Building Information

Tower Lakes Village Office
400 N IL Route 59
Tower Lakes, IL 60010
Phone:  847-526-0488
Fax:  847-526-0489

Building Officer:  Tony Cantieri
Phone:  847-529-8470 (mobile)

Office Hours:  By appointment


  • New construction of homes
  • Septic repairs
  •  Room Additions
  •  Porches
  •  Decks
  •  Siding
  •  Fences
  •  Driveways
  •  Culvert replacement
  •  Pools
  •  Remodeling
  •  Alterations
  •  Wrecking or Demolition
  •  Roof/ shingle replacement
  •  Electrical service upgrades, new wiring, switches or outlets
  •  Countertop or Cabinet replacement
  •  Adding Plumbing fixtures or piping
  •  Excavating
  •  Grading, Draining or Filling
  •  Satellite antenna installation > 2 ft diam
  •  Moving, raising or shoring existing structures

You do not need a building permit for the following (if none of the above are involved): repainting, carpeting, fixture replacement that doesn’t involve moving wiring or plumbing, small satellite dishes, telephone or CATV wiring. When in doubt, please contact the Building Officer.

Village Code 4-1-11: PENALTY

Any person who violates, disobeys, omits, neglects or refuses to comply with, or who resists the enforcement of any of the provisions of this chapter, including provisions adopted by reference, or who refuses to remedy a violation of any such provisions or to remedy a hazard of fire, explosion, collapse, contagion or spread of infectious disease found to exist and duly ordered eliminated, shall be fined not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00) for each offence, and a separate offence shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues. (Ord. 2001-473)


All applicants must fill out and submit a building permit application form:

Tower Lakes Village Office
400 N IL Route 59
Tower Lakes, IL 60010
Phone:  847-526-0488

Some projects may also have to be submitted for approval by the following agencies:

Lake County Storm Water Management Commission:

500 W. Winchester Road
Suite 201
Libertyville, Illinois 60048
Phone:  847-377-7705

Lake County Health Department

500 W. Winchester Road
Libertyville, IL 60048
Phone:  847-377-8000

Building Permit Applications are available from the Village Office, or you can print out the Tower Lakes Building Permit Application. Work performed without a permit is subject to double fees and a fine.

Fees for permitted work will be calculated by the Building Officer according to the current fee schedule. You can check the Title 4 Chapter 1 of the Village Code website for a recent list of fees, but the most up to date list will be available at the Village Office.

Permits may be subject to ROAD & COMPLETION BOND depending on the nature of the work being performed. Road and completion bonds are required for new construction, demolition, additions and certain other work. The bond fee is $2500. Road & completion bonds are refundable, subject to certain conditions, once work is complete.

For certain types of work which require heavy loads to travel over Village Streets, such as excavation, concrete delivery and roofing material removal, you or your contractor will also have to pay for a non-refundable overweight truck permit. It is possible to get a multi-trip overweight permit if there will be more than one heavy truck. Please contact the Village Office for permit forms or more details. Proceeds go directly to our road resurfacing fund.


If the Building Officer denies the Building Permit because the plans are in violation of Village ordinances, the owner may elect to go through the process of requesting a variance. A variance is a special ordinance granting relief from one or more aspects of existing zoning law on a one time basis for a specific exception at a specific property. The petitioner must submit documentation as described below to get on the agenda of the Zoning Board of Appeals. This advisory body meets on the first Thursday of each month to hear appeals for special exceptions. The ZBA then votes on a recommendation for or against the appeal. The ZBA vote is not a final decision, it is only a recommendation to the Village Board. The Village Board, normally at it’s next regular meeting, can consider the recommendation and allow or deny the variance. If the Village Board approves the variance, a special Ordinance is passed, granting the variance and enabling the issuance of a Building Permit.

Please Zoning Variance Application to download the Variance Application, complete with process details and required documentation fees.


1992 CABO One & Two Family Dwelling Code with the following amendments:

  • All foundation footings must be 10″ x 20″.
  • All foundation walls must be 10″ thick with 3 #4 rebar installed at the top & bottom of all wall sections.
  • No wood cantilever allowed in step foundations.
  • No foam fire-stopping material allowed.

