Skip to Main Content
 
Email

FAQ

FAQ Categories

Boards and Commissions

Building Permits

Category

City Clerk

City Manager

Community Development Department

EAB

Engineering

Fire Department

Fitness Center

Lake Forest Dance Academy Preschool Recital

Mayor and City Council

Parks and Recreation

Police Department

Public Works Department

Real Estate Transfer Tax

Snow

Streets

Vehicle Stickers

Water Billing

Water Plant

Water & Sewer Utilities

Questions & Answers

Boards and Commissions

How can I get a listing of Boards and Commissions members?

You may print a copy of the City Directory here.

 

back to top ↑

Building Permits

How can I obtain a building permit?

Building permits are issued by the Community Development Department, located at the Municipal Services Center at 800 Field Drive.  Building permit applications and permit requirements can be downloaded here or picked up from the Community Development Department office.  If you have questions regarding building permits, you may contact 847-810-3503.

back to top ↑

Do I need an architect to design my project and prepare the plans?

An architect stamp on plans submitted for permit is required on most projects. If the project is large or involves structural changes, the permit plans should be stamped by an architect.  An architect stamp may not be required for small projects, such as minor alterations in which the structure of the building is not being changed.

back to top ↑

What are hours for construction?

Within the City of Lake Forest, construction activity is permitted during the following hours:
Monday - Friday 7am to 8 pm
Saturday and Sunday 8 am to 6 pm

back to top ↑

What is the review process for my upcoming construction process?

Most construction projects in Lake Forest require a building permit.  It is always encouraged to contact Community Development staff early in the project planning process to understand the required reviews for the project and what permits will be necessary for the different aspects of the project.  Each project that property owners take on is unique and the Community Development staff members are here to give you guidance for your particular project.  Please contact us when you are ready to begin the conversation.

back to top ↑

What should I do if I think a construction project is underway without the benefit of a permit?

Please contact the Community Development staff if you are concerned about a construction project that may be underway without a permit.  Staff is happy to look into the situation for you.

back to top ↑

Category

General - There is a power outage in my area, do you know when the power will be restored?

That information is not provided to the Police Department. Please call 1-800-EDISON-1.

back to top ↑

City Clerk

How do I obtain a copy of my child's birth certificate?

For children born at Lake Forest Hospital within the last ten years, a certified birth record may be obtained from the City Clerk's office, in person, or by mail.

back to top ↑

City Manager

Who is the City Manager?

Under the direction from the City Council, the City Manager's responsibilities are to oversee the day-to-day operations of the City, which includes enforcement of City Ordinances, recommendations of policy, and policy alternatives to the City Council, and the preparation of an annual budget for the Council's review.

The current City Manager, Robert R. Kiely, Jr., received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Urban Studies from Lake Forest College in 1979, and a Masters degree in Public Administration from The University of Kansas in 1981. Mr. Kiely began his public service career as an Assistant to the City Manager in Lake Forest from 1980 to 1982. He then served the Village of Wilmette as an Assistant Village Manager from 1982 to 1986, before accepting the position of City Administrator for Prospect Heights, where he served from 1986 to 1990. He has served the citizens of Lake Forest since 1990 with distinction since his appointment as City Manager.

back to top ↑

How can I reach the City Manager?

Robert R. Kiley, Jr.
847-810-3675
kielyr@cityoflakeforest.com

back to top ↑

Community Development Department

What are the responsibilites of the Community Development Department?

The Community Development Department includes staff responsible for planning within the Lake Forest community and staff responsible for construction and code compliance.

Responsibilities of the Building Section include documenting, reviewing, and inspecting all construction in the communities of Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Bannockburn. The primary tasks include reviewing construction plans for compliance with building code requirements, conducting building inspections to ensure that all construction is consistent with approved plans, and encouragement of safe construction practices.  If you are unsure whether your project requires a permit, contact the Community Development Department at 847-810-3502.

Responsibilities of the Planning Section include administering the Zoning Code, making updates to the Comprehensive Plan, and staffing the Plan Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, Historic Preservation Commission, and Building Review Board.  Planning staff also undertakes special projects such as the Central Business District study, the Route 60 study, and the Historic Resources Survey.

back to top ↑

EAB

What is EAB?

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis, is an invasive beetle native to Asia that was first discovered in southeastern Michigan in 2002. Adult beetles feed on ash foliage but cause little damage. The larvae (the immature stage) feed on the inner bark, which transports nutrients and water throughout the tree, effectively starving the tree.

back to top ↑

Where did EAB come from?

EAB is a native species of Asia and probably arrived in the U.S. on wood crating material.

back to top ↑

Where is EAB?

In the U.S., EAB originated in Michigan and is now spreading throughout the Midwest, East coast, and Canada. It is currently in over 15 states, including most of Illinois, including Lake Forest.

back to top ↑

If EAB was found in Lake Forest in 2009, why is it such a problem now?

The EAB infestation increases exponentially each year.  The Forestry Section has been proactively removing dead or dying ash trees since 2006 to decrease the available food source of the beetle. Only recently has research shown that chemical treatments are a viable option to protect ash trees.

back to top ↑

How many parkway ash trees does Lake Forest have?

Lake Forest has over 4,000 parkway ash trees, which represents almost 20% of the parkway tree population or one out of every five parkway trees. Furthermore, some neighborhoods have as much as 60% parkway ash trees.

back to top ↑

Does the insect harm any other trees? Humans?

