Alderman Santiago represents 31st Ward constituents in a proactive manner, with professionalism, transparency, and accountability. To that end, she formed the 31st Ward Zoning Advisory Council (ZAC), to provide advice on zoning, land use and place-making. The ZAC consists of 31st Ward residents and property owners, non-profit organizations, Ward-based businesses, and land use professionals such as lawyers, architects, and urban planners.
The Alderman applies a fair review of every request for a zoning change or variance, planned development, special use permit, or approval of a private project that involves the Affordable Requirements Ordinance or TIF funds. Below is the step-by-step process:
- Complete the 31st Ward Zoning and Land Use Change Application.
- Email the completed form to Zaida Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Call Ms. Hernandez at 773-278-0031 to schedule an appointment with the Alderman.
- Meet with Alderman Santiago to discuss the proposal.
- Present the proposal to the ZAC, and respond to questions and recommendations.
- Wait for a timely response from the Alderman.
- If asked by the Alderman to significantly modify the proposal, meet again with the Alderman and the ZAC to discuss the updated proposal.
- Present the proposal at a community meeting.
- If asked by the Alderman to significantly modify the proposal after the community meeting, meet again with the Alderman and the ZAC to discuss the updated proposal.
- Wait for a timely response from the Alderman, who always makes the final decision.
- If approved, the Alderman will forward necessary paperwork to all relevant parties.
- The Alderman will issue a public statement announcing her decision and the reasons for that decision via e-mail, 31st Ward web site, newsletter, or other media.
 A description of the role and application to be a ZAC member may be found at www.AldermanSantiago.com/zoning_advisory_council_info
 Notices, including a brief description of the proposal, are sent to members in advance of the meeting and are posted on Alderman Santiago’s Council web site. Unless there are no pending matters, the Council meets on the second Thursday of every month, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the 31st Ward Office, 2521 N Pulaski Rd.
 Generally, the Alderman will contact the proponent within one week of the relevant ZAC meeting.
 On all but routine proposals, the Alderman will refer the matter to the affected community for input at a community meeting. Community meetings are publicized and presided over by the Alderman. The proponent presents his or her proposal, and the community is given an opportunity to ask questions and offer comments.
 The Alderman will determine whether a follow-up community meeting is needed.
 Generally, the Alderman will contact the proponent within one week of the community meeting or the submission of a proposal modified upon request by the Alderman. The role of the ZAC is purely advisory. The Alderman at all times reserves the right to make the final decision.