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Nehrbass v. Village Tavern of Long Grove

JANUARY 20, 1969.

MARIE S. NEHRBASS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

THE VILLAGE TAVERN OF LONG GROVE, INC., AN ILLINOIS CORPORATION, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County, Nineteenth Judicial Circuit; the Hon. LLOYD A. VAN DEUSEN, Judge, presiding. Judgment affirmed. MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE ABRAHAMSON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

This is an appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County. The action was brought by plaintiff pursuant to c 24, § 11-13-15 (Ill Rev Stats 1967) against the defendant to enjoin an alleged violation of the Zoning Ordinance of the Village of Long Grove, Illinois. No questions were raised on the pleadings. The case was submitted to the trial judge on a "Stipulation of Uncontested Facts." Plaintiff appeals from the trial court's dismissal of her complaint.

Marie S. Nehrbass, plaintiff, owns a dress shop and a restaurant in the Village of Long Grove, immediately adjacent to the premises owned by defendant and upon which defendant operates a tavern and restaurant known as the Village Tavern. At the time the zoning ordinance in question was adopted, on November 18, 1957, the frame building on the defendant's property was being used as a tavern and restaurant and continues to be so used. Defendant acquired the premises known as the Village Tavern in June of 1962. It also acquired a vacant parcel of land between the tavern and plaintiff's building. The trial court found that:

"In 1963 defendant sought and obtained a building permit for an `addition for the Village Tavern' and in accordance with the plans and specifications submitted to the Village constructed a one-room addition to his existing frame building. Such construction externally gives the appearance of two additional and separate store fronts, but internally consists of one large room with ingress to the existing frame building through an arch opening eight feet by seven feet. The new construction was occupied from the date of completion until July 15, 1964, by three tenants and thereafter defendant took possession and installed tables in the new addition and is now serving alcoholic beverages and food in said addition with kitchen and bar facilities located in the old building. . . ."

It is plaintiff's position that defendant is operating in violation of Section III E of the ordinance which provides that no building or tract of land shall be devoted to any use other than one which is specified as permitted or special use in Section VI in the zoning district. In the alternative, plaintiff argues that Section VI B-2 g is unconstitutional and therefore the Village Tavern is a nonconforming use and may not be expanded.

Defendant denies any violation of the Long Grove Zoning Ordinance and contends that plaintiff, having shown no special damages, lacks a standing to sue and, further, may not use c 24, § 11-13-15 (Ill Rev Stats 1967) as a vehicle for attacking the validity of the zoning ordinance.

Long Grove is a small village in Lake County with a distinctly rural atmosphere. In the Preamble of its Zoning Ordinance it stressed that the Village was incorporated for the purpose of preserving a semirural mode of living. The Zoning Ordinance created two residential districts, both single-family, one providing for not less than three acres per residence, the other not less than two acres per residence. Two business districts were created, one designated as the "Antique Center" and the other as a local shopping center. The provisions delineating the Antique Center provide as follows:

"B. ANTIQUE CENTER

"1. General Conditions

"a) Each business establishment is restricted to not more than 5000 square feet of floor area.

"2. Permitted Uses — B1 District

"a) Antique Shops

"b) Art and School Supply Stores and Studios

"c) Gift Shops

"d) Professional ...


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