No, EAB infests ONLY ash trees (Fraxinus spp.). It does not affect any other types of trees or plants. The insect does not pose any harm to humans and it is actually unusual to even see adult beetles.
 

back to top ↑

Will the City inspect privately owned trees?

If a resident thinks that a private property tree may be infested with EAB, they should contact a certified arborist to inspect the tree.  If a positive confirmation has been established, it should be reported to the Parks & Forestry section at 847-810-3563.

back to top ↑

Is there something residents can do to help with the replacement of ash trees?

Yes.  The Forestry section offers a share cost program to residents, which allows those residents that do not already have a parkway tree to split the cost 50/50 with the City. If you are interested in participating in the share cost tree program, please call 847-810-3564.

back to top ↑

Engineering

When will my road, sidewalk, or curb be repaired?

Funding levels are set by the Lake Forest City Council on an annual basis with program supervision and the construction schedule coordinated by Ralph Davila, Engineering Assistant (847-810-3552).

back to top ↑

How can I get flood plain information for my property?

You can fill out the Flood Plain Information Request Form and submit the required information to the City's Engineering Section.  To find out exactly where the flood plain sits on your property, you will need to hire a Illinois licensed land surveyor to survey your property.

back to top ↑

How can I get information about utility work in town?

Residents can contact Bernard Pondexter in the Engineering Section at 847-810-3556 to inquire about utility work.

back to top ↑

How can I report a sidewalk in poor condition?

Each summer the Engineering Section of the Public Works Department undertakes sidewalk repairs.  If you notice any damaged areas, please contact Jim Koblas at 847-810-3553.

back to top ↑

How are streets selected for resurfacing each year?

Approximately every three years, the City has its entire street system (approximately 120 miles) tested by an engineering firm to determine its current overall condition.  Based on these findings, streets are selected to be included in a 3-year Pavement Resurfacing Program based on attaining either a certain budgetary amount or a Citywide pavement condition number.

Click here to see the current 3-year Pavement Overlay Program.

back to top ↑

Fire Department

How do I choose a smoke alarm?

Be sure that the smoke alarm you buy carries the label of an independent testing lab. Some home smoke alarms run on batteries, others on household current. There are also different sensor technologies, some faster to react when fires are smoldering, others faster when fires are openly flaming, all are fast enough to provide sufficient warning. All laboratory tested smoke alarms, regardless of type, will protect you if they’re installed and maintained properly. A catchy phrase we try to teach is ‘change your clock, change your battery’ referring to changing your battery in your detector twice a year.

back to top ↑

Fitness Center

What are the Fitness Center hours?

Monday – Thursday 5:00am-9:30pm
Friday 5:00am-8:00pm
Saturday 6:00am-6:00pm
Sunday 7:00am-6:00pm

*reduced hours will be posted for holidays throughout the year.
*Fitness Center will be CLOSED on Easter, July 4, December 25, and January 1.

back to top ↑

What are the different membership options at the Fitness Center?

The Fitness Center offers multiple membership options. Members have the choice of paying for an Annual Membership in full at the time of registration or have monthly payments made through automatic credit card deduction. Effective May 1, 2016, the Fitness Center will be offering a month to month membership which will allow someone to cancel at anytime with 30 days written noitification. The Fitness Center also offers someone the option to pay a daily fee. We also offer a Matinee Membership. The Matinee membership allows members to utilize the Fitness Center from 11:00am to 3:00pm Monday through Friday, at a discounted rate. Please call 847-810-3932 for specific pricing.

back to top ↑

Does the Fitness Center charge an enrollment fee?

There is a one time enrollment fee charged at the time of enrollment. As long as your membership is renewed prior to the expiration date then you will not be charged that fee again.

back to top ↑

Is the Fitness Center open to non-residents?

The Fitness Center welcomes both residents and non-residents. Non-residents do pay slightly higher fees.

back to top ↑

Are Group Exercise classes included with my membership?

Group Exercise classes are not included with your membership. The Fitness Center offers a wide range of classes for individuals of all fitness levels.

back to top ↑

How do the Group Exercise classes work at the Fitness Center?

Group Exercise classes are offered on a Punch Pass system. Punch Passes are sold in 12 or 24 punches. Each time you take a class you will have a punch deducted from your pass. Someone can also pay a one time drop in fee. The Fitness Center also offers an All Access Pass. The All Access Pass is an annual punch pass. If someone purchases the All Access Pass, they can participate in as many Punch Pass Classes as they wish for 1 year. 

Punch Passes can be purchased at the Fitness Center desk. Present your ID card to the Fitness Center desk staff prior to entering a Group Exercise class. The desk staff will check you in and provide you with a Class Pass. Present the Class Pass to the instructor at the beginning of class. 

back to top ↑

Do I have to be a member to take Group Exercise classes or use a Personal Trainer?

You do not have to be a member to take Group Exercise Classes or use a Personal Trainer.

back to top ↑

Lake Forest Dance Academy Preschool Recital

When and where do I bring my dancer on recital day?

15 minutes prior to show time at the Gorton Community Center Auditorium.

back to top ↑

How are they SUPERVISED while the show is going on?

We have parent volunteers, teachers and student assistants with them while they wait. A teacher will escort them to the stage in time for their dance(s). After they dance they will be escorted back to the waiting area. At the end of the show all dancers will be brought back onstage for a final bow.

back to top ↑

Should they wear their COSTUMES?

