FAQ

Building Inspections and Permits

When do I need a permit?

Permits are required for most property improvement projects.  Permits are generally required for any work that is regulated by the building, electrical, plumbing, fire, or zoning codes.  Work requiring permits include, but not limited to: remodels, additions, siding, gutters and downspouts, garages, masonry repairs, roofing work, tuckpointing, porches, decks, patios, sidewalks, driveways, aprons, windows, stairs, railings, parking pads, drywall replacement, HVAC work, electrical work, plumbing work, and fences.  Painting and wall covering, flooring, trim work, and minor repairs under $500 do not require building permits.  For detailed information on submittal requirements for permits and related fees, please visit the Documents and Forms section.

Why should I get a permit?

A permit is legal authority to begin a project and provides the benefit of inspections, which help ensure a project meets accepted minimum standards for safety and durability. Inspections are performed at various stages of a project to ensure compliance with construction codes. Compliance with local codes reduces risks to a level considered acceptable by construction trade organizations, product manufacturers, and insurance companies.

How do I get a permit

In order to receive a permit, you must submit a complete Building Permit Application at Village Hall.  You will be asked to provide detailed construction information, including drawings, details, and/or a plat of survey.  All contractors and subcontractors doing work in Brookfield must be licensed and registered with the Village.  Please visit the Building and Planning Forms section for Permit and Contractor License Forms.

How long does it take to get a permit?

Permits are not issued the same day they are received.  Permits are reviewed in the order in which they are received.  Most permits are reviewed within 3 to 7 business days of submittal.  Large projects may take additional time.

Do I need a permit for a dumpster?

Dumpsters or containers (like storage PODs) require a permit.  There are also special regulations if the dumpster or container will be obstructing the public way.  Please review the Dumpster/Container Ordinance under Documents and Forms.  There you can also find the Fee Schedule, Dumpster/Container Permit Application, and a list of the Dumpster/Container companies that are currently registered with the Village.  Any company delivering a dumpster or container to a property in the Village of Brookfield must be registered and licensed with the Village of Brookfield.  If you are ordering a dumpster or container from a company that is not on the updated list, have them contact the Building and Planning Department at (708) 485-7344 option 3.

General Questions

Do I have to license my pet?

Effective January 1, 2016, Brookfield animal licenses are no longer required.  Please keep in mind that you still must adhere to all vaccination requirements for your pet.

What are the requirements and regulations for garage sales?

Effective January 1, 2016, a permit is no longer required for a garage sale.  However, regulations for garage sales are still in place.

Garage sales are limited to three consecutive days and only two sales are allowed per person per calendar year.  Sales may only be held between the hours of 9 am and 6 pm.  Signs are permitted only on the private property at the address where the sale is being held.  Failure to comply with garage sale regulations may result in a fine of up to $25.

Planning and Zoning

What is Zoning?

The Village of Brookfield Zoning Ordinance establishes land use classifications and regulates land use, intensity, and bulk in order to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the community, and to protect neighborhood character and sustainability.

Where can I get zoning information?

The Village’s Zoning Ordinance is available online and may be found in Chapter 62 of the Village Code. For zoning classifications, please visit the Documents and Forms page and download the Zoning Map. For more information about zoning regulations, please contact the Building and Planning Department at (708) 485-7344 option 3.

What is the 2020 Master Plan?

The 2020 Master Plan, adopted in 2004, is a document that serves as a guide for redevelopment in commercial areas throughout the Village.  The 2020 Master Plan is not a blueprint, but a tool, that the Village utilizes to outline the Village’s community and economic development goals, prioritize community and economic development initiatives, and explore various development opportunities.  Please visit the Documents and Forms page to download the 2020 Master Plan.

Police Department

Who do I call when my power goes out?

Call ComEd at 1-800-334-7661

If I am unable to move my vehicle in time for street cleaning or snow removal, what are my options?

Unfortunately we cannot give special consideration.  If a ticket is issued, contact the police department – records division for your options.

Do I need to purchase a vehicle sticker even when if I do not park on the street?

Yes – for further explanation refer to the Village Code of Ordinances on the Village website, Section 54-325.

How do I request a copy of my police report?

You may fill out a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request at the Police Department, or e-mail the police department a request for information you are looking for.  Illinois State Statute allows five (5) business days to fulfill the request.

What are my options upon receiving a parking ticket?

Pay the Fine – pay the initial fine within ten (10) days of issuance; after the ten days a late fee of $15.00 is assessed.

Contest the Ticket – You may contest the ticket by contacting the police department either in person or by telephone (708) 485-8131 and request a hearing date for local adjudication.

Contest the Ticket in Writing – Write a brief explanation as to why you believe the ticket should be dismissed.  Include the ticket number, name, address and telephone number.  A decision will then be mailed to you.

How many unpaid tickets must I have before a Denver Boot is placed on my vehicle?

Five (5) unpaid tickets will cause your vehicle to be booted.

How many unpaid tickets will cause my driver’s license to be suspended?

Ten (10) unpaid tickets will cause the police department to contact the Secretary of State for suspension of your driver’s license.

What is the curfew law in Brookfield?

Curfew for all persons 16 years old and younger applies as follows:  Sunday through Thursday 10:30pm through 6:00am.  Friday and Saturday 11:30pm through 6:00am.

Can I turn over a firearm to the police department that I no longer want or inherit?

Yes, you may bring the firearm to the police department if you no longer want it.  An inventory receipt will be issued to you and after thirty (30) days it will be disposed according to State Statute.

Property Maintenance

I received a hang tag on my door that says “notice of violation.”  What does this mean and what am I supposed to do?

The Village regularly conducts property maintenance inspections to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the community.  You may receive a “hang tag” from one of our inspectors informing you of a property maintenance violation.  If you receive a “hang tag,” make arrangements to correct the code violation within the given time frame.  Contact the inspector for more information or if you have questions.

What happens if I decide to ignore my property maintenance violation notice?

If you do not correct your property maintenance violation and contact the inspector with your questions, you will receive a ticket to report to the Village’s Administrative Adjudication Hearing. An administrative hearing is a civil, not criminal, proceeding. Cases filed in adjudication are punishable by fines and can only be appealed in the 4th District Circuit Court of Cook County. You may pay your fines online or in person at Village Hall.

Stormwater

What is the Village doing to deal with stormwater?

With powerful storms and “100 year floods” seemingly occurring every year, Brookfield residents are looking for solutions to help prevent or at least mitigate the damage caused by these storms. In response, the Village of Brookfield has recently undertaken a whole range of actions, including a new stormwater ordinance to help – over time – ensure that newly constructed homes and commercial buildings (a) do not aggravate the existing situation and (b) help prevent future property damage. Specifically, the ordinance seeks to reduce “peak flows” during a rainstorm into the combined sewer system and thereby reduce the frequency of basement backups and street flooding.

Other actions are discussed below.

What does the 2015 Stormwater Ordinance do, in a nutshell?

Per the 2015 Stormwater Ordinance, the Village now requires a variety of actions by developers and home builders, including but not limited to:

  • Site Grading Plans for new homes, new driveways, and other improvements
    • For new improvements (e.g. patios, home improvements, etc.) in excess of 300 square feet, homeowners shall provide storage for a 3” rain event through drywells, rain gardens, infiltration trenches, or other means.
    • For new developments, any impervious areas for which it is not possible to achieve positive drainage to a village right-of-way shall provide storage for a 3” rain event through drywells, rain gardens, infiltration trenches, or other means.
  • Site Plans for new commercial buildings and multi-family structures and other improvements
    • Storage of stormwater is required depending on the size of the construction project, e.g., projects involving 1,500-21,780 square feet (half acre) require storage for a 3″ rain event over impervious area

For more information about the ordinance, please contact the Village Manager’s office or download it from the Village website (the “Village code” link).

Besides the stormwater ordinance, what other action is the Village taking?

As indicated in the table below, the Village is using multiple tools to help manage stormwater and prevent stormwater damage.

In addition, the Village’s Public Works Department has in place an emergency sandbag protocol. The Village is fully prepared for the roll out of the sandbag program, and has trained Public Works staff for action in the event of an actual emergency.

 

VILLAGE FLOOD MITIGATION INITIATIVE TIMING AND SCOPE
Stormwater Ordinance In effect as of May 2015. Applies to Single and Multi-Family Residential and Commercial Improvements and New Construction
Flood Mitigation Assistance to Homeowners. Program has accepted applications for Village 50% matching grants to homeowners, to install overhead sewers or backflow prevention.   Budget is limited to $400,000.
Downspout Disconnection Ordinance Deadline for compliance May 2015.   Those in the process of disconnecting should comply ASAP.
New Pump Station slated for construction along Salt Creek by Forest Avenue. Village working with MWRD to obtain federal and state funding over the next 12 months.
40% Green Space Ordinance Enforced through ongoing zoning review of new construction / surface improvement projects
Pilot Project for Green Infrastructure Ongoing pilot.   To date, Village has completed 3 types of green infrastructure pilots:·      Permeable pavers (along alleys and at Kiwanis Park)·      Bio-swales (at Ehlert Park, Kiwanis Park, and on Monroe Avenue)·      Stormwater detention basins
Joint Village-MWRD rain barrel program. Augments existing MWRD program. Slated for 3rd and 4th quarter, 2015.

 

What actions can home-owners take to deal with stormwater?

To complement the Village’s actions, resident are urged to take four cost-effective actions:

  1. Gutters and downspouts
    • Inspect yearly, check that they are in good condition/not obstructed, and ensure that they are extended away from the house (e.g., 2-5 feet away, to lessen ground water saturation near the foundation of the house)
    • Disconnect any gutter downspouts that are currently connected to the Village sewer system – Note that disconnections are now mandatory per ordinance, with the requirement in place to mitigate flooding
  2. In and around the basement,
    • Use window well covers to mitigate seepage
    • Seal cracks in the basement foundation
    • Inspect the condition of your sump pump and consider a back-up or emergency sump pump
    • Check grading of the house – Ensure that the ground immediately adjacent to the house (e.g., first several feet) is graded so that it flows away from the house to either the front yard or back yard
  3. Inspect the roof, particularly if you believe shingles were damaged during the winter (e.g., due to “ice dams” compromising the roof integrity)
  4. Obtain an inexpensive water barrel (or 2) from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. MWRD offers deep discounts at mwrd.org. As mentioned, the Village is working to expand this program for Village residents and offer even greater discounts.

Lastly, homeowners may wish to consider investing in a backwater valve flood control system. The latter option, while relatively costly, is effective. Backwater valve flood control systems stop sewage backup before it can enter the house with a “check valve” on the sewer line (e.g., an underground structure in the yard where the check valve is located).

 

Utilities

I just moved to Brookfield. How do I set up a water account?

Upon purchasing a home in Brookfield, a postcard will be left at your property on or about the date of closing to notify you that you need to sign up for water service. Tenants who are responsible for water service should receive a postcard on or about the day their lease takes effect.

The postcard will list the amount of the water deposit required to open your account as well as any garbage charges that will need to be paid at the time of signup. You will need to visit the Village Hall in order to make payment and sign a water contract. Residents who do not sign up for a water account within two weeks may have their water service interrupted.

If you do not receive a postcard, please contact us for more information about opening an account.

When will I receive my utility bill?

Utility bills are issued every three months, for each of three residential billing routes. If your account number begins with a 1, you will receive your bills in the middle of January, April, July, and October. If your account number begins with a 2, you are billed in February, May, August, and November. Bills for accounts beginning with 3 are sent in March, June, September, and December.

Accounts beginning with a 4 are billed monthly.

How can I have my utility bills sent to a different address?
How is my utility bill determined?

The water charge on your bill is determined by the readings on your water meter. For a single family home, or per unit of a multi-unit building, a minimum water charge per quarter of $79.96 covers usage up to and including 7480 gallons of water. Any usage above 7480 gallons is charged at a rate of $0.01069 per gallon.

The sewer charge is 27.1% of your water charge, with a minimum of $21.67 per quarter for a single family home or per unit of a multi-unit building.

Garbage charges are a flat rate charged every quarter, which is set based on the Village’s contract with Groot. Annual yard waste fees are equally distributed throughout the year.

When is my bill due?

All utility bills are due 21 days after mailing.

What if my bill is not paid on time?

If payment is not received in full by the due date, a 10% penalty will be assessed. Per Village ordinance, late fees will not be waived.

I am moving out of Brookfield. How do I close my water account?

In order to close your account, it must have a zero balance. Once your account is current you will need to notify the Finance Department of the last day you are responsible for water service at the property and provide us with a forwarding address to issue your final bill.

When is my garbage picked up?

To determine your garbage pickup day, refer to the Garbage Collection Map

One of my garbage cans is damaged/missing!

If you need to have one of your toters replaced, contact the Public Works Department.  Be sure you have identified whether it is the garbage or recycling toter that needs to be replaced.

How do I dispose of leaves and other yard waste?

Yard waste season runs from your first garbage pickup in April to your last garbage pickup in November. During this time, all yard waste materials can be left in paper bags for your regular garbage pickup day. If you prefer to designate a permanent container for yard waste, labels are available at the Village Hall.

Can I leave extra garbage or large items that don’t fit in my toter?

You are allowed one large item per week at no charge. Please notify Groot that you will have a large item for pickup. Additional large items, or any bags of garbage that do not fit in your toter, must have a garbage sticker attached. Stickers can be purchased at the Village Hall or Tischler’s.

Why wasn’t my garbage picked up?

If your garbage is not picked up on your regular garbage day, please contact Groot at (708)485-0900

I have more questions about garbage pickup

A garbage brochure is available with detailed information about garbage collection services.  If you still have further questions, we recommend that you contact Groot at 708-485-0900

Vehicle Stickers

Do I need a vehicle sticker?

All vehicles registered in Brookfield require a vehicle sticker. New residents have 30 days to purchase a sticker. When purchasing a new vehicle, you must buy your vehicle sticker within 10 days of purchasing the vehicle – even if you do not have permanent license plates yet. All vehicle stickers expire on June 30 each year.

How do I purchase a vehicle sticker?

During renewal season (1st week of May – June 30) stickers are issued by mail – you can mail your application form in the return envelope provided or purchase your sticker online. Please allow 10 business days for processing.

Renewals dropped off at the Village Hall will be periodically delivered to our fulfillment center; please allow up to 4 weeks for processing.

At all other times, stickers can be purchased over the counter. You will need to provide proof of residency and the registration for your vehicle.

What if I didn’t receive a renewal form?

You still have the option to purchase your sticker online by entering your vehicle information. Alternatively, you can bring your vehicle registration and proof of residency to the Village Hall to complete a new sticker application form.

Failure to receive a renewal form does not exempt you from sticker renewal or any late fees

I turned in my renewal but haven’t received my sticker yet!

It does take at least two weeks for your renewal to be processed. If your check has not cleared, that is a sign that your sticker has not been processed yet. The police department will not begin ticketing until all stickers have been issued. If you have not received your sticker after 3-4 weeks, you may wish to contact us to see what date we are currently processing.