CHICAGO – Today the Chicago City Council approved Timothy “Timmy” Knudsen as Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), after an appointment hearing on October 6th, 2020, by the Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards.
Appointed by Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot after Chairman Farzin Parang stepped down in September, Knudsen, a partner at Croke Fairchild Duarte & Beres, has served as an alternate ZBA board member since September 2019.
“In just a few years, Timmy has developed an impressive professional portfolio that truly showcases his dedication to law, equity and civic engagement—values that are at the foundation of good governance,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “With his immense amount of experience and enthusiasm, I am confident Timmy will bring about positive, long-lasting change to ZBA. I am excited to formally welcome Timmy to the team and look forward to working closely with him in the future.”
As a trusted advisor to his clients, Knudsen plans to apply his law experience and passion for the City to the position. And at 30 years old, he also hopes to encourage his peers to find ways for civic engagement.
“I am honored and humbled to be serving the City of Chicago as Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman. I look forward to bringing a new perspective to the position that focuses on equity and process, while working alongside my fellow board members to support the growth and sustainability of our neighborhoods,” said Knudsen.
Knudsen’s recent civic engagement includes having served as an original member of the Lightfoot for Chicago Finance Committee and Chairman of Chicago’s 43rd Ward Judicial Candidate Review Board.
Prior to joining Croke Fairchild Duarte & Beres, Knudsen was a transactional attorney at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, where he advised venture capital, private equity and other corporate clients through transactions and as outside general counsel and brings a unique experience in the venture capital space, where he has represented emerging companies, founders and investors alike at a variety of stages and sizes. In addition, Knudsen maintains a pro bono practice representing LGBTQ+ undocumented individuals in their applications for asylum.
“Timmy is not only a talented professional but an advocate for Chicago’s LGBTQ community. He brings an important perspective to the Zoning Board of Appeals to further reflect communities across Chicago,” said Brian Johnson, CEO, Equality Illinois.
During law school at the Illinois College of Law, Knudsen served as Senator Richard J. Durbin’s law clerk to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and was admissions editor of the Illinois Law Review. He was included among Crain’s “2020 Notable LGBTQ Executives” list as well as the inaugural 30 Under 30 list of LGBTQ Leaders by the Windy City Times and recipient of the 2018 Katten national ‘Excellence in Service Award’.
The Zoning Board of Appeals reviews land use issues that pertain to the Chicago Zoning Ordinance, including proposed variations from the zoning code, special uses that require review to determine compatibility with adjacent properties, the cannabis dispensary process, and appeals of decisions made by the Zoning Administrator. Established in 1923, the board has five members that are appointed by the Mayor with City Council consent.
The next meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals is October 16, 2020.
About Croke Fairchild Duarte & Beres
Croke Fairchild Duarte & Beres is a corporate law firm providing services to businesses, private equity and venture firms and their portfolio companies, public companies, founders and family offices. Formed by partners who worked at preeminent international law firms, the firm boasts a deep bench of sophisticated and experienced corporate lawyers. With offices in Chicago, Lake Forest, and Milwaukee, our team provides exceptional legal service while affording our clients the benefits of working with a small, agile, and driven law firm. For more information, please visit us online at crokefairchild.com