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Mcguire v. Purcell

OCTOBER 28, 1955.

POWERS MCGUIRE, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

JAMES S. PURCELL, AS BUILDING COMMISSIONER OF VILLAGE OF LAKEWOOD, MCHENRY COUNTY, ILLINOIS, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES. JAMES S. PURCELL, CROSS-PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

POWERS MCGUIRE, CROSS-DEFENDANT-APPELLANT, AND VILLAGE OF LAKEWOOD, MCHENRY COUNTY, CROSS-DEFENDANT-APPELLEE. VILLAGE OF LAKEWOOD, CROSS-PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

POWERS MCGUIRE, CROSS-DEFENDANT-APPELLANT, AND JAMES S. PURCELL, CROSS-DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of McHenry County; the Hon. WILLIAM M. CARROLL, Judge, presiding. Decree affirmed.

MR. JUSTICE EOVALDI DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

Powers McGuire, plaintiff-appellant, cross-defendant-appellant, appeals from the order of court resolving the issues adversely to him, dismissing his complaint for declaratory judgment and injunction, and permanently restraining him from placing, constructing, or maintaining a sign on his property as prayed in the cross-complaints.

Plaintiff, an attorney, and his wife, Anne (who is not a party to this proceeding), purchased the property upon which he now resides in the Country Club Addition in the Village of Lakewood, McHenry County, Illinois, in June, 1951. The deed restrictions on the property purchased by the plaintiff, and the zoning ordinance of said Village, limited the use of the property to single family, private residence use, and further provided that no lot, or part of lot, should ever be used for any other use than private residence and that "no bill board or other advertising sign or device shall ever be erected in said additions, or placed or painted on any building therein." The only exception to this prohibition is in the zoning ordinance which provides that doctors, dentists, or similar professions may place a name plate upon their residence with a designation of their profession, of a size not to exceed one square foot.

The plaintiff built a home in which he set aside one room as an office, and in the parkway adjoining his property constructed two poles, on top of each of which was placed a light, and from one pole was extended a sign on which appeared the name of

"POWERS McGUIRE LAWYER AND POLICE MAGISTRATE."

The sign was more than one square foot in size. The plaintiff, who is Police Magistrate for the Village, advised the Village Board that he would refuse to comply with the zoning ordinance and remove his sign. He was thereupon arrested for violation of the zoning ordinance prohibiting advertising.

It is plaintiff's contention that the ordinance is unreasonable, arbitrary and void; that a sign bearing the plaintiff's name and the wording "lawyer," "attorney," or the like, cannot reasonably be construed to mean "advertising signs" within the meaning of that term in the ordinance; and further, that there is a widespread custom in the village of erecting signs on lawns, in the parkway, on mailboxes, or on illuminated driveway pillars bearing the name of the occupant and his business or profession.

Section IV, paragraph (b), of the ordinance provides:

"Advertising signs, except name plates on buildings and sale or rent signs, none of which shall exceed twelve square feet in area, are specifically prohibited."

Paragraph (c), sub-paragraph (12) of said Section IV provides:

"It shall be permissible to use residences in "A" Residence District for home occupation, including the office of a physician, dentist, or similar profession, but engaged in by occupants of a dwelling and not involving a conduct of a business upon the premises. No name plate exceeding one (1) square foot in area shall be permitted on any dwelling and such name plate shall contain only the name and occupation of an occupant of the premises."

At the trial defendants introduced in evidence a certified copy of the deed restrictions over the property in question, of record since 1924. Those deed restrictions are as follows:

"No lot in said additions, or part of lot therein except as hereinafter provided, shall ever be used or permitted by the owner or occupant thereof to be used, by any person, for other than private residence purposes. . . .

"No bill board or other advertising sign or device shall ever be erected in said additions or placed or painted on any building therein, except as hereinafter provided and except as allowed in the business section. No refreshment stands or amusement enterprises, will be permitted on any lot platted in these additions, except as hereinafter provided for, in business sections and except that the maker or ...


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