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Village of Riverwoods v. County of Lake

MAY 4, 1970.

VILLAGE OF RIVERWOODS, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

COUNTY OF LAKE, A BODY POLITIC AND CORPORATE OF ILLINOIS, AND TRAVENOL LABORATORIES, INC., A WHOLLY OWNED SUBSIDIARY CORPORATION OF BAXTER LABORATORIES, INC., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County; the Hon. HARRY D. STROUSE, Judge, presiding. Judgment affirmed.

MR. JUSTICE ABRAHAMSON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

In May, 1968, Travenol Laboratories, Inc. petitioned the Lake County Board of Appeals for amendments and variations to the Lake County zoning ordinance concerning 181 acres of land owned by them bounded on the west by Saunders Road, on the north by Hawthorne Lane, on the east by the northern Illinois Toll Road, and on the south by County Line Road; 130 acres consisting of various tracts of land, to be rezoned by amendment to "Limited Industrial" classification and "Office and Research" classification from the present classification of "Office and Research" and "Suburban Residential" classifications, respectively, and variations on a 51-acre tract zoned "Office and Research" to permit parking lots and driveways for occupants of the industrial tract. The area of 51 acres proposed to be used as a parking lot is on the west side of the property adjacent to the Village of Riverwoods. The Village of Deerfield is separated from that part of the subject property to be rezoned, on the east side, by the Toll Road.

The Village of Riverwoods filed a protest against the petition, but the Lake County Board of Supervisors, pursuant to the recommendation of the Zoning Board of Appeals, passed a resolution granting the rezoning amendments and variations on the 181 acres. Although the resolution did not carry by a three-fourths favorable vote, the Board declared the resolution passed and adopted. Thereafter, in this declaratory judgment action, filed by Riverwoods, the trial court held that the Village of Deerfield, not Riverwoods, was the nearest adjacent municipality to the land affected by amendments; that, since Deerfield did not protest the amendments, a three-fourths vote of the Board of Supervisors was not required to grant the amendments; that all requirements of section 3158, chapter 34, Ill Rev Stats 1967, had been met and that the reclassification amendments were thus valid in all respects. The court also held that the validity of the amendments granted under section 3158, the validity of the variation granted under section 3154, were separate and distinct issues of law; that the driveways and parking lots which were allowed by the variation were proper subjects for the variation under section 3154, and no amendment under section 3158 was necessary for such uses; that the reason for granting the variation was properly set forth in the resolution of the Board of Supervisors; and that the variation was in full compliance with section 3154 and valid in all respects.

On July 10, 1969, the Village of Riverwoods filed its notice of appeal from the order granting summary judgment to Travenol and denying Riverwoods' cross motion for summary judgment.

The contentions of Riverwoods, as stated, are: (1) that a single zoning petition with mutually supporting requests for amendments and variations affecting 181 acres of land is, in effect, a request for a legislative amendment; such a major change to such an extensive tract of land has a direct effect on the existing character and zoning integrity of an immediately adjacent municipality; and where the muncipality whose boundaries were nearest and immediately adjacent to the land affected filed a written protest, the resolution of the County Board, in amending the zoning classification and granting a variation without a three-fourths favorable vote was invalid; (2) the resolution of the County Board of Supervisors granting a variation to the defendant Travenol was invalid because there was no proof submitted by the petitioner of practical difficulties or particular hardship in the way of carrying out the county zoning and building ordinances; nor were there any findings of fact specifying statutory reasons for making the variations included in or accompanying the resolution of the County Board granting the requested variations.

In opposition to these contentions the County of Lake and Travenol Laboratories, Inc., state: (1) the validity of the zoning amendments granted pursuant to section 3158, and the validity of the variation granted pursuant to section 3154, present separate and distinct questions of law; the validity of the rezoning amendment being determined solely by the terms of section 3158, and the validity of the variation being determined solely by the terms of section 3154; (2) the circuit court properly ruled that the zoning amendments granted Travenol pursuant to section 3158 by the Lake County Board of Supervisors were valid; (3) the circuit court properly held that the zoning variation granted Travenol pursuant to section 3154 by the Lake County Board of Supervisors was valid.

Section 3158, chapter 34, Ill Rev Stats 1967, pertaining to zoning reads in part as follows:

"The regulations imposed and the districts created under the authority of this Act may be amended from time to time by ordinance or resolution, after the ordinance or resolution establishing same has gone into effect, but no such amendments shall be made without a hearing before the board of appeals. . . . In case of written protest against any proposed amendment, signed and acknowledged by the owners of twenty percent of the frontage proposed to be altered, or by the owners of twenty percent of the frontage immediately adjoining or across from an alley therefrom, or by the owners of twenty percent of the frontage directly opposite the frontage proposed to be altered, or in cases where the land affected lies within one mile and one-half of the limits of a zoned municipality, by the city council or president and board of trustees of the zoned municipality with limits nearest adjacent, filed with the county clerk, such amendment shall not be passed except by the favorable vote of three-fourths of all the members of the county board."

Section 3154 of the same statute pertaining to variations reads in part as follows:

"The regulations by this Act authorized may provide that a board of appeals may determine and vary their application in harmony with their general purpose and intent and in accordance with general or specific rules therein contained in cases where there are practical difficulties or particular hardship in the way of carrying out the strict letter of any of such regulations relating to the use, construction or alteration of buildings or structures or the use of land; or the regulations by this Act authorized may provide that the county board may, by ordinance or resolution determine and vary their application in harmony with their general purpose and intent and in accordance with general or specific rules therein contained in cases where there are practical difficulties or particular hardship in the way of carrying out the strict letter of any such regulations relating to the use, construction or alteration of buildings or structures or the use of land; provided, however, that no such variation shall be made by such county board without a hearing before the board of appeals. . . .

"Where a variation is to be made by ordinance or resolution, upon the report of the board of appeals such county board may by ordinance or resolution without further public hearing adopt any proposed variation or may refer it back to the board of appeals for further consideration and any proposed variation which fails to receive the approval of the board of appeals shall not be passed except by the favorable vote of three-fourths of all the members of the county board. Every such variation, whether made by the board of appeals directly or by ordinance or resolution after a hearing before a board of appeals shall be accompanied by a finding of fact specifying the reason for making such variation."

In essence, the contention of the Village of Riverwoods is that no matter in what guise the factual situation is presented in the petition for both zoning amendments and variations, on such an extensive tract of land it is a request for a major zoning change and, in fact, is a request for legislative amendment. Therefore, the granting of this major zoning change was invalid because the resolution of the County Board was adopted by less than three-fourths favorable majority after the Village had filed its written protest. Plaintiff cites the case of Sinclair Pipe Line v. Richton Park, 19 Ill.2d 370, 167 N.E.2d 406, in which the court stated at page 373:

"The variation procedure as prescribed in the act is designed to provide a flexible method for relaxing the rigid requirements of the ordinance in cases of individual need. It is not designed to work major changes in the zoning plan. Amendments by the legislative body are available for that purpose. Ill Rev Stats 1959, chap 34, par 3158.

"The property here involved is a large tract that constituted a major portion of the residential zone of which it is a part. A variation for an industrial use would radically alter the nature of the entire zone. Under these circumstances the authority of the zoning ...


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