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Union Nat. Bk. of Chicago v. Vil. of Oak Lawn

JULY 2, 1971.




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


Rehearing denied August 4, 1971.

Plaintiff brought a declaratory judgment action which sought a declaration that the zoning ordinance of the Village of Oak Lawn (hereinafter "Village") was void insofar as it classified the subject property R-1, Single-Family Residential District. Plaintiff asked that it be permitted to use the subject property under an R-3, Multi-Family Residence District classification. The trial court entered judgment for plaintiff finding that the Village's R-1 zoning ordinance as applied to the subject property was void insofar as the ordinance prohibited plaintiff from developing a series of thirteen multi-family apartment buildings containing 190 dwelling units.

The Village did not appeal from the judgment order of the trial court. This appeal is brought by certain homeowners (hereafter "Appellants") whose property lies directly across the street, to the west, of the subject property and whose interest in this cause appears throughout the record.

The subject property, presently zoned R-1, Single-Family Residence, consists of approximately 4.6 acres located on the east side of South Komensky Avenue and extending from 100th Street on the north to a point approximately 135 feet north of 103rd Street on the south in the Village of Oak Lawn. The property has a total frontage of about 1643 feet and an average depth of 124 feet, 10 feet of which includes the west half of a 20 foot vacated alley. The property along the eastern boundary of the subject property, fronting on the west of Crawford Avenue (a multi-lane heavily travelled thoroughfare), is zoned R-3 and is fully developed with multiple-family residences with the exception of four lots on the southwest corner of 100th and Crawford and six lots on the northwest corner of 103rd and Crawford. The area zoned R-3 from 100th to 102nd was based upon a declaratory judgment decree entered in 1961 which permitted this area fronting on Crawford to be developed for multiple-family residences.

On the east side of Crawford from 99th to 103rd in the City of Chicago is Brother Rice High School and other uses of a quasi-public nature. This area is zoned R-4, Public and Quasi-Public.

Immediately west of the subject property, on the west side of Komensky Avenue, from 100th to 103rd, is an area zoned R-1 and developed for single-family use. This R-1 zone extends approximately one mile west from the subject property to Cicero Avenue.

The area north of the subject property is also zoned R-1 from 100th to 99th and extends west to about Cicero Avenue. North of 99th is a Planned R-2 and/or R-3 zone.

South of the subject property, on the northwest corner of 103rd and Komensky, there is an R-3 multiple-family development. There is also R-3 zoning in an area bounded by 103rd on the north, Crawford on the east and Komensky on the west. This R-3 zone extends to 383 feet south of 103rd. A food mart, zoned C-2, General Service District, comprises the remainder of the block south to 104th.

Multiple dwellings zoned R-3 were built on the west side of Komensky running south from 103rd to a public walkway at 104th. These apartments front on Komensky and the rear yards of these buildings have a common lot-line with the rear yards of single-family homes fronting on Karlov Avenue. These single-family homes are located in an R-1 zone which extends north, south and west.

A B4-1, Residential Service District, begins at the southeast corner of 103rd and Crawford and extends east on 103rd to Springfield Avenue and south on Crawford to 104th.

The beneficial owner of the subject property is William Ryan, a building contractor, who bought the property for $410,000 in 1968 with knowledge of the existing R-1 zoning. He acquired the property with the intention of developing it for multiple-family residences. He proposes to build 190 units on the property which would not comply with R-1 zoning but would comply with the density requirements of an R-3 classification. He has made no effort to sell the property for single-family residences. He appeared before the appropriate body of the Village seeking a change in zoning from R-1 to R-3, which was denied. This change was also denied by the Village Board of Trustees.

Four homeowners of single-family residences within the two and three-quarter block area fronting on Komensky, directly west of the subject property, and each an appellant herein, testified that they were aware of the single-family zoning of the subject property at the time they purchased their homes and relied upon this R-1 zoning before making their purchase. In their opinion the construction of a multiple apartment building development consisting of one 22 unit building, eight 15 unit buildings and four 12 unit buildings would interfere with the use and enjoyment of their own property and would reduce the value of their homes. Testimony of John McNamara, for the plaintiff:

He is a real estate broker and appraiser and has been in the real estate business for 44 years. In his opinion the subject property as zoned R-1 was valued at $35,000. If an R-3 classification were allowed the value of the land for multiple-family use would be $665,000. This figure is based upon 190 units worth $3,500 per unit.

In his opinion the value of the homes on the west side of Komensky from 100th to 103rd is $35,000 ...

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