APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. WALTER
P. DAHL, Judge, presiding.
MR. JUSTICE MCNAMARA DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT AS MODIFIED ON THE DENIAL OF THE PETITION FOR REHEARING:
Plaintiffs, La Salle National Bank, as trustee, and the James Investment Corporation, as beneficial owner of certain real estate located in Evanston, brought this declaratory judgment action against the defendant, City of Evanston, seeking a declaration that defendant's zoning ordinance was unconstitutional and void as applied to plaintiffs' property. After hearing evidence, the trial court entered judgment declaring the height and density restriction of defendant's zoning ordinance to be invalid as it prevented the plaintiffs from developing their property as proposed. On appeal defendant contends that plaintiffs failed to overcome the presumptive validity of the zoning ordinance in question; that the zoning ordinance as applied to the subject property is a valid exercise of legislative authority; and that plaintiffs failed to exhaust their administrative remedies before bringing the instant action.
The subject property is located at 1746 Hinman Avenue, on the southwest corner of Clark Street and Hinman in Evanston. The property is vacant, consists of approximately 52,800 square feet, and is located almost equidistantly between the downtown business district, the Northwestern University campus and a public park facing Lake Michigan.
Plaintiffs purchased the property in 1952 for $50,000. At the time, it was improved with a single-family home and coachhouse, and was zoned R-1, a single-family use. Plaintiffs demolished the home in 1956 and the coachhouse in 1967. Prior to its demolition, the coachhouse was rented as two units at a total $300 monthly income.
In 1960, under a comprehensive amendment, the property again was classified as R-1. In 1968, plaintiffs, along with other owners of property on both sides of Hinman Avenue, sought a change of zoning from the R-1 classification to R-7, which would permit the erection of a 125 unit apartment building to a height of 85 feet. The Zoning Committee recommended that both sides of Hinman between Clark and Church Streets be reclassified R-5A. In 1969, the City Council amended the zoning ordinance by reclassifying only the west side of Hinman, including the subject property, to R-5A. Under R-5A, the property could be developed for multi-family use to a height of three stories with a maximum number of 42 residential units. Plaintiffs brought this declaratory judgment action, and the trial court held that the zoning ordinance was void as it prohibited plaintiffs from erecting a structure containing 114 apartments 85 feet in height.
The west side of the block in which the subject property is located is zoned R-5A. Immediately south of the subject property is a single-family home with a coachhouse. Directly south of that is the Sigma Chi Foundation, national headquarters of a fraternity. South of that is the three-story University Club. No other buildings are on the west side of the block. On the east side of Hinman, still zoned R-1, are seven single-family residences and a building used by a church as a student religious center. The block to the east of these homes is also zoned R-1; however, it contains no single-family residences, but rather a sorority house, the Northwestern Training Institute and a B'nai B'rith Foundation Building.
The property immediately to the west, separated from the subject property by an alley, is zoned R-7. Immediately south of that property is a city parking lot, which occupies the remainder of the block, and is also zoned R-7. The block to the west of the subject property is also zoned R-7 and contains the public library, several institutions and an apartment building of the same height as that proposed by plaintiffs.
The first full blocks south of the subject property are zoned R-7 on both the east and west sides of Hinman. These contain, among other structures, hotels and apartment buildings with the same height and density as that proposed by plaintiffs. To the southwest of the subject property are business districts, including a bank 20 stories high.
The blocks north of the subject property are zoned U-2. A U-2 classification refers to dwellings owned or operated by a college or university. Such a classification permits buildings to a height generally of 35 and under certain circumstances of 50 feet. A density of residential units twice that permitted under R-5A, is allowed. These blocks to the north of the subject property consist primarily of businesses and offices related to Northwestern University, including classrooms, business offices, sorority house, chapel and school library.
Additionally, the following pertinent testimony was adduced at the hearing. Kenneth James, vice-president of the plaintiff beneficial owner, testified that plaintiffs proposed to erect a building 85 feet high with 114 apartments, including 18 one-bedroom apartments, 78 two-bedroom apartments, and 18 three-bedroom apartments. There would be 114 parking spaces provided, 85 of which would be indoors.
George Kranenberg, a planning and zoning consultant, testified for plaintiffs that in his opinion the highest and best use of the subject property was for multiple use under R-7. He based his opinion upon the presence of contiguous business districts and upon the public and quasi-public uses related to the university. He stated that the remaining single-family residences in the area were out of character with the neighborhood, and that the proposed R-7 use would not depreciate those single-family residences.
James E. Wolfe, a real estate broker and appraiser, testified for plaintiffs that in his opinion the highest and best use for the property was R-7. Zoned as R-5A, the property had a value of $350,000, and, if zoned R-7, it would have a value of $790,000.
Wayne F. Anderson, City Manager of the City of Evanston, was called by the plaintiffs as an adverse witness under Section 60. He testified that the city had no current plans for developing the parking lot west of the subject property, but that the city did receive and consider proposals from several parties concerning development of the lot.
George Anton, an appraiser, testified for plaintiffs that the property, zoned as R-5A, had a value of $350,000, while, if zoned R-7, it would have a value of $1,000,000. He based his opinion upon the ...