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City of Chicago v. Grendys Building Corp.

MARCH 20, 1972.




APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. FRANK B. MACHALA, Judge, presiding.


The City of Chicago brought suit in the Circuit Court of Cook County against defendants to compel them to make certain alterations in a building so that the building would comply with Articles 9.10-1(1) and 9.11-1(1), ch. 194A, of the Municipal Code of Chicago (Chicago Zoning Ordinance). *fn1 Following a bench trial, defendants were ordered to cease doing business until they demonstrated compliance with Article 9.11-1(1) by providing 23 off-street parking spaces within three blocks of the subject premises. In addition, defendants were ordered to construct a 10 by 50 foot loading berth, as required by Article 9.10-1(1), within ninety days of the entry of the order. It is from these orders that defendants have appealed.

The building and premises about which this case centers are located at 2520 West Irving Park Road, Chicago, and consist essentially of a two story building owned by Grendys Building Corporation and leased to Ogden Manufacturing Company, a manufacturer of electrical heating elements. The building was formerly a single story structure with horizontal dimensions of 75 by 125 feet and it has been used by defendants since prior to 1960. The second floor addition, which is used primarily for storage, was added in 1968 at a cost of $80,579.00. Because events surrounding the construction of the second floor addition are closely related to the instant controversy, a detailed examination of those events is necessary.

On or about December 20, 1967, defendants submitted an application for a building permit to the Department of Buildings, City of Chicago. The application and accompanying plans were processed through various sub-departments of the Department of Buildings and approved by each in turn. The proposed project was also examined and approved by an official of the Zoning Office and a rubber stamp bearing the name of John Maloney, Zoning Administrator, was imprinted on the application to indicate that the plans "CONFORMS TO ZONING ORDINANCE." Neither the application nor plans designated specific space allocations or dimensions for a loading berth or off-street parking. On March 12, 1968, the City issued a building permit and defendants commenced construction of the second story addition shortly thereafter. The City issued an Occupancy Certificate on April 22, 1968, over the signature of John Maloney, Zoning Administrator. That certificate, which is issued only after an inspector personally investigates the property and reports that it is in full compliance with the Chicago Zoning Ordinance, recites in part: "This is to certify that such building or premises [referring to defendants' building] complies with the provisions of the Chicago Zoning Ordinance and such building or premises may be occupied as Mfg. in C1-1 District."

Construction of the second floor addition progressed until on or about June 19, 1968, when the City issued a "Stop Order" concerning the construction. This order, sent by the Commissioner of Buildings to the Superintendent of Police, directed the police to "STOP AND KEEP STOPPED ALL WORK AT THIS LOCATION [2520 W. Irving Park Road] FOR CAUSE. (INSUFFICIENT PARKING)" The order was an apparent response by the City to complaints registered by private citizens who lived near the Ogden Manufacturing Company. These citizens were disgruntled because parking spaces in front of their homes were allegedly being used by employees of Ogden and other manufacturing concerns in the area. They had also complained because large delivery trucks were allegedly using nearby streets and alleys on a regular basis.

After the construction had been halted by the police, Roman Grendys, President of both the Ogden Manufacturing Company and the Grendys Building Corporation, went to the Building Commissioner's office to inquire why the construction had been stopped. According to Grendys, "He [city official] told me, `Now, we find out, you don't have adequate parking.' I said, `I didn't think I needed adequate parking for a storage factor.' He said, `You have got to have it.' I said, `I have facilities for it, and this can be arranged,' so after a couple of weeks, they started to begin, and everything was all right." Grendys also submitted the following affidavit at the apparent request of the city official:


"I, ROMAN M. GRENDYS, Affiant, President of OGDEN MANUFACTURING COMPANY, an Illinois corporation, located at 2520 West Irving Park Road, Chicago, Illinois make this Affidavit for the purpose of inducing the Department of Buildings of the City of Chicago to permit continuing construction of a second story on the premises located at the aforementioned address.

AFFIANT FURTHER SAYS that a permit for the second story now under construction was issued March 12, 1968, No. 398485 and occupancy certificate was issued April 22, 1968, No. 127628.

AFFIANT FURTHER SAYS that the same number of people will be employed as is set forth in the permit and that four (4) spaces for parking will be available in the present garage located on the corner of Maplewood and the alley at the rear of the premises.

AFFIANT FURTHER SAYS, that additional space for parking two (2) cars will be provided in the same building as a result of moving the shipping room to another room which will give OGDEN MANUFACTURING COMPANY a total of six (6) spaces for parking in the present building.

AFFIANT FURTHER SAYS that over forty (40) of the employees live in the area and have access to Affiant's place of business from the immediate surrounding blocks.

AFFIANT FURTHER SAYS that the second floor which is presently under construction will be used for that which is termed "dead storage" in terms of inventory.

AFFIANT FURTHER SAYS that the place of business has never created a nuisance in terms of parking, noise or otherwise and fails to understand the complaint ...

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