Plan Commission


In 1926, the Lake Forest City Council adopted an ordinance establishing the Plan Commission to oversee subdivisions of land and matters related to zoning, including the following:

  • Review requests for subdivision of land and zone changes
  • Reviews proposed amendments to the Zoning Code, Subdivision Chapter of the City Code and the Comprehensive Plan.
  • Reviews and holds public hearings on requests for Special Use Permits related to
    • Community institutions such as churches, schools and the hospital
    • Development within the City’s Transitional and Business Zoning Districts.
  • Reviews special areas of study as assigned by the City Council

The Commission is comprised of seven members, nominated by the Caucus and appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council. All members are residents of Lake Forest and each member may serve three, two-year terms.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Review background material prepared by city staff (see Procedures and Process, below)
  • Visit the sites on the meeting agenda
  • Consider all testimony presented at the public meeting
  • Deliberate in an open forum


  • Lake Forest resident
  • Financial aptitude
  • Strategic planning skills
  • General knowledge of how the city works

Procedures and Process

One of the first steps for a petitioner is to determine whether a project will require Plan Commission (PC) review.  Petitioners are encouraged to schedule a pre-application meeting with City’s planning staff of the Community Development early in a project’s design phase.  Staff will identify issues or concerns that may arise as well as provide direction on the required process.  If the application is referred to the PC, the following steps will take place in the approximately 45 days between the application and the PC meeting.

  • The application will be reviewed for completeness by city staff.  The petitioner is notified of any additional materials or needed clarification.
  • Once complete, the item will be placed on the agenda for the next PC meeting.
  • Staff from various City departments will review the application and visit the site.
  • The city will mail notification of the petition to neighboring residents
  • A staff recommendation will be prepared for consideration by the PC.  The recommendation, along with the materials provided by the petitioner, will be delivered to the Commission members in advance.  Copies of the staff recommendation will be available to the petitioner and members of the public before the meeting at the Community Development Department.

PC members review the package of materials and staff recommendations prior to the meeting and will typically will go out to view the property and the surrounding community.

At the meeting, the PC members will hear a presentation from the petitioners and their representatives, listen to issues identified by the City Staff, ask questions and invite comments from the petitioner and members of the public.

After discussion, the PC will make a recommendation to the city council.  In some cases, the petition may be referred to a subcommittee to expedite the process.  After the petition receives final approval, either as submitted or with modifications, the petitioner may submit a complete building permit application to the Community Development Department.  Upon review and approval of the final plans, a permit will be issued to allow the project to begin.

Time Commitment

  • The Plan Commission meets the second Wednesday of the month at City Hall.
  • The average monthly time commitment is 8 to 10 hours.


Link to City website Plan Commission