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Building & Zoning

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1. What is zoning?
2. What are Residential Areas 1 & 2? How are they different?
3. How do I request a zoning verification letter?
4. Can I subdivide my property?
5. Is my property conforming or nonconforming? What does this mean?
6. Can I operate a business out of my home?
7. How do I get a survey of my property?
8. How are setbacks measured?
9. What are the allowed uses on my property?
10. How do I find out the zoning for my property?

Building Permits

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1. What are permits and why do I need one?
2. When do I need a permit?
3. Where do I obtain a permit?
4. What kind of drawings or plans do I need?
5. How long will it take for my permit to be approved?
6. Can I start any of my construction project work before my permit is approved?
7. Do I have to pay the permit fees when I apply?
8. What form of payment do you accept?
9. When does my permit expire?
10. Are inspections required?
11. What do I do when my project is complete?
12. What happens if I don't get a permit?
13. Do I need to permit to remove a tree in my yard?
14. Will my construction project require the Tree Preservation Plan Review Application?
15. How do I get a survey of my property?
16. If I do any work to my home, will my property taxes be increased?
17. I live in the Historic District of Geneva and want to do some exterior work on my house and property. What is the process of getting a permit?
18. If I hire a contractor to do my work, who is responsible for obtaining the permit?
19. Additional questions?

Business & Liquor Licenses

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1. Do I need a business license in the City of Geneva?

Code Enforcement - Address Numbers

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1. Where am I supposed to post my address numbers?

Code Enforcement - Property Use

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1. What types of animals am I allowed to keep and how many?
2. Can I run my business out of my house or apartment?
3. How close to a property line may I run my sump pump water?
4. How long may I have a portable storage unit or dumpster on my property?
5. What types of property maintenance problems typically raise concerns of neighborhood residents?
6. Are occasional recreational fire allowed?

Code Enforcement - Signs

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1. Where / when can I post my election / political campaign signs?
2. Can I place my garage sale signs on public property?

Code Enforcement - Vehicles

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1. I have a car that I don’t have plates for, where can I park it?
2. Where can I park my car if not in the driveway?
3. Can I park my commercial vehicle in my driveway?
4. How long can I park my trailer in the driveway?

Code Enforcement - Waste

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1. What is the earliest I am permitted to place my weekly trash for collection?

Code Enforcement - Yard Maintenance

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1. When do I need to trim back my plantings in relation to the public sidewalk?
2. How high is my grass allowed to grow before I must cut it?
3. Where can I deposit snow that I remove from my drive?

Downtown Business District FAQs

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1. What does the City do to help steer the course of downtown?
2. What Is a Business District?
3. The City does a lot of work downtown including snow plowing and landscaping. How does the City fund special services downtown?
4. Why do we need a Business District if we have Special Service Area #1 to provide special services to the downtown?
5. Why don’t we just do a Tax Increment Finance District?
6. How can a new Business District help keep downtown Geneva healthy?
7. What is the public process for establishing a Business District
8. What is the criteria for establishing a Business District?
9. What area is under consideration as a new Business District?
10. Why does the City feel that the Business District is the better approach to address those needs than a TIF or SSA?
11. Will the City entertain suggestions from the public?
12. When will the City decide whether or not to include a sales tax levy as part of the Business District plan? What limits exist on authority to levy such a tax?
13. What would be the duration of the Business District, if it were to be established?
14. What other communities have adopted the Business District approach to redevelopment? How has it turned out in those communities?

Economic Development

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1. What resources are available to me as I open a business in Geneva?
2. What permits do I need to open a business in Geneva?
3. How do I get my business listed in the city's online business directory?
4. Where do I find a Special Event/Festival Application?
5. Where do I find answers to TIF related FAQs?
6. Where do I find answers to Downtown Business District FAQs?

