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In Re Special Assessment By Creve Coeur

OPINION FILED FEBRUARY 14, 1977.

IN RE SPECIAL ASSESSMENT BY THE VILLAGE OF CREVE COEUR.


APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Tazewell County; the Hon. JAMES D. HEIPLE, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE SCOTT DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

This appeal stems from a proceedings pursuant to article 9 of the Illinois Municipal Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 24, art. 9) to confirm a special assessment for paving improvements in the Village of Creve Coeur. Legal objections to the proposed improvement were filed on behalf of 139 objectors which affected approximately 100 parcels of property within the proposed local improvement. The objectors further filed a motion for injunctive relief. The trial court overruled the legal objections without conducting an evidentiary hearing and also denied the motion for injunctive relief and this appeal ensued.

Two issues are presented to this court for review. The first is whether the ordinance providing for the local paving improvement is void for lack of specificity and failure to establish the grade of the streets to be improved. This issue was predicated almost entirely upon allegations of lack of specificity in Ordinance No. 423 which was adopted by the Village of Creve Coeur for the purpose of paving improvement No. 75-C.

The objectors' petition contained seven objections. There were six specific objections which challenged the ordinance for legal reasons, one which raised a "benefit" question and the seventh paragraph in the petition was left blank so that the signers could insert any objections or reasons they desired as to why in their opinion the ordinance was invalid.

At a hearing the trial court ruled that objections numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 did not state legal objection as a matter of law. The trial court declined to have an evidentiary hearing but held that the objections were barren of legal significance, were without merit and hence no purpose would be served by the presentation of evidence.

The objectors abandoned the seventh objection and therefore it is not a part of this appeal. It is necessary, however, for us to examine the remaining objections in order to determine the issues presented in this appeal.

The first objection raised the question as to the specificity of the ordinance as to the description of the proposed improvement regarding the grade of the street and ditches, the numbers and specific culverts to be repaired or replaced, the width of the paved portion of the roadway, the depth of the base, the number of driveways to be adjusted or replaced and the number of sewer manholes to be adjusted or replaced.

• 1 In examining this objection we first direct our attention to the applicable statutory law, to-wit, section 9-2-10 of the Illinois Municipal Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 24, par. 9-2-10), which provides in part as follows:

"This ordinance shall prescribe the nature, character, locