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Vil. of Arlington Heights v. County of Cook

JULY 14, 1971.

THE VILLAGE OF ARLINGTON HEIGHTS ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,

v.

COUNTY OF COOK ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. EDWARD J. EGAN, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE DIERINGER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied September 9, 1971.

This is an appeal arising from an order of the Circuit Court of Cook County dismissing an amended complaint for declaratory judgment and for an injunction instituted by plaintiffs, Village of Arlington Heights, and others, alleging the rezoning of certain property by the County of Cook in an unincorporated area contiguous to the Village was invalid, illegal and unconstitutional. The original and amended complaint also sought to restain defendant owners from subdividing the property without receiving prior approval from the Village.

On appeal the following are the issues raised: Do municipal corporations and their officials have any power or authority, express or implied, under the State statutes, to challenge and attack express authority of a county rezoning unincorporated territory contiguous to the village? Do allegations by a village of grievances and procedural defects in the zoning actions of the county, in a complaint against a county, give the village implied power or authority, under the State statutes, to bring an action against a county?

The facts may be summarized from the pleadings and show that on October 9, 1967, the Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals held a public hearing at which the plaintiff, Village of Arlington Heights, appeared in opposition to the rezoning application. On January 22, 1968, the Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals recommended the application be approved, and on January 26, 1968, the County Board of Commissioners of Cook County approved the recommendations and rezoned the property.

On January 5, 1968, the plaintiffs filed their complaint in the Circuit Court. The plaintiffs are the Village of Arlington Heights, John G. Woods, Village President of the Village of Arlington Heights, John White, John J. Walsh, Roy Bressler, Francois Palmatier, Charles O. Bennett and George Burlingame, as Village Trustees.

The defendants are the County of Cook, Herbert C. Wenske, Building Commissioner of Cook County, Bernard J. O'Brien, Zoning Administrator of Cook County, Bulk Petroleum Company, contingent purchaser of subject property, Ronald L. Bradley, owner of the subject property, and Sidney R. Olsen, Recorder of Deeds of Cook County.

The subject matter of the amended complaint involves the rezoning by the County of Cook of certain property outside the corporate limits of the Village of Arlington Heights, but contiguous to the Village, in an unincorporated area.

The Village of Arlington Heights and its elected officials allege the Village had adopted an official comprehensive plan within a mile and one-half of its corporate limits and that the official plan affects the subject property; that according to the plan the recommended classification of the subject property was for single-family dwelling use; that the Village adopted a formal resolution in opposition to the zoning classification; that the Zoning Board of Appeals recommended the rezoning notwithstanding the Village's objections; that the County did rezone said property from an R-3 single-family residence district to B-2 restricted service district; that the purported hearing by the zoning board was invalid because of various procedural errors; that the County Board failed to vote by ayes or nays upon a specific motion to adopt the rezoning ordinance or resolution; that the subject property is in all respects suitable for single-family development and the trend of development in said area is for single-family residential use; that the rezoning of the subject property would adversely affect other properties within the corporate limits of the Village, lower the taxable values of said property, injuring and damaging the Village, in that municipal revenues would suffer by reason of loss of assessed valuation and tax receipts and that it would further create traffic hazards, water hazards, sewer hazards, fire hazards, and health hazards; that the rezoning is highly detrimental to the surrounding single-family residential areas and residential uses of the Village; that the reclassification is not consistent with the public health, safety, comfort, morals and general welfare; that the rezoning is void and in violation of the Constitution of the State of Illinois and the Constitution of the United States of America; that a court of equity should entertain that action under the constitutional right of all persons to be heard in matters in which they are wronged; that the Cook County Recorder be enjoined from recording any plat or subdivision without the approval of the Village of Arlington Heights.

The motions to strike and dismiss allege that the Village of Arlington Heights and the individually named elected officials as parties plaintiffs have no right or authority to bring the action on behalf of the residents and taxpayers of the Village of Arlington Heights against the County of Cook; that the Village lacks the statutory power to challenge the exercise of the expressly granted statutory powers of the County of Cook; that the individually named Village officials plaintiffs' residences were located approximately one and three-eighths miles to two and five-eighths miles from the subject property, and were not directly affected by the rezoning and an affidavit to this effect was attached to the motions to strike and dismiss. This affidavit was uncontroverted. Finally, that the subdivision statute does not apply, especially where no alleys, streets, sewer and water lines are being plotted or even contemplated.

After hearings were held, the court dismissed the amended complaint on October 16, 1969, and the notice of appeal was filed November 13, 1969. This case must be decided according to the law as it was at the time, under the Constitution of 1870.

This is a matter involving a zoning dispute between the Village of Arlington Heights and its officials and the County of Cook. Since the Village and County are creatures of the legislature and were organized, and are now existing, by virtue of certain described powers delegated to them by the legislature, the conflict of the Village and County necessarily must be resolved under the various powers delegated to each.

Primarily, the question involved is whether or not under the various statutes delegating powers, the Village of Arlington Heights and its officials have any power or authority to challenge or attack rezoning by the County of Cook of premises in an unincorporated area contiguous to the Village.

There are three recent cases covering the points raised in the case at bar. In the case of the Village of Bensenville v. County of DuPage (1961), 30 Ill. App.2d 324, the court held that municipal corporations are creatures of the State and have only those powers delegated to them by the legislature. Municipal corporations derive their ...


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