Electric

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1. Who is my electric utility provider?
2. Who do I call about a problem with my electric service?
3. I am new to the area. How do I apply for electric service?
4. I am moving. How do I discontinue my electric service?
5. Who can answer a question about my utility bill?
6. Who do I call to report a power outage, dim or flickering lights?
7. Who do I call to report a problem with a street light out or turning on and off?
8. Does the City of Geneva offer energy incentives or rebates?
9. What do I do about solicitations to switch energy providers?
10. Who do I call to report a problem with a traffic signal?
11. Do I need to inform anyone when I want to do a landscape project that requires digging?
12. Do you reside in Mill Creek?

Finance Division

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1. How do I start and/or stop my utility (electric, water and sewer) service?
2. How do I pay for my utility bill?
3. I received a yellow "Past Due Notification Letter," can I make payment arrangements?
4. My utility service has been disconnected, what should I do?
5. What if I dispute a charge on my City utility bill?
6. What are the current electric rates?
7. What are the current water and sewer rates?
8. How do I check my water usage?
9. How do I check for water leaks?
10. Who are the utility service providers within City of Geneva?
11. What is the cost of recycling?
12. Who provides garbage pickup service?
13. What is the City of Geneva Giving Program?

Hazardous Household Waste

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1. What if I accidentally break a CFL in my home?
2. Where can I recycle old or unwanted fire extinguishers?
3. Where can I recycle medical sharp needles?

Historic Preservation

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1. Do I have to get a permit when altering my property?
2. What is the Geneva Historic Preservation Commission?
3. When does the HPC meet?
4. When was the HPC established? What is its purpose?
5. What is a historic property/historic designation?
6. What are the designated historic properties in Geneva?
7. What is the difference between listing in the National Register of Historic Places and local designation?
8. What does it mean when your property has historic designation?
9. What types of projects require review by the Historic Preservation Commission?
10. Is interior work or routine maintenance reviewed?
11. How do I apply for HPC review?
12. What criteria does the HPC use when reviewing my project?
13. Can I appeal the decision of the HPC?
14. How do I nominate a property for local designation?
15. Can I get assistance from Staff before I start designing my project?
16. How can I research my property or history about Geneva?
17. Will the Commission tell me what color to paint my house?
18. I live in the Historic District and I want to add on to my home. Can the Commission prevent me from doing this?
19. Does living in the Historic District prevent me from tearing down my house?

Plan Commission

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1. How long does the Plan Commission review process take?
2. What is the likelihood that my Plan Commission application will be approved?
3. Do the changes I want to make to my commercial building require site plan review?
4. What is the purpose of site plan review?

TIF FAQ's

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1. What is Tax Increment Financing?
2. What is a "Tax Increment"?
3. How do TIFs improve communities?
4. Does TIF divert money from schools?
5. How does TIF affect property owners or homeowners in or near the TIF District?
6. Does TIF result in increased tax rates?
7. Why is there a need for Tax Increment Financing?
8. How does Tax Increment Financing work?
9. How is a TIF created?
10. What kind of planning goes into the development of a TIF project area?
11. What major redevelopment costs are eligible for TIF funding? What kinds of projects are permitted under the State TIF Act?
12. What is the “but for” test?
13. What conditions must exist for an area to be designated for TIF?
14. What are the opportunities for public input?
15. Who controls TIF funds?
16. Does TIF require the issuance of debt?
17. Can TIFs be changed?
18. Who monitors the TIF process?
19. When does a TIF terminate?
20. What communities in Illinois use TIF?

Water & Sewer

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1. I am a business in town with two 4-inch fire protections devices and a lawn irrigation at the same address. How will I be billed?
2. I am a residential customer with a lawn irrigation system I do not use. Do I still have to pay the fee?

Water Division

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1. There is water bubbling up in my yard. What should I do?
2. How does my meter get read?
3. I had a card left at my home to read my own water or electric meter. Why did this happen?
4. Where does our City water come from?
5. I am experiencing low water pressure in my home. What should I do?
6. What would cause a sewer gas smell to come up from my drain?
7. I am moving into the City of Geneva, and I would like to set up my services. Where should I call?
8. I am moving into unincorporated Geneva (Mill Creek). How do I set up my water service?