new website, $1 Large Lots comes in. The website has a map tool that shows where all of the $1 lots are located - and there are a lot of them. When a lot has been selected on the map, a Google Streetview image is shown, along with other info including the size of the parcel, its address, zoning and Ward. From there, the site directs folks to all of the necessary forms to download and complete, and the final steps for submission.
Rahm has been putting a lot of stock into dollar lot programs lately, with this recent measure for Englewood, and the one for Humboldt Park that was passed by the City Council in February. Once the Englewood lots have all been scooped up, the city expects that residents hang on to them for several years and put them to good use. According to the city's website, those who complete the process successfully "must maintain ownership of lots purchased through the program for at least five years".
· $1 Large Lots [LISC-Chicago]
· Large Lot Program [City of Chicago]
· Epic City Proposal to Revitalize South Side Neighborhoods Moving Forward [Curbed Chicago]
· Previous Chicago Dollar Menu coverage [Curbed Chicago]