City Club of Chicago: Judy Frydland, Commissioner of the Department of Buildings
March 12, 2019
Judy Frydland – Commissioner – Chicago Department of Buildings
Judy Frydland serves as the Commissioner of the Department of Buildings for the City of Chicago. The DOB enhances safety and quality of life for residents and visitors of the City of Chicago through permitting, inspections, trade licensing, and enforcement of the Chicago Building Code.
Since Commissioner Frydland’s appointment in 2015, the Department has implemented several reforms that have streamlined the permit process for all building projects, from single-family home renovations to large-scale developments, making it quicker and more efficient to obtain a permit than ever before. In 2017, the Buildings Department issued a record 48,408 permits. Under her leadership, the Department is modernizing City code to align with national and international standards. In fall 2017, Chicago became one of the first major cities to align with the National Electrical Code. The updated code improves safety requirements, advances sustainability, brings additional energy efficiency to Chicago’s booming building industry and can lower costs on electric bills for residents and businesses.
Prior to joining the Department of Buildings, Ms. Frydland spent 25 years in the Chicago Law Department working with various city departments, community groups and other stakeholders on the enforcement of building code, municipal health and business license regulations. In her role as Deputy Corporation Counsel for Building and Licensing Enforcement, Ms. Frydland enforced the city’s vacant building ordinance and implemented strategies aimed to preserve the city’s housing stock, closed down and revoked licenses for problem businesses engaging in criminal activity, actively preserved occupied residential buildings through circuit court litigation and city programs, aggressively prosecuted illegal signs and dangerous and hazardous rooftop water tanks, as well as enforced the Life Safety Evaluation (LSE) requirements for pre-1975 high-rise buildings.