February 17, 2024

Deerfield, Chicago suburb, nixes warehouse development


The board of trustees of the village of Deerfield, Illinois, a northern suburb of Chicago, have amended the village’s zoning code to prohibit logistics centers, fulfillment centers and motor freight terminals for parking and movement, according to published reports.

The Chicago Tribune quoted Andrew Lichterman, the deputy village manager, stating that the zoning amendments make it “abundantly clear” that warehouse and distribution centers are prohibited within Deerfield.

The zoning changes are expected to be finalized on Feb. 20, according to published reports.

Located about 28 miles from downtown Chicago, Deerfield is an affluent community with virtually no industrial development. It has been insulated from the industrial sprawl in suburban Chicago — sprawl that is now getting resistance from local communities and governments concerned about pollution, noise and traffic congestion. Deerfield’s ban is designed to prevent empty or underutilized office buildings from being converted into industrial facilities, largely to manage the increased flow of e-commerce.

In a memo to the mayor and board of trustees, Deerfield’s Plan Commission said the conversion of office parks to industrial centers has “suburban areas faced with increased truck traffic and related adverse impacts” such as increased risk to smaller vehicles and pedestrians, increased maintenance, traffic congestion and elevated emissions, according to a report in the publication GlobeSt.

Last year, amid increased community pushback, developer Bridge International withdrew an application to annex, rezone and redevelop medical and hospital equipment maker Baxter International’s corporate campus in Deerfield into an industrial park. Bridge had planned to spend $100 million for the 101-acre corporate complex.

Baxter subsequently pulled the property off the market and said it would continue to occupy the site.


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