We ask that your dancer arrive in costume with hair as instructed by their dance teacher. Remember please to keep costumes hung up and not worn prior to the recital. 

back to top ↑

What about their SHOES?

All shoes should be labeled with dancer’s name and brought in a labeled bag. Any accessories (hats, gloves, etc.) will be provided by the teachers at Dress Rehearsal.

back to top ↑

Where and when do I get my pre-ordered FLOWERS?

Stunning flower bouquets can be ordered online from our vendor partner Flowers for Dreams.  Online flower ordering open March 10.  For every bouquet sold, Flowers for Dreams donates a backpack and school supplies to underprivileged children in Chicago.  Flowers will be available for pick up prior to your child’s show in the solarium outside the auditorium. Please pick up your order BEFORE the recital starts.

back to top ↑

What about TICKETS?

Online Tickets sales open March 17.  Click HERE on March 17.
** Seating is assigned.  Don't wait too long to purchase your tickets. **
Tickets are $10.00 each.  Online ticket sales close April 21.We will be selling tickets at the dress rehearsal and at the door for $12.00.

back to top ↑

What about PICTURES/VIDEOS?

Kathleen Weinstein will be taking group and individual photos at Gorton Community Center on Saturday, April 23 immediately before they dance at the Dress Rehearsal. ALL classes and ALL individuals will have their photos taken. Ed Johnson will be making a video of the entire recital. Both of these professional records of this event are available to you by filling out the appropriate order forms (links to PDF's in sidebar). We ask that you do not take flash photos during the shows as it is distracting and dangerous for the dancers. If you wish to record your dancer, please do so only during Dress Rehearsal from the designated area within the auditorium.

back to top ↑

How do I PREPARE my dancer for performing?

Let them know how excited you are to see them dance with their class. Encourage them to have fun and focus on what they have learned; we will be helping them from the side lines. Your children are precious to us; we want this to be the very best experience in every way. 

back to top ↑

Mayor and City Council

Who is the Mayor?

Donald P. Schoenheider was elected as Mayor in April, 2013. Mr. Schoenheider served as Third Ward Alderman from May of 2010 until elected Mayor, and prior to that, served for five years on the City's Building Review Board (one year as Chairman). With 27 years of experience in the area of commercial real estate development brokerage, Don is an executive with Liberty Property Trust. He has particular experience in state and local government/community development. Don has a BA from Valparaiso University and has done graduate work in Public Administration at the University of Illinois/Springfield. Don is married to Cecile and has children at the School of St. Mary and Loyola Academy. Acting Mayor Schoenheider feels strongly that it is important to give back to the community and make it a better place to live and raise a family. He appreciates the chance to contribute.

back to top ↑

How can I reach the Mayor?

Donald P. Schoenheider
1605 Tallgrass Lane
847-604-8283 (home)
schoenheiderd@cityoflakeforest.com

back to top ↑

Who are my Aldermen?

Please click here for the current City Council. 

back to top ↑

Parks and Recreation

When is open gym?

Open Gym Schedule

back to top ↑

What are your office hours?

Recreation Center Hours

back to top ↑

What do I need to establish residency?

Children and adults must live within the corporate city limits of the City of Lake Forest to be considered a resident.  Exception:  Any child living within the boundaries of Lake Forest High School District 115 registering for a programs held at Lake Forest High School will pay resident rates.  Please bring in a drivers licence, a current water bill or house contract for a new home purchase with the address on it.

back to top ↑

How do I get my User ID and PIN for lfrec.com?

Obtain your User ID and PIN in advance of the registration day.

You must have an email address on file to obtain a User ID and PIN to register via LFRec.com. Please email lfrec@cityoflakeforest.com to have an email address added to your account.

You will need to retrieve your User ID and PIN after your email address has been updated.

Go to http://LFRec.com
Click the My Account tab
Click Retrieve Account Information
Enter the email address associated with your account

You will receive and email from lfrec@cityoflakeforest.com in about twenty minutes. If you do not receive an email, call the Recreation Center Office at 847-234-6700 Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

back to top ↑

How do I register for Recreation programs?

register_white

back to top ↑

Can I sponsor a team?


Sponsorships

Opportunities exist within the Youth Athletics Programs to be a team sponsor. You can sponsor your son’s or daughter’s team, and your designated sponsorship name will be placed on the back of your team shirts. Sponsorship in grades 4th or lower, your business will receive a team plaque. All funds received help offset the cost of program clothing and equipment. If you are interested in sponsoring a team(s), or if you would like to learn more about sponsorships, please phone Anthony Anaszewicz, Program Manager, at 847-810-3945. Fill out the form today and become a sponsor of our youth programs.  Thanks for your support!

 

 

back to top ↑

Is a permit needed for boat launch?

Click here for information on launching your boat.

back to top ↑

What is a red flag day at the beach?

What Does a Red Flag Mean?

When you come to the beach and the Red Flag is posted it means the water is closed for swimming.  You can still have your day at the beach but you must stay completely out of the water.

There are several reasons why Forest Park Beach posts a Red Flag:

• High levels of bacteria will close the beach to swimmers.  The Lake County Health Department tests our beach daily.  Click here to see current conditions. The water will be closed until a clean test result is returned.

• A measurement of 2 inches of rain will also close the water for swimming.  Run-off debris from the ravines and streets are deposited into the water possibly causing unsafe conditions.  Closing the beach to swimming is a health precaution.

