APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. EDWARD
J. EGAN, Judge, presiding.
MR. JUSTICE BURMAN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
This is an appeal from a judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County reversing a decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals of Park Ridge which granted to the appellant, All American Life and Casualty Company ("All American"), a variation permitting construction of a seven story office building, 88 feet in height, in a zoning district where the height limit is 40 feet.
The subject property, which is owned by All American, is located on the north side of Higgins Road west of its intersection with Cumberland Avenue. It has an east-west dimension of approximately 331 feet and north-south dimensions varying from 258 feet at the western boundary to 300 feet at the eastern boundary. It is located in the "D" commercial zoning district, to which regulations of the "D-D" district are made applicable by section 256.1 of the Park Ridge Zoning ordinance. Section 256-3 of the ordinance provides that:
"No building hereafter erected or altered in the `D-D' Commercial districts shall exceed forty feet (40 ft.) in height or three (3) stories."
All American filed an application for a variation of the height limitation. The Zoning Board of Appeals took evidence at a hearing on April 10, 1970, and on April 17 granted the variation to All American. The board's decision was not mailed, however, until April 24, A complaint for administrative review of the board's decision was filed on May 25th in the Circuit Court of Cook County by Grant Reichard, John Fayes and Robert Milnikel, residents and property owners of Park Ridge. The complaint named as defendants the Zoning Board of Appeals and its members, the City of Park Ridge, All American, various city officials and others. On July 27, 1970, the City of Park Ridge moved to be realigned as a plaintiff. The motion was granted, and Park Ridge adopted the complaint filed by the individual plaintiffs. On December 18, 1970, the Circuit Court entered its order reversing the decision of the Zoning Board or, in the alternative, reversing and remanding to the Board to make further findings of fact. This appeal by All American followed.
On appeal All American raises the following contentions:
(1) Park Ridge is not authorized and empowered to contest a final decision of its own zoning board of appeals.
(2) Park Ridge is not a "person aggrieved" within the meaning of controlling Illinois law.
(3) Park Ridge did not seek judicial review in a timely manner.
(4) The Zoning Board of Appeals made adequate findings of fact; and
(5) The findings of the Zoning Board of Appeals were supported by substantial evidence.
We first consider whether Park Ridge has authority to seek judicial review of a decision of its own zoning board of appeals. All American urges that Park Ridge has no such authority and cites in support of its position Village of Bensenville v. County of Du Page, 30 Ill. App.2d 324; Village of Mount Prospect v. County of Cook, 113 Ill. App.2d 336 and Krembs v. County of Cook, 121 Ill. App.2d 148. We believe the cases cited by All American are distinguishable from the present case.
In Bensenville, the issue before the court was whether a municipality had standing to attack a decision of Du Page County authorities to rezone contiguous unincorporated land. The court held that in the absence of a statute explicitly conferring a right to maintain such an action the municipality lacks standing. In Mount Prospect, the municipality sought to attack a zoning decision of Cook County, alleging special damages. The court held that Mount Prospect had no standing to maintain its action. In Krembs, the Village of Northbrook attempted to intervene to defend zoning action taken by Cook County. Relying on Mount Prospect the court upheld the denial of the petition for leave to intervene.
All of the foregoing cases involved an attempt by the municipality to attack action taken by county zoning authorities with respect to land located outside the corporate limits of the municipality. In holding that the municipality did not have the power to attack action taken by the county zoning authorities, the court in Mount Prospect cited ...