Articles Posted in Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Plaintiffs, a class of property owners, sought compensation from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, alleging flooding on their properties caused by the District’s diversion of stormwater into nearby creeks. The District cited a 1948 Illinois Supreme Court decision, Pratt, as holding that a temporary flooding cannot constitute a taking under the Illinois Constitution. The trial court denied a motion to dismiss and certified a question based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2012 holding that temporary flooding can constitute a taking under the federal constitution, Arkansas Game & Fish Comm’n v. United States. The appellate court held that Arkansas Game overruled Pratt. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed. The Illinois takings clause provides greater protection for property owners than its federal counterpart, in providing a remedy for property that is damaged, but, what constitutes a taking is the same under both clauses. The holding in Arkansas Game is relevant to the determination of whether government-induced temporary flooding is a taking under the Illinois Constitution. That holding, however, does not conflict with Pratt. Pratt did not hold that temporary flooding can never constitute a taking, but only that the flooding, in that case, did not amount to a taking. Similarly, the facts alleged by plaintiffs are not sufficient to allege a taking. The complaint does not allege that the flooding “radically interfered” with use and enjoyment of the properties. The parties did not address whether the properties were "damaged." View "Hampton v. Metro. Water Reclamation Dist." on Justia Law

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Crystal Lake South High School is surrounded by land zoned “R-2 residential single family,” and constitutes a legal, nonconforming use. The campus is owned by District 155. In 2013, the District’s Board decided to replace the bleachers at the Crystal Lake South football stadium after a failed structural inspection. The plan involved relocating new, larger, home bleachers to be adjacent to residential property and closer to the property line than existing bleachers. The McHenry County Regional Superintendent of Schools approved the plans and issued a building permit under the School Code, 105 ILCS 5/3-14.20. The District began work without notifying the city of Crystal Lake or seeking a building permit, zoning approval, or storm water management approval. The city ordered the Board to stop construction until it obtained a special-use permit, a stormwater permit, and zoning variances. The Board disregarded the order and proceeded with construction. Owners of adjoining residential properties sought to privately enforce the zoning restrictions under the Illinois Municipal Code, 65 ILCS 5/11-13-15. The Board sought declaratory judgment. The circuit court awarded the city summary judgment. The appellate court and Illinois Supreme Court affirmed, holding that a school district is subject to, and its school board must comply with, local governmental zoning and storm water restrictions. View "Gurba v. Cmty. High Sch. Dist. No. 155" on Justia Law

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Spanish Court Condominium Association filed a complaint under the Forcible Entry and Detainer Act, 735 ILCS 5/9-101, against Carlson, a unit owners, who allegedly had failed to pay monthly assessments for six months. Carlson admitted that she had not paid her assessments, but denied that she owed those assessments, alleging that she incurred water damage to her unit because Spanish Court failed to properly maintain the roof directly above her unit. She asserted “Breach of Covenants” and “Set-Off” for failure to maintain the roof and that Spanish Court failed to repair or replace her toilet, which was rendered inoperable during the investigation of a water leak in an adjoining unit. The trial court granted Spanish Court’s motion to strike the affirmative defenses and entered an agreed order awarding possession of Carlson’s unit to Spanish Court, and a money judgment for unpaid assessments. The appellate court vacated and remanded for reinstatement of Carlson’s affirmative defenses relating to the roof. The appellate court analogized to a landlord/tenant situation, viewing the obligation to pay assessments, and the obligation to repair and maintain the common elements, as mutually exchanged promises. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed, holding that the failure to repair is not germane to the forcible proceeding. View "Spanish Court Two Condo. Ass'n v. Carlson" on Justia Law

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Unit owner Palm had a dispute with his condominium association, and sought access to records and financial information. Chicago, a home rule unit, has an ordinance that requires production within three business days. Production was resisted on the theory that the ordinance was beyond the city’s home rule authority because state statutes allow 30 days to respond to such requests, and, unlike the ordinance, limit the age of the requested documents to 10 years, and require that a proper purpose be stated. The trial court ordered production; the appellate and supreme courts affirmed, finding the ordinance a valid exercise of home rule power. If the legislature intends to limit or deny the exercise of home rule powers by statute, the statute must contain an express statement to that effect. The home rule provisions of the Illinois Constitution are intended to eliminate, or reduce to a bare minimum, circumstances under which local home rule powers are preempted by judicial interpretation of unexpressed legislative intent. Comprehensive legislation which conflicts with an ordinance is insufficient to limit or restrict home rule authority. If the legislature wishes to deny or restrict the city’s authority, it may enact a statute so providing.View "Palm v. 2800 Lake Shore Dr. Condo. Ass'n" on Justia Law

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Lake Holiday, a private community, is governed by the Association, which enacted restrictive covenants, rules, and regulations, including rules that concern speed limits, impose fines, provide for enforcement of rules by private security officers, and require residents to provide security officers with identification when requested to do so. Plaintiff owns property in the development and was driving within the development, when a private security officer measured plaintiff’s speed, pulled plaintiff over, took plaintiff’s license, detained plaintiff for a few minutes, and issued a citation. In his third amended complaint plaintiff sought a declaratory judgment that the practices of the security department were unlawful and that the rules and regulations were void and alleged breach of fiduciary duty and willful and wanton conduct and false imprisonment. The trial court granted defendants summary judgments. The appellate court held that the practice of recording drivers was not a violation of the eavesdropping statute, 720 ILCS 5/14-2(a)(1), nor was the security department prohibited from using radar, but that the Association was not authorized by the Vehicle Code to use amber lights on its vehicles and that stopping and detaining drivers for Association rule violations was unlawful. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed, in favor of the Association. View "Poris v. Lake Holiday Prop. Owners Ass'n" on Justia Law

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The regional board of school trustees dissolved a school district, partially located in Montgomery County, and annexed it to a district previously located entirely in Sangamon County. About 99.7 percent of the reconstituted district is in Sangamon County and the voters of that county had approved a referendum under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL)(35 ILCS 200/18â185); the voters in Montgomery County had not. A taxing district subject to PTELL may not ordinarily extend taxes at a rate that exceeds the previous yearâs extension by more than 5%, or the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less, without referendum approval. The district, wanting to issue bonds to finance improvements, sought a declaration that PTELL did not apply. Reversing the trial and appellate courts, the supreme court held that the entire district remains subject to the PTELL.