• Strong Undertow:  When the winds shift and the wave swells become strong, the undertow can become dangerous.  In these instances, the Beach Assistant Managers will assess the strength of the undertow and make a determination to close.

back to top ↑

How does parking at the beach work?

Residents with a valid Lake Forest vehicle sticker can park at Forest Park Beach on a first-come, first-serve basis. Non-residents may park near the Lake Forest Train Sta-tion at Deerpath and McKinley Roads for a daily fee or with a parking permit.   Anyone parking on streets east of Sheridan Road will be issued a $125 parking ticket.

What about parking for a non-resident with handicap hangtag or license plates?

If a disabled non-resident is a driver of a vehicle displaying a valid handicap hangtag or license, he/she must first drop off all pas-sengers at the non-resi-dent entrance where they will pay a $10 entrance fee. The driver will then proceed to the lower north beach lot to park and pay the $10 fee.

A disabled non-resident passenger may be dropped off at the lower north beach parking lot, and pay the $10 fee. The vehicle must then be parked in accordance with parking regulations (see above

Beach Parking Info

back to top ↑

Can non-residents visit the beach?

Is there a charge to use the beach?

On weekends and holidays only, beginning May 25, 2013 through September 2, 2013 (Labor Day), a fee of $10 per person per day will be charged to non-resident patrons and residents without proof  of Lake Forest residency   Non-residents of any age, planning to spend a holiday or weekend day at the beach will be charged a daily usage fee of $10 per person.  No refunds will be issued due to inclement weather.  Non-resident drop-off and access to the beach facility will be at the northern most entrance of the wooden walk ramp which is located just south of the upper circle drive and Spring Lane.

What can be used to show proof of residency?

Residents that drive to the beach and their guests will be allowed to enter at no charge if a valid Lake Forest vehicle sticker is affixed to the lower right hand corner of the vehicle. Residents that walk or ride bicycles will have to present an appropriate ID. These include driver’s license, state ID, student ID, Lake Forest water bill, or a Forest Park Beach ID.  A free Forest Park Beach ID can be obtained at the Lake Forest Recreation Center, 400 Hastings Rd, between the hours of 8:30 AM– 4:30 PM, Monday– Friday.

Will residents be charged a fee if they do not have an ID with them?

Yes, residents without proof of Lake Forest residency will be charged the $10 daily fee.

Where does a non-resident enter the beach?

Non-residents will enter at the northern most entrance of the wooden walk ramp located south of the circle drive on the top of the bluff (see map). A drop-off area is located in the upper south parking lot. Fees will be paid on the lower (beach) level of the facility.

What type of payment will be accepted at the facility?

Only cash and Forest Park Beach coupons will be accepted at the beach. Forest Park Beach coupons are available for purchase at the Lake Forest Recreation Center (400 East Hastings Road), Monday-Saturday, excluding holidays, from 8:30AM - 4:30 PM

What if a paying guest would like to leave the facility and return the same day?

A daily wristband will be issued to any paying guest who wishes to leave the facility and re-turn on the same day from the cashier located at the end of the wooden walk ramp entrance.

back to top ↑

I want to have an event in a City park or beach. Do I need a permit?

Park or Beach Pavilion Rental Info

back to top ↑

What amenities do your parks have?

Parks Info

back to top ↑

Where can I obtain a map of City park locations?

City of Lake Forest Park Map

back to top ↑

Police Department

How do I obtain a copy of a Police report or Accident report?

Police reports generally are not released to the public. Exceptions include those listed in the Freedom of Information Act or subpoena.

Accident reports are available for a $5.00 fee. The Records Division at the Public Safety Building, 255 W. Deerpath, is open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekends and holidays. You may also request an accident report by mail.

back to top ↑

How do I get my fingerprints done?

Effective December 18, 2015, the Lake Forest Police Department will no longer provide fingerprinting services. 

Please feel free to contact Accurate Biometrics at: 773-685-5832 or www.accuratebiometrics.com
for their nearest location.

back to top ↑

Public Works Department

Where can I find out about the holiday refuse and recycling schedule?

Please check the Events Calendar on the home page of the website or click here for the current year's holiday schedule.

back to top ↑

Real Estate Transfer Tax

Who pays the tax and when?

The real estate transfer tax is the obligation of the buyer and is paid before closing.  The tax cannot be paid before the seller of the property pays their final water bill.

back to top ↑

What forms of payment accepted for real estate transfer tax?

Acceptable forms of payment of the real estate transfer tax are cash or cashier's check made payable to The City of Lake Forest.

back to top ↑

Snow

When does the City respond to snow and ice conditions?

We have contracts with both a local weather forecasting service and a weather radar system. The combination of the two forewarns us of snow and ice storms so employees can be either on-site or prepared to respond before the actual storm hits. Also, the Police Department works closely with Public Works to identify areas which need salting.

The goal is to respond to icing conditions and slick roadways with equipment and personnel sufficient to control conditions within 30 minutes during normal working hours and within 60 minutes after normal working hours.

back to top ↑

When will my street be plowed?

While this answer is "weather influenced," under normal conditions it is important to recognize that the plow trucks need to make multiple passes along the streets to move the snow to the curb. Depending upon the specifics of the storm, the response time will vary accordingly. Regardless, snow removal operations will continue until the streets are passable and the parking areas have been cleared of accumulated snow.

