Rooftop bars, restaurants, and other sky-high amenities could be coming to Elmhurst soon. The city council voted last week to send the idea of rooftop decks to the Zoning and Planning Commission who will open up the possibility in a series of public hearings.

The possibilities for what to put on rooftops range from bars and restaurants to recreational/fitness spaces, dog runs, fire pits, community gathering sites, and even swimming pools.

The city council’s current recommendations for rooftop amenity decks include a required three-foot setback on all sides from exterior walls for safety reasons, a height limit of 15 feet, and a space limit of 25 percent of the roof footprint. The decks would have to meet city building codes and receive engineering approval.

Hours of operation for rooftop businesses would follow the same guidelines as Elmhurst beer gardens, and they would be subject to the same rules on noise and lighting.

Developers approached the city in June with the idea of having amenity decks on downtown buildings after several businesses inquired about using their roofs as gathering spaces. Currently, only structures used for housing mechanical equipment can be on the rooftop, and any of these structures, including chimneys, cannot extend more than 15 feet above the allowable building height restriction.

Among the decisions still to be determined is where the rooftop structures could be located, but they could potentially be allowed throughout Elmhurst.  The decks are only being considered for commercial and multi-unit buildings, although planners haven’t ruled out the possibility of allowing them on single-family residences.

The zoning and planning commission hasn’t yet set a date for public hearings.

Here at Gracik Makinney Group, we love how our city expands and adapts to the needs and wants of residents. As our downtown continues to flourish, rooftop decks are yet another way to soak up all we have to offer.

For more information about life in Elmhurst, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit our website,