International Women’s Month: Celebrating Women Business Owners

March marks the celebration of International Women’s Month, a time to recognize women’s incredible achievements and contributions. At Birchwood Law, we also take this opportunity to put the spotlight on women business owners, celebrating their successes and highlighting the positive impact they bring to the business landscape every single day. As advocates for women in […]

Non-Conforming Structures and Uses

Navigating regulations is crucial for property owners and developers, especially when dealing with non-conforming uses and structures. Non-conforming use refers to a previously legally permitted use that is no longer allowed due to a change in the zoning regulations. For example, a retail use that was permitted when originally established but now is not due […]

Our #1 Zoning Tip for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are known for their imaginative and forward-thinking outlook. However, the world of zoning can be limiting and bleak. When new ideas or multiple uses are proposed, even the best-intentioned government officials and planning staff may struggle to understand how the proposal fits within the existing perimeters of the zoning ordinance and other relevant regulations. […]

How Do You Prove Hardship?

When a property owner applies for a variation (a deviation from a zoning requirement), they must demonstrate that they face a particular hardship that makes it impossible or excessively burdensome to comply with the strict letter of the law. Informally, “hardship” refers to the criteria for reviewing variation applications. When requesting a variation, one of […]

Award-Winning Actor Seeks a Special Use Permit for a Farm

Actor Richard Gere, famous for his roles in films such as “Pretty Woman” and “Chicago,” has purchased the former property of Paul Simon at 82 Brookwood Lane in New Canaan, CT. Gere and his wife, Alejandra Silva, seek a special use permit to allow farming as an accessory use as they plan to transform 27 […]

Business Licensing and Zoning

Starting a new business is exciting, but it often comes with its fair share of administrative hurdles. During the planning stages, it’s important to identify all necessary zoning and business licensing requirements that will allow your business to legally operate. Sometimes, novice business owners come to us for assistance with zoning and licensing only after […]

DIY Zoning

Every year, property owners find themselves in situations where they need zoning relief for a simple project, but they have to weigh the costs of retaining professional services to assist with the zoning process. In some cases, due to financial constraints, property owners choose to go through the zoning process on their own. Although it’s […]

We Provide Interpreter Services

One of the reasons why we love Chicagoland is because of its cultural diversity. So many immigrants come here to make their American dream a reality. For many, this includes starting a business. We believe in empowering immigrant entrepreneurs and business owners because we know what it takes to leave the familiar and embark into […]

Join Our Team!

Job Title: Land Use & Zoning Attorney Position Type: Part-Time Company: Birchwood Law LLC About Us: Birchwood Law is a boutique law firm serving clients in Cook, Lake, and DuPage County in Illinois. We exclusively focus on land use, zoning, municipal law, and litigation. We represent property owners, businesses, real estate developers, and investors on […]