Interlocutory appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County,
County Department, Chancery Division; the Hon. DANIEL A. COVELLI,
Judge, presiding. Reversed.
MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE BURMAN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.
This is an appeal from an interlocutory order of the Circuit Court restraining and enjoining defendants from using their land within fifty (50) feet of plaintiffs' north lot line as a parking lot.
This action was instituted by plaintiffs, Niles Improvement Association, a nonprofit corporation; Harris Trust & Savings Bank, as owner and holder of residential property, as trustee; and Shelby C. Johnstone and Sharmer Johnstone, his wife, as beneficial owners of the trust property commonly known and described as 7401 North Caldwell Avenue, Niles, Illinois (hereinafter referred to as the Johnstone Property), against defendants, Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., as the lessee or owner of the premises and real estate immediately adjoining the Johnstone Property to the north, which is commonly known and described as 7555 North Caldwell Avenue, Niles, Illinois (hereinafter referred to as the Harcourt, Brace Property); J. Emil Anderson & Son, Inc., as lessor or owner of the Harcourt, Brace Property; A. Harold Anderson, the President of J. Emil Anderson & Son, Inc.; Nicholas B. Blase, President of the Village of Niles, Illinois; and Robert H. Wente, one of the Trustees of the Village of Niles, Illinois. Subsequent to the filing of the action the complaint was amended to join the Village of Niles as a defendant.
It would serve no purpose to detail the allegations in the pleadings or the evidence introduced. Suffice it to say that the plaintiffs filed this action in chancery seeking a temporary restraining order and thereafter a permanent injunction, enjoining the defendants from violating the provisions of Section IX, A, Paragraph 4, of the Niles Zoning Ordinance by constructing property or facilities or adjuncts to property immediately adjacent to the Johnstone premises and property, and within less than fifty feet from the north lot line of the Johnstone Property. The pleadings reveal that at issue in this action was the paving of the Harcourt, Brace Property within fifty feet of the Johnstone Property for use as a parking lot. In their answer the defendants alleged that the parking lot had been built in compliance with the specifications of Section X-B of the Niles Zoning Ordinance.
By order of court, the cause was referred to a Master in Chancery for a hearing and report on the application for the temporary restraining order, and on the application for a permanent injunction. After holding hearings, the Master presented his report in favor of defendants. The plaintiffs filed objections thereto, which were overruled. Exceptions to the report of the Master were heard by the Chancellor who entered a decree sustaining certain specified exceptions to the report. Insofar as this interlocutory appeal is concerned, the defendants have appealed from those decretal provisions construing Section 9A of the Niles Zoning Ordinance to be applicable to defendants' parking lot, and section 10 of the Ordinance inapplicable; and they have also appealed from the order restraining them from using the Harcourt, Brace Property as a parking lot within fifty feet of plaintiffs' north lot line. Plaintiffs have filed a cross-appeal in which they contend that the Chancellor erred in not entering a permanent injunction, and in not reserving jurisdiction for the purpose of awarding reasonable attorney's fees to plaintiffs.
The question presented on appeal, whether the plaintiffs have the right to prevent parking on the Harcourt, Brace Property within fifty feet of the north lot line of the Johnstone Property, involving as it does the construction of the Niles Zoning Ordinance, raises only a question of law.
The record reveals that the Johnstone Property is improved with a residence in a single-family residential classification. The Harcourt, Brace Property, which is zoned for a limited manufacturing use, is improved with a one-story warehouse and office building in which the lessees, Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., conduct the business of distributing books. The Harcourt, Brace Property has a parking lot which was installed by Harcourt, Brace to a line five feet parallel to the north line of plaintiffs' premises.
The same rules are applied by the court in the construction of a zoning ordinance as in the construction of a statute. Markiewicz v. City of Des Plaines, 41 Ill. App.2d 127, 190 N.E.2d 387. (Abstract only.) The basic consideration in construing an ordinance is to ascertain and then give effect to the intention of the lawmaking body. Dean Milk Co. v. City of Chicago, 385 Ill. 565, 53 N.E.2d 612. The plaintiffs rely on the provisions of Section IX, under the heading of "Manufacturing District" in the Zoning Ordinance of the Village of Niles, which refers to "General Requirements-M. District." In particular, they rely upon Section A-4 which reads, as follows:
4. No buildings, structures, or parcel of land, which is used for the manufacturing, fabricating, assembly, disassembly, repairing, storing, cleaning, or servicing of materials, products, or goods shall be located within 50 feet of any lot line of a lot located in a Residential District; and when directly across a street from a Residence District, there shall be provided for such uses a yard along such street of not less than 40 feet in depth.
The defendants, on the other hand, rely on the provisions of Section IX-B-7 which reads:
Parking spaces in accordance with provisions set forth in Section X of this ordinance.
They further rely on Sections X-B-8 and X-B-9(c) which ...