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Village of Skokie v. Almendinger

APRIL 18, 1955.

VILLAGE OF SKOKIE, APPELLANT,

v.

TOBIAS J. ALMENDINGER, AND TERESI ALMENDINGER, APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Superior Court of Cook county; the Hon. FRANK M. PADDEN, Judge, presiding. Order and decree affirmed.

MR. JUSTICE FRIEND DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

The Village of Skokie sought a mandatory injunction to prevent the operation of a trailer camp by defendants on property located within the village, and to compel the removal of trailers installed on the property. The cause was heard upon stipulated facts and arguments of counsel, pursuant to which the chancellor entered an order dismissing the complaint, from which plaintiff appeals.

The stipulation of facts by the parties is as follows:

"1. That plaintiff is a Municipal Corporation located in Cook County, Illinois.

"2. That defendants are residents of Skokie in Cook County, Illinois.

"3. That plaintiff has a zoning ordinance adopted May 7, 1946. That under the provisions of that zoning ordinance, property of defendants is located in a residential zone and it is not permissible under said ordinance to operate trailer camps in a residential zone.

"4. That defendants are operating a trailer camp on Lots 23, 24 and 57, Laramie-Lawn Subdivision in the North East half of Section 33, Township 41 North, Range 13, East of the Third Principal Meridian in Skokie, Cook County, Illinois; and that the defendants have been using said premises as a trailer park continuously from 1937 to this date.

"5. That prior to the adoption of the zoning ordinance, defendants were owners of Lots 23 and 24; that they acquired title to Lot 57 on April 19, 1949. That prior to the acquisition of title to Lot 57 as aforesaid, the defendants had no title, lease or consent of the owner of said Lot 57 to its use by the defendants for trailer camp purposes, and that said use was without the knowledge or consent of the owner of said property.

"6. That Exhibits 1 to 5, both inclusive, show the location of the trailer camp and its surroundings.

"7. That on May 10, 1952 defendants were served with a notice which required the removal of said trailer camp within 120 days from said last mentioned date, but that the defendants have failed and refused, and still fail and refuse, to discontinue the use of the property for trailer camp purposes.

"8. That the defendants claim the right to continue the use of the property for trailer camp purposes on account of the fact that they claimed such use to be a nonconforming use.

"9. That the plaintiff admits that the use of Lots 23 and 24 is a nonconforming use, but denies that the defendants are entitled to use Lot 57 for trailer camp purposes owing to the fact that such use is contrary to the provisions of the zoning ordinance of the Village."

The complaint alleged that the property in question is zoned for residential purposes, and that the operation of a trailer camp thereon is in violation of the zoning ordinance of the village. By way of defense defendants claimed the right to continue the use of the premises as a trailer camp on the ground that it constitutes a nonconforming use, and that therefore the provisions of the zoning ordinance are not applicable to their property.

Plaintiff takes the position that under the express provisions of the statute the doctrine of a nonconforming use is available only to owners of real estate involved; in other words, that it permits only the one who owns the property at the time of passage of a zoning ordinance to avail himself of a ...


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