Zoning Requirements for Residential Districts

The Wheaton Zoning Ordinance regulates the size and location of all structures and uses. The zoning map is available at City Hall or on the City’s website. For complete information on zoning requirements or for information on zoning districts not listed here, see the Zoning Ordinance or call the Planning Department at 630-260-2080.

NOTE:

  • Regulations listed below apply to principal structure (house), attached garages, porches, decks, patios, roofed- over stairs, and un-roofed over stairs over four feet above average grade.
  • Northside Residential Overlay District regulations supersede the normal zoning requirements, as noted.
  • Accessory structures (detached garages & sheds) are subject to different setback and size requirements but are included in the “Floor Area Ratio” and “Lot Coverage” calculations as noted.
  • All other accessory uses (recreational equipment, pools, hot tubs, etc.) follow different setback and size regulations.
Minimum Setback Requirements
Front Yard

(Corner lots: Shortest lot line along street is always the front yard; rear yard is opposite front yard.)
Interior Lots: Not less than the average of the existing setbacks of buildings on the two abutting lots. If abutting a vacant lot, use setback at next abutting lot.

Corner Lots: Not less than the average of the existing setback of the building on the abutting lot and the normal zoning requirement (R-1/R-2: 40 ft.; R-3/R-4: 30 ft.); but in no case less than the existing setback of the building on the abutting lot.
Corner Side Yard
Not less than the average of the existing setback of the building on the abutting lot and the normal zoning requirement (20 ft.; however if no more than two lots on block face the street, 12 ft.); but in no case less than interior side yard requirement.
Interior Side Yards (Per Side)
Principal Structure up to 30 feet tall to roof peak:
1 or 1½ story portions: 8% of the lot width or 10 feet, whichever is less.
2 story portions: 14% of the lot width or 15 feet, whichever is less.
    (Note: Lot width is measured at front yard setback line)


Principal Structure between 30 & 35 feet tall to roof peak:
40% of building height or 25 feet, whichever is less.
Rear Yard
25 feet
Permitted Encroachments into Setbacks
Chimneys/ Overhangs
2 feet in all yards for bay windows, balconies, eaves, chimneys, gutters, downspouts.
Northside Residential Overlay District Only
Unenclosed front porches can encroach 8 feet into required front yard.
Non-conforming side or rear walls may be extended provided that: (1) The encroachment does not extend beyond the existing building line into the respective yard, and (2) No other new non-conformities are created or increased.
Maximum Building Size Requirements
Building Height
2½ story or 35 feet (measured from grade to roof peak), whichever is less. Half story is a partial story under a sloping roof, where the floor area of 4 ft. clearance (floor to rafters, finished or unfinished) is 60% or less of the floor area of the story immediately below.
Lot Coverage
33.3% of the lot area

Percentage of a lot, when view from above, covered by buildings/roofed structures, excluding open steps, terraces and cornices projecting not more than 30 inches.
Floor Area Ratio
 (FAR)

40% of the lot area; obtained through dividing the Gross Floor Area of a building or buildings by the total area of the lot.

Gross Floor Area: Sum of the horizontal areas of buildings measured from exterior faces of exterior walls, without deduction for hallways, stairs, closets, thickness of walls, columns, and shall also include the following:

  1. A basement or cellar having more than three and one-half (3½) feet in height above adjacent grade around fifty percent (50%) or more of the basement perimeter.
  2. In the case of a basement or cellar not fitting the description of subsection 1 above, but having normal direct access to the outside not through another floor, one-half (½) of the basement or cellar area shall be included.
  3. An attic, the space between the ceiling beams of the top story and the roof rafters, which has a fixed stairway as a means of access and a height of seven and one-third (7⅓) feet above the attic floor.
  4. Interior balconies and mezzanines.
  5. Enclosed porches and sun rooms.
  6. Roofed-over decks, patios, porches, and stairs.*
  7. Unroofed decks, patios, porches, and stairs over four (4) feet above the average grade of adjoining ground.
  8. All square footage in excess of five hundred (500) square feet in any detached or attached garage or other accessory structure.*

*The following apply in the Northside Residential Overlay District only:

  1. Floor Area of an unenclosed, roofed front porch, up to 250 square feet, shall be excluded from the gross floor area calculation.
  2. In lieu of Number 8 above:
    1. Detached Garages: When located entirely beyond the principal building in the rear yard, up to 500 square feet of the garage can be excluded from the gross floor area.
    2. Attached Side or Rear Loaded Garages: When located at or behind the front façade of the principal building, up to 250 square feet of the garage can be excluded from the gross floor area.
    3. Front Loaded Garages: All square footage included in the gross floor area.
  3. Volume spaces: Any space with a floor to ceiling height of between 12 and 24 feet shall be counted as two floors. Any space with a floor to ceiling height of more than 24 feet shall be counted as three floors.

Revised 5/7/2007