1993 BOCA

1993 National Electrical Code:

  • Only rigid thin wall conduit may be used.
  • All kitchen countertop & island outlets must be GFI protected.

Current State of Illinois Plumbing Code:

  • Only type L copper may be used, PVC pipe allowed below grade, cast iron is recommended.
  • Current State of Illinois Private Septic Code
  • Current Lake County Health Ordinance
  • Current Lake County Watershed Development Ordinance

Updated editions of the above codes may be adopted from time to time. Please check with the Building Officer.


Zoning Districts:

A-1: Residential 40,000 sq ft (~1 acre)

A-2: Residential 20,000 sq ft

A-4: Residential 2 acres

PR-3: Private recreational – major

PL: Public Lands


10-6-4: Every part of a building or structure (front, rear or side) hereafter created or relocated shall be located or set back:

50 ft from any lot line which abuts a State or County road right of way
30 ft or 20% of the average depth of the lot or parcel, whichever is less, from a Village road right of way
50 ft from the ordinary high water mark of any body of water

In addition, any building or structure or part thereof hereafter erected in any zoning district shall be provided with a minimum front yard, minimum side yard and minimum rear yard as follows:

  • Front and Rear Yards: 30 ft or 20% of the average depth of the lot or parcel, whichever is less, but in no event closer to the front lot line than the average of the two houses on either side. FRONT YARD: A yard or open space extending the full width of a lot or parcel between any building or structure and the right of way line of any street which is designated and used as the street address of the lot or parcel by the U.S. postal service or by the Village.
  • Side Yards: 10 ft or 12% of the average width of the lot or parcel, whichever is greater

Building Area:

10-6-3: Every dwelling hereafter erected in the following zoning districts shall have not less than the floor areas as set by the respective zoning districts, said floor areas being measured from the outside of the exterior walls, including utility rooms but excluding cellars, basements, open porches, breezeways, garages and other spaces that are not used, frequently or during extended periods for living, eating or sleeping purposes:

(Ord. 71-7.1-04)

Also the maximum area, including decks, and all roofed structures, may not exceed the following:

(Ord. 2008-006)

In addition to the above maximum lot coverage ratios, there are limits on impervious surface coverage, adopted in July 2009 as follows:

The impervious surface ratio is that numerical value obtained as a result of dividing the sum of the gross horizontal area of all impervious surface or surfaces on a lot or parcel added together by the area of the lot or parcel on which the impervious surface is located. An impervious surface is any hard surface or man-made surface or area, which surface or area does not readily absorb or retain water, including but not limited to any building roof, porch, gazebo, parking and/or driveway area, graveled area, sidewalk, animal enclosure, and/or recreation area. The maximum permitted impervious surface area ratio on any lot or parcel shall be calculated as follows:

Building Height:

10-6-5: The height of any building or structure shall not exceed:

1.    In the A-2 Residential Zoning District, twenty seven feet (27′); and
2.    In the A-1, A-3, and A-4 Residential Zoning Districts, two and one-half (2.5) stories above a basement story or thirty five feet (35′) in height, whichever is lower. (Ord. 92-326)

10-1-3: The height of a building or structure shall mean:

The vertical distance from the average existing grade to the ridge of the building roof.

The average existing grade is calculated from four points where lines parallel to the front and rear setbacks, and touching the front-most and rear-most points of the structure, intersect the required side yard setback lines. See latest ordinance for complete definition.  (Ord. 2004-011)

Building and zoning ordinances may be inspected at the Tower Lakes Village Office. Building Officer Tony Cantieri 847-529-8470 should be contacted regarding specific questions, or call the Village Office at  847-526-0488.

The following is a quote from a July 6, 2003 editorial in the Daily Herald, following a fatal porch collapse in Chicago:

“These regulations shouldn’t be treated as bothersome bureaucratic barriers to getting the home improvement job done. They should be taken for what they are intended to be – vital public health and safety protection measures.”