Snow plowing operations begin when the accumulation of snow on streets reaches two inches and sidewalks when it reaches four inches, or as weather conditions warrant. The object is to remove snow from all streets within six hours after the conclusion of a snowfall. If snow accumulates three inches or more, the length of time to remove snow from the streets may increase dependent upon the intensity of duration or the storm.

back to top ↑

Why do the plows fill the end of my driveway?

Plows need to make multiple passes along each street to push snow back to the curbs. To open all City streets, the plows initially plow the center of each street so cars can travel in both directions. After this has been done citywide, the plows return to push the snow back to the curbs. This is done so that the melted water can enter the storm sewer and drain away. Typically, it is during these two plowing intervals that the homeowners dig out their driveways. Unfortunately, it is not possible for the plow trucks to do their plowing and not fill in the driveway.

back to top ↑

When are City sidewalks plowed?

All residential sidewalks are plowed.  Additionally, the City maintains sidewalks in the Central Business District, the train station platforms, City-owned facilities, and main walking routes.  Sidewalks are plowed after a snow accumulation of two inches or more.  Other than City facilities, sidewalks are not salted.  

back to top ↑

What will be done to restore my damaged parkway?

Unfortunately, snow plowing is performed under difficult operating conditions and much of the time in reduced lighting. Objects and areas adjacent to the street can be damaged without the operator even being aware of the damage.  Damaged grassy areas will be identified and repaired the following spring by the City.  To report parkway damage, please contact 847-810-3542.

Items within the right-of-way, other than grass, remain the homeowner's responsibility for repair. 
 

back to top ↑

What is the process for mailboxes damaged by City snow plows?

If it is called in within 48 hours of damage and is determined that a City snow plow caused the damage, the City will temporarily repair the mailbox for the remainder of the winter.  During the spring, the City will: 

  • perform a permanent repair of the damage
  • replace the post with a standard 4x4-treated pole
  • replace the box with a standard issued Federal regulation black box, or 
  • reimburse the resident up to $50.00 with the proof of receipt.

Mailbox damage should be reported to the Public Works Department at 847-810-3542.

back to top ↑

Streets

How can I get a new street sign installed?

Contact the Chairman of the Traffic Safety Committee/Chief Jim Held at 847-810-3802.

back to top ↑

When will my road, sidewalk, or curb be repaired?

Funding levels are set by the Lake Forest City Council on an annual basis with program supervision and the construction schedule coordinated by Ralph Davila, Engineering Assistant (847-810-3552).

back to top ↑

When will my street be swept?

Sweeping is weather and priority dependent.  The goal is to sweep the City a minimum of three times between April and December.

back to top ↑

Who is responsible for the repair of my driveway apron?

Each resident is responsible for their own driveway apron.

back to top ↑

Vehicle Stickers

Why do I need an annual vehicle sticker?

Annual vehicle stickers are required by ordinance for all vehicles registered to The City of Lake Forest.  Failure to display a current vehicle sticker could result in a ticket for the ordinance violation.  The vehicle sticker also allows for parking at the north end of Forest Beach and access to the Compost Recycling Center.  The annual vehicle sticker in Lake Forest expires each year on April 30th and renewal notices are sent to residents each year in mid-March.

back to top ↑

What is the difference between a vehicle sticker and a parking permit?

A parking permit or a daily fee is required to park all day in city owned lots in downtown Lake Forest or at the Telegraph Road/West Lake Forest train station.  Your City of Lake Forest vehicle sticker is not useful for parking all day in city owned lots that require a parking permit or a daily fee.  Individuals who need to frequently park all day have the option of purchasing a parking permit hangtag.  Lake Forest also offers daily fee parking at each train station for individuals who would like to park all day occasionally.  For more information regarding parking, please visit www.cityoflakeforest.com.

back to top ↑

I just moved to Lake Forest. How do I get a vehicle sticker?

New residents should visit the Municipal Services to initially register their vehicle(s) with The City of Lake Forest Finance Department.  We require proof of residency (drivers license, valid lease agreement, or utility bill) AND the vehicle registration(s) showing your Lake Forest address.  Please note:  our office allows a 30 day grace period before we assess a late fee.  To waive the late fee or to receive a prorated fee, only the date on the following documents can be used:  vehicle registration date, auto dealer bill of sale, vehicle title, or IDOR vehicle tax forms.  However, you could be ticketed at any time if your vehicle is registered in Lake Forest with the IL Secretary of State and you do not have a current vehicle sticker.

back to top ↑

When will I receive my vehicle sticker?

Vehicle stickers are customized for each specific car and include your license plate number.  Vehicle stickers should arrive within 5-7 business days via US Mail to your home address.  The Finance Department can provide a temporary sticker if you do not already have a current vehicle sticker.

back to top ↑

I ordered my vehicle sticker online or by mail and have not received it. What should do?

If you have not received your vehicle sticker within 14 days of your online order, or 30 days from your mail order, please notify The Finance Department by calling 847-810-3622.  We can provide a temporary sticker if you do not already have a current vehicle sticker.  If necessary, The Finance Department can place an order for a replacement vehicle sticker.

 

back to top ↑

I plan to purchase a new vehicle. Can I transfer my old vehicle sticker to the new vehicle?

