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Pacesetter Homes v. Village of Olympia Fields

DECEMBER 30, 1968.

PACESETTER HOMES, INC., AN ILLINOIS CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

VILLAGE OF OLYMPIA FIELDS, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. EDWARD F. HEALY, Judge, presiding. Decree affirmed.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE BURKE DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

This appeal is taken from a decree entered on the pleadings declaring unconstitutional portions of an architectural control ordinance enacted by defendant, Village of Olympia Fields.

On March 4, 1966, plaintiff, Pacesetter Homes, Inc., through its authorized agent, filed an application, together with architectural plans and other pertinent matters, with the Building Commissioner of the Village for a permit to construct a singe-family residence building in a subdivision of the Village. The application was referred to the Architectural Advisory Committee of the Village which, on April 23, 1966, determined that the application not be allowed on the ground that the proposed building violated Ordinance 63 of the Village regulating the architectural designs and styles of new construction within the Village, and the remodeling or alteration of existing structures. The application was disallowed because the proposed construction was "architecturally similar" to other buildings in the area of the proposed construction site.

The preamble to Ordinance 63 recites that the purpose of the Ordinance is to provide for and protect the health, safety, comfort and convenience of the Village residents. The preamble asserts the desirability of the enactment of reasonable standards for home construction and subdivision design, and recites that "excessive similarity, dissimilarity or inappropriateness in exterior design and appearance of property" adversely affects the desirability, stability, economic and taxable value, and the like, of nearby property.

The Ordinance provides in pertinent part that plans for new building construction, or the remodeling or alteration of existing buildings within the Village are to be submitted to the Village Building Commissioner for the issuance of a building permit. If the Commissioner "believes" that the proposed construction or alteration "may" produce excessive similarity, dissimilarity or inappropriateness in relation to nearby property, he shall refer the application to the Architectural Advisory Committee for further consideration. If "any members" of the Committee likewise "believe" that the proposed construction or alteration "may" produce the same result, he shall direct the Building Commissioner to refer the application to the Architectural Advisory Committee as a body. The Committee must then consider the application, on the same basis as did the Building Commissioner, and "no building permit shall be issued" unless a majority of the Committee determines that the proposed construction or alteration will not produce the "harmful effects" as therein provided.

The standards to be employed by the Building Commissioner and by the Architectural Advisory Committee in determining whether a proposed construction or alteration is violative of the Ordinance are set out in subparagraph E of section 1 of the Ordinance. It provides that the Commissioner and the Committee, in reaching a determination, shall consider "whether there exists one or more of the following:

"(i) Excessive similarity or dissimilarity of design in relation to any other structure existing or for which a permit has been issued within a distance of 1,000 feet of the proposed site, or in relation to the characteristics of building design generally prevailing in the area, in respect to one or more of the following features:

"(1) Apparently identical facade;

"(2) Substantially identical size and arrangement of either doors, windows, porticoes or other openings or breaks in the facade facing the street, including a reverse arrangement thereof;

"(3) Cubical contents;

"(4) Gross floor area;

"(5) Other significant design features, such as, but not limited to, roof line, height of building, construction, material, or quality of architectural design; or

"(6) Location and elevation of building upon the site in relation to the topography of the site and in in relation to contiguous property.

"(ii) Inappropriateness in relation to any other property in the same or any adjoining district of design, landscaping, building materials and use thereof, orientation to site, or ...


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