APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. EDWARD
F. HEALY, Judge, presiding.
MR. JUSTICE RYAN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Plaintiffs filed two applications under the zoning ordinance of the City of Chicago. The first sought is variation from the regulations of the Chicago Zoning Ordinance to permit the erection of a 5-story addition to a hospital whose rear yard, floor area and parking space would not comply with the requirements of the zoning ordinance. The second application sought a special use to permit the use of certain lots for off street parking to serve the needs of the hospital. The zoning board of appeals held a combined hearing on the two applications and denied both. Plaintiffs filed a complaint under the administrative review act praying that the court reverse the determinations of the zoning board and that the court order the zoning administrator to approve the applications of the plaintiff to enable it to build the 5-story addition to the hospital and to construct the parking lot. The Circuit Court of Cook County reversed the zoning board of appeals as to both the application for variation and the application for special use. It ordered the zoning administrator to approve the plaintiff's application for a building permit and for a parking lot. The defendants, being the zoning board of appeals, the zoning administrator and the City of Chicago have appealed.
The hospital, as lessee, occupies a 5-story building at 414-426 West Wisconsin Avenue in Chicago. The proposed addition would be constructed on a parcel of real estate immediately north of the present hospital building attached thereto. The property upon which the addition is proposed to be built was acquired by the Department of Urban Renewal for sale to Roosevelt Hospital. The hospital was founded in 1946 and was then located on Wellington Avenue. In 1960 the hospital moved to the present location taking over the facilities of a Salvation Army Geriatric Center. Certain alterations were made in the building at that time. The hospital has capacity for 125 patients and the average monthly census is continually around 100% capacity. It now has 45 to 50 doctors on its active staff and employs 275 full-time employees working on three full shifts, about one-third of that number working on each shift. At the present time the hospital provides no on site or off street parking. If the variation is granted and the addition built, the hospital will have a capacity of 120 additional beds and about 125 more employees making a total capacity for patients in the entire hospital as proposed of 245 and a total number of employees of 400 with about one-third of that number working each shift. The number of doctors on its active staff will remain substantially the same after the proposed addition at from 45 to 50.
Both the property on which the present hospital is located and the property upon which the proposed addition is to be built are located in a residential area zoned R5, a classification which permits hospitals to be located therein.
The ordinance provides that in an R5 District the maximum floor area ratio shall not exceed 2.2. The lot area upon which the present hospital is located contains 10,900 square feet whereas the present building located thereon contains 40,945 square feet being 16,965 square feet in excess of the allowable area. The ordinance also provides that off street parking in case of hospitals shall be provided as follows:
"One parking space for each three hospital beds plus one parking space for each three employees plus on parking space for each doctor assigned to the staff."
Since no off street parking is provided, the hospital as it is now operated, likewise, is in violation of this provision of the ordinance. However, if the use of the premises by the Salvation Army as a Geriatric Center can be classified as a hospital, the ordinance makes an exception as to the parking space requirements for a use established prior to the effective date of the ordinance. We find it unnecessary to decide whether the present use does constitute a continuation of the prior use. However, the ordinance does provide that when the use of an existing building shall be increased through addition of gross floor area or other units of measurements, parking and loading facilities shall be provided for the entire increase.
The new site upon which the proposed addition is to be built contains 15,948 square feet. Applying the allowable ratio of 2.2, the authorized floor area in the addition will be 34,095 square feet. However, the addition as proposed contains 59,980 square feet being 25,884 square feet in excess of the allowable area.
The minimum off street parking requirements for the addition only may be computed as follows:
120 beds at one space for every three beds equal 40 spaces; ...... 40 42 new employees (125 x 1/3 per shift) at one space for each three employees equal 14 spaces; ........................ 14 __ Total off street parking spaces required for addition ........ 54
In order to provide off street parking, the hospital purchased five lots located approximately 160 feet from the hospital. This land is also located in an R5 district. This property is the subject of the hospital's request for a special use to permit the same to be used as a parking lot. There is some evidence offered by the objectors that this property will only provide 39 parking spaces. However, a letter from the Commissioner of Development and Planning to the Zoning Administrator granted approval of the parking facility for a capacity of 56 vehicles. The hospital has been trying to acquire additional property in the vicinity to be used for parking purposes but has been unable to do so.
The zoning ordinance provides that the board of appeals shall vary the regulations of the ordinance only in the specific instances therein set forth, where the board makes a finding of fact, based on the standards prescribed, that there are practical difficulties or particular hardships in the way of carrying out the strict letter of the regulations. Section 11.7-3 of the ordinance provides that the Board shall not vary the regulations as authorized in Section 11.7-4 "unless it shall make findings based upon the evidence presented to it in each specific case that:
C. The variation, if granted, will not alter the essential character of the locality.
For the purpose of implementing the above rules, the board shall also, in making its determination whether there are practical difficulties or particular hardships take into consideration the extent to which the following facts favorable to the applicant have been established by the evidence.
(5) The granting of the variation will not be detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to other property or improvements in the neighborhood ...