Vehicle stickers are transferable.  In order to do so, you must surrender the old sticker (pieces are acceptable) and provide the documentation for the new vehicle.  If you forgot to remove the vehicle sticker from a vehicle you no longer own, you must provide proof that you no longer have the vehicle (auto dealer bill of sale showing the trade-in, seller’s odometer disclosure statement for a leased vehicle, or signed vehicle title).  A replacement sticker is $5.00.

back to top ↑

I needed to have my windshield replaced or my car was totaled in a car accident. I did not remove the vehicle sticker from the windshield. What should I do?

In order to obtain a replacement vehicle sticker, you will need to provide The Finance Department with the receipt for the windshield replacement, or the statement of total loss from the automobile insurance company.  A replacement sticker is $5.00.

back to top ↑

I no longer own a vehicle listed on the renewal notice. What should I do?

Please make the appropriate changes on the renewal form and mail the form and your payment to the address listed on the form.  Or, you can simply change your vehicle information when purchasing your sticker online.

back to top ↑

How much are vehicle stickers?

Please see the fee schedule on the renewal form for, or visit www.cityoflakeforest.com for vehicle sticker prices and more information.  We no longer offer a senior discount.

back to top ↑

I put my sticker on the wrong vehicle. What should I do?

Each vehicle sticker is customized with license plate number of the vehicle. You may be able to remove the sticker carefully in one whole piece and place it on the correct vehicle.  If you were unable to remove the sticker from the windshield intact, you should return the pieces of the sticker to obtain a replacement sticker from The Finance Department for a fee of $5.00.

back to top ↑

I bought a sticker for my vehicle and then got rid of the vehicle. Can I obtain a refund?

No, vehicle stickers are non-refundable.

back to top ↑

I am moving out of Lake Forest in a few week/months. Can I just purchase a temporary sticker or get a refund on a portion of the sticker after I move?

You will have to purchase the regular sticker or risk being ticketed until you move.  We do not sell temporary stickers and refunds are not given if you move out of The City of Lake Forest.

back to top ↑

I currently have a temporary license plate. Can I wait for my permanent plates to arrive before I purchase my vehicle sticker?

You should purchase a vehicle sticker even if you have a temporary license plate.  When you receive your permanent license plate, we will replace the sticker at no charge when you return the sticker with the temporary plate number and provide the registration for the permanent license plate to The Finance Department.

back to top ↑

I never received my vehicle sticker renewal notification. What should I do?

If you have previously registered your vehicles with The City of Lake Forest, you should receive a renewal notice (via US Mail or email) each year no later than the end of March.  If you have not received your renewal notice, please notify The Finance Department by calling 847-810-3622.  Please note that failure to receive a renewal notice does not excuse your obligation to purchase a vehicle sticker as required by city ordinance.

back to top ↑

My child is currently attending college outside of Lake Forest. Do I need to purchase a vehicle sticker if the vehicle is not here in Lake Forest?

You should purchase a vehicle sticker for each vehicle that is registered to Lake Forest.  Even if the vehicle is primarily used outside of Lake Forest, it could receive a ticket for not displaying a current vehicle sticker when the vehicle returns to Lake Forest.  The price of the vehicle sticker would include a late fee if it’s purchased May 1st or after.

back to top ↑

Lake Forest is not my primary residence and/or my vehicle is registered to another city/state. Am I required to display a Lake Forest vehicle sticker?

No, you are not required to display a vehicle sticker if your vehicle is registered to another city/state.  If your vehicle is registered to another city that requires vehicle stickers, you should purchase and display a vehicle sticker from that city.  However, you have the option of purchasing a Beach Parking Sticker at the resident rate.  The optional Beach Parking Sticker allows for parking at the north end of Forest Beach and access to the compost center.  Proof of residency (or property ownership) and the vehicle registration are required to purchase a beach sticker from The Finance Department front counter at Municipal Services.

back to top ↑

Water Billing

I am renting a home in Lake Forest. How do I open a water account in my name?

Your landlord can request that a duplicate copy of the water bill be sent directly to you.  The water account will remain in the owner's name and the owner will continue to receive the water bill and any past due reminders.  The landlord can complete the Duplicate Billing Request Form to arrange for that.

back to top ↑

Where can I pay my water bill and what forms of payment do you accept?

Water bills can be deposited in any of the 3 City of Lake Forest postage-free white drop boxes located at the east side and Telegraph Road train station parking lots, and on Bank Lane north of Westminster. There is also a drop box located  to the left of the main entrance steps of the Municipal Services building located at 800 N Field Dr. You may also pay in person at the Municipal Services building and at City Hall during regular business hours Mon. - Fri. 8:00am to 4:30pm.  We accept cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover.

Automatic Payment Deduction is also offered. Residents and Businesses can also pay their water bills
through an automatic debiting option. To participate in this convenient program, you must enroll thru
your online account. By using this method, the amount of your water bill is automatically deducted
from the checking account, savings account or credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover) you have
authorized the City to use. Participants in this program will continue to receive a water bill on a
quarterly basis indicating the amount to be deducted from their account. On or after the due date the
water payment will be deducted from your bank account. There is no fee for automatic bank debiting.
Questions? Please call 847-810-3620 

back to top ↑

What is the current water and sewer rate?

The current water rate is $5.43 per 1,000 gallons up to 60,000 gallons of water used and the sewer rate is $1.16 per 1,000 gallons.  The water rate for greater than 60,000 gallons of water used is $5.70 per 1,000 gallons.  For more information, please visit the Water Billing page.

back to top ↑

What is the unit of measure?

