APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. F.
EMMETT MORRISSEY, Judge, presiding.
MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE DOWNING DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Clyde Savings and Loan Association (hereinafter Clyde), one of numerous defendants in an administrative review *fn1 of a decision of the Illinois Savings and Loan Board (hereinafter Board), appeals from a judgment of the circuit court of Cook County reversing a decision by the Board which had approved the maintenance of a facility by Clyde to be located at 5817 West Cermak Road, Cicero, Illinois.
The appeal presents the question of whether the trial court was correct in holding that the Board's decision was contrary to the law, void and against the manifest weight of the evidence. Implicit in the legal questions raised by this appeal is the question of whether the Board's action violated one of its rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to statutory authority.
Plaintiffs, a number of State and Federal chartered savings and loan associations, filed a complaint for administrative review and declaratory judgment. The defendants, in addition to Clyde, were the Commissioner of Savings and Loan Associations for the State of Illinois (hereinafter Commissioner), the Board and its members individually, and other savings and loan associations no longer involved in this appeal.
The complaint in the trial court alleged that on July 2, 1970, Clyde submitted an application requesting a formal bylaw amendment for a change of location from 5817 West Cermak Road, Cicero to 7222 West Cermak Road, North Riverside; that on July 29, 1970, the Commissioner approved the application; that on February 8, 1972, Clyde submitted an application to maintain a facility at the old location (5817); that a public hearing on said application was held; that plaintiffs appeared as protestants and objected on the basis that said application was contrary to published regulations; that evidence was presented by the plaintiffs; and that on May 26, 1972, the Commissioner approved the facility application.
Thereupon, as alleged in the complaint, plaintiffs, as aggrieved parties to the Commissioner's order, filed a demand for a hearing which was held by an appointed hearing officer; that plaintiffs presented evidence in opposition to the Commissioner's order; that thereafter the hearing officer issued a report to the Board recommending that the Board approve the May 26, 1972, order of the Commissioner in effect finding that a need exists for a facility of Clyde at 5817 West Cermak Road; and that on December 5, 1972, the Board confirmed the May 26 order. The plaintiffs further alleged, in the complaint, that the Board's December 5 action is contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence for various reasons not necessary to set forth in the consideration of this appeal, and contrary to section 1-9 of the Illinois Savings and Loan Act (the Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1971, ch. 32, par. 709(b)(c)) and article X of the Rules and Regulations, Office of the Savings and Loan Commissioner effective December 10, 1971. Plaintiffs prayed that the Commissioner's order of May 26, 1972, be reversed. Count II of plaintiffs' complaint asked the trial court to make a binding declaration of rights under section 1-9(b) of the statute and article X of the rules.
Defendants' motion to strike Count I and dismiss Count II was denied. Thereupon an answer was filed which consisted of the entire administrative record of the proceedings before the Board, and, in effect, a denial of the allegations of the complaint.
In short, the record established that on July 29, 1970 the Commissioner approved Clyde's petition to relocate its savings and loan office from 5817 West Cermak Road to 7222 West Cermak Road, a move of approximately 1 8/10 miles. *fn2
On February 8, 1972, approximately 18 months after the Commissioner approved Clyde's bylaw amendment to change its location, Clyde filed an application under article X of the Commissioner's Rules and Regulations to maintain a facility at its old location, 5817 West Cermak Road. Clyde had not actually moved its location at the time it filed its "facility" application. Public hearings were held and on May 26, 1972, the Commissioner entered an order approving the facility application.
Thereafter, in accordance with section 7-21 of the Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1971, ch. 32, par. 861), the plaintiffs appealed this order to the Board. As required by statute, the Board conducted public hearings and, after a favorable recommendation of the hearing officer, on December 5, 1972, the Board confirmed the May 26, 1972, order of the Commissioner approving Clyde's maintenance of a facility at 5817 West Cermak Road. Thereupon, plaintiff filed its complaint in the trial court, which found (1) the December 5, 1972, decision of the Board adversely affected the rights of the plaintiffs; (2) that Clyde's application for a facility is contrary to the law in that it was not filed simultaneously with Clyde's application to change its location (approved July 29, 1970); and (3) that the finding that a need exists for the facility is contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence.
• 1 The threshold question is the legal propriety of the action of the Board in approving the facility application. The statutory authority for a State chartered savings and loan association to establish a "facility" was P.A. 77-1584 which became effective September 20, 1971. That legislative enactment which was an amendment to section 1-9 of the Illinois Savings and Loan Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1969, ch. 32, par. 709(b)) permitted the "[E]stablishment of a facility, as defined by the Commissioner, in the case of a supervisory merger, * * * or, a single facility in the case of a relocation." (Emphasis supplied.)
Pursuant to the authority set forth in the aforesaid amendment on December 10, 1971, the Commissioner adopted certain rules and regulations pertinent to the subject matter. Article X, section 1 provides:
"Section 1. Authorization. Subject to the laws of the State of Illinois and this Article X, an ...