Chicago’s new 2nd Ward has boundaries, outlined in bright green above, that only Chicago Aldermen could love. And only an alderman can love the near-boundless power that’s granted him by custom over new developments in his ward. Everyone else just needs to learn to live with the uncertainty and increased costs that accompany the existence of that power.
Developers have learned to live with, if not to like, this aldermanic privilege. Greg Hinz at Chicago Business spells out the consequences for a proposed apartment tower at Clark and Division when changes in ward boundaries result in a new alderman’s having veto power over the development. It’s a must-read if you want to understand one of the reasons for the high cost of building a new high-rise in Chicago.