Your water meter reads in gallons. Consumption is billed in thousand gallons.

back to top ↑

How often will I receive a water bill ?

For billing purposes, The City of Lake Forest is divided into three sections/cycles. A bill is generated every 90 days(quarterly) for each cycle.

back to top ↑

I was away all winter/summer but I still received a water bill. Why?

Even if you are not home or using any water, you are charged a water and sewer customer charge both which are based on the size of the meter that is in each home or business.

back to top ↑

How do you read my meter?

The water meters are equipped with a Radio Read Meter Transceiver Unit (MXU) which permits meter reading via radio signals. As the Public Works vehicle moves through the section of town being billed the MXU connected to your meter recieves a wake up signal from the vehicle. the MXU obtains the meters identification number and meter reading which are transmitted back to the vehicle.  Every meter has three diferent identifying numbers. The serial number, an ECR number and a radio frequency number, all of which help insure against errors.

back to top ↑

Why is the consumption for my sewer charge different from my regular consumption?

The City of Lake Forest realizes that increase water usage, during the warmer months of the year, is usually due to outside watering. When you water your landscaping, the water does not enter the sanitary sewer. Therefore, your yearly sewer consumption is based upon your winter quarter water bill consumption, i.e. during the winter your usage is 5,000 gallons, but during the summer you use 40,000 gallons, your sewer charge will be based on usage of 5,000 gallons.

back to top ↑

Why do I receive a bill from the North Shore Water Reclamation District and pay a sewer charge on my water bill?

The sewer charges on your water bill is for maintenance of the sewer lines from your home or business to the North Shore Water Reclamation District intercepting sewers. North Shore Water Reclamation District bills you for the actual sewage treatment  and disposal process.

back to top ↑

Water Plant

Where does my water come from?

The source of all our drinking water is Lake Michigan.  The water is treated using an Ultrafiltration Membrane System, and we produce 1.4 billion gallons annually.

back to top ↑

What is the hardness of our water?

The hardness of City of Lake Forest water is 7.5 grains per gallon or 130 mg/l of calcium carbonate.

back to top ↑

Why do I detect a chlorine smell in the water?

Chlorine is added to the water as it leaves the Water Plant and into the distribution system.  The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency requires that we maintain a chlorine residual in the distribution system to protect the water as it passes through the pipes to your home.  

back to top ↑

Why does my water sometimes have a musty, earthy taste and odor?

During the summer months, as the lake water temperature increases, tastes and odors are more noticeable.  This is generally the result of compounds produced by blue-green algae and other vegetation found in Lake Michigan that can cause a musty, earthy taste in the water.  These compounds are not harmful and refrigerating the water or using a carbon filter water pitcher may help to minimize the taste and odors.

back to top ↑

Do I need a water filter?

No.  The water is purified using an Ultrafiltration Membrane System and is safe to drink.  Daily tests are taken to ensure that we meet all of the Environmental Protection Agency parameters.  If you are sensitive to chlorine or don’t like the taste, a carbon filter will remove all of the chlorine.  Chlorine will evaporate if you fill a pitcher of water and leave it in the refrigerator overnight .

back to top ↑

Why does my tap water look cloudy in the winter?

This occurs when the water temperature of the lake drops below 40°F.  When the water is cold, it contains a relatively high level of dissolved oxygen.  As the water moves through the mains and the pipes in your house, it is under pressure and the oxygen remains in the water.  When you relieve the pressure by opening the faucet and filling your glass with water, the oxygen is now free to escape giving it a milky appearance.  If this occurs, simply put the glass down and let it sit for a few minutes.  If the cloudiness goes away, it is entrapped oxygen.

back to top ↑

What is the pink stuff that shows up in my sink, faucets, and tub?

Stains that appear around plumbing fixtures, which are frequently wet, are not caused by the water.  They are actually caused by airborne bacteria, mold, and mildew.  These are called biological growths and usually occur more during the summertime.  Dry areas will not support this growth.  To minimize this bacteriological growth, ventilate and dry areas shortly after use.  Frequent cleaning is another way to minimize these growths.

back to top ↑

Does our water contain Fluoride?

The Illinois Department of Public Health requires that we add fluoride to the drinking water to help prevent tooth decay and promote strong teeth for children up to the age of 8.  In Lake Forest, we add between 0.9 and 1.2 parts per million of fluoride to the drinking water.  Multiple tests are taken daily to ensure a proper feed rate.  Since 1991, we have had perfect compliance with the Department of Public Health for the addition of fluoride to the drinking water.

back to top ↑

What are the watering restrictions?

Lake Forest residents and business owners are asked to help reduce water usage by adhering to the City's new "Sprinkler-Free Mondays" where sprinkling is no longer permitted on Mondays.  An ordinance was updated at the May 5 City Council meeting aiming at conserving water in Lake Forest.

This new regulation applies to both automated irrigation systems and manual sprinklers. If you own an automated irrigation system, it can be easily programmed.

  • Even-Numbered Addresses (i.e. 808 Smith Street) may sprinkle from midnight-10 a.m. and 8 p.m.-midnight on:  Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
  • Odd-Numbered Addresses (i.e. 809 Smith Street) may sprinkle from midnight-10 a.m. and 8 p.m.-midnight on:  Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays

As in years past, watering restrictions take place from May 15 - September 15 on an annual basis, and sprinkling between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. is not allowed because water put on lawns and gardens during those hours quickly evaporates with the afternoon sun. Additionally, night-time irrigation during the summer months drains the City’s water reserves, and the Water Plant needs time during the following day to build up those reserves.

Newly-installed lawns and landscaping may be watered before 10 a.m. and after 8 p.m. daily for a reasonable period after installation.

In the event of drought or an emergency water shortage, the City may impose further summer outside water use restrictions. 

back to top ↑

How do I report water quality issues?

You can call the Water Plant at 847-810-4650 between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. (Monday - Friday) to inquire about water quality issues.

back to top ↑

Water & Sewer Utilities

Who is responsible for water service repairs?

The City maintains all water mains.  Water services that connect to the City's water main are the responsibility of the homeowner or business owner.  This includes the water line from the building to the water main.

back to top ↑

Why is my water meter making noise?

The water meter will make noise when the water is running.  However, if the noise is excessive, residents can make an appointment with the Water/Sewer Section to check the meter and determine if a repair is necessary.  Please contact 847-810-3571 to schedule an appointment.

back to top ↑

What do I do if my water meter is leaking?

Homeowners are responsible for leakage in the plumbing around or leading to the water meter.  However, the Water & Sewer Utilities Section is responsible for water leaks within the water meter.  Please contact 847-810-3571 to schedule an appointment.

back to top ↑

Why is my water pressure low?

The City's water pressure is approximately 50 - 55 pounds per square inch (PSI).  If the pressure is low throughout the inside of your house, call the Water & Sewer Utilities Section at 847-810-3571.  If the pressure problem is isolated to only part of the house or one fixture, it is usually a plumbing problem.

back to top ↑

Why does the City flush fire hydrants?

The City flushes fire hydrants to remove accumulated sediment buildup.  This will improve water flow and quality throughout the water system.

back to top ↑

What should I do if my water looks rusty?

You should run your cold water from a utility sink or the outside hose for approximately 1/2 hour or until the water runs clear.  If it does not clear up, call the Water & Sewer Utilities Section at 847-810-3571.

back to top ↑

What do I do if sewage is coming up through the floor drains?

There are three possible explanations for this problem:

  1. There is a blockage in the service pipe that leads from your house to the City's sanitary sewer.
  2. There is a blockage in the City's sanitary sewer main.
  3. The entire system is at capacity because of heavy rainfall.

In all cases, please contact the Water & Sewer Utilities Section at 847-810-3571, Monday - Friday from 6:30 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.  If flooding occurs after hours, please call the Police Department (non-emergency) at 847-234-2601.  They will notify the Water & Sewer Utilities Section, who will investigate the problem and determine how to correct the problem.

back to top ↑

What if the storm drain in front of my property doesn't drain properly?

If possible, make sure there are no leaves or grass covering the drain.  If the opening is clear and the inlet is not draining, contact the Water & Sewer Utilities Section at 847-810-3571, Monday - Friday from 6:30 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.

back to top ↑

Why do I have a constant wet area in my yard?

There are a number of possible reasons for a wet area in a yard or parkway.

  1. If you have a sprinkler system, make sure you don't have a leak in the line or a broken sprinkler head.  Call your irrigation contractor to repair the leak.
  2. It could be a leak in the water service that goes from the City water main to the house.
  3. It could be a water main break on the City water main.

If you do not have a sprinkler system, contact the Water & Sewer Utilities Section at 847-810-3571 to have the area inspected.  If the City determines that it is a service leak, the repair is the responsibility of the homeowner.

back to top ↑

Why is there an odor coming from my floor drain?

Typically, odors from floor drains are caused when the trap in the floor drain has dried out, allowing sewer odors to come through the drains.  To fix this problem, add water to the floor drain.  If this does not resolve the problem, contact the Water & Sewer Utilities Section at 847-810-3571, Monday - Friday from 6:30 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.

back to top ↑

Can I connect my storm sewer service to a road drain?

No.  Road drains are for transporting storm water from the roadways only.  Private storm sewer services, such as sump pump discharges and area drains in private yards need to be connected to storm sewers only.

back to top ↑

What can I do to prevent basement flooding?

There are measures you can take that may help prevent flooding and water damage to your basement. While not a guarantee against future flooding, these ideas may help in the event of substantial rainstorms.

  • Install a battery-powered sump pump as a back-up system to your other sump pump. 
  • Install an uncapped standpipe in the floor drain, if the location of floor drain permits one. It may give you the extra protection needed to prevent a basement back-up. 
  • If you have basement window wells with drains, make sure the drains work. Clear leaves and debris from the window wells. Also, consider window well covers for basement windows. 
  • If your downspouts "splash out" as opposed to going underground, extend them away from your house foundation. 
  • If you notice water standing over street catch basins, either inform the City's Water & Sewer Utilities Section at 847-810-3571 or try to remove the debris from the catch basin to allow it to take water. 
  • If you notice that your property is graded so that water accumulates next to the walls of your home, re-landscape to direct the water away from your home. 
  • Install a check valve to prevent sanitary sewer back-up. 
  • Do yearly inspection or rodding of sewer lines at your home. 
  • If you have yard flooding, it may be beneficial to have a yard drain installed. 

back to top ↑

THE CITY OF LAKE FOREST
220 E. Deerpath, Lake Forest, IL 60045
(847) 234-2600
Non-Emergency Police:  (847) 234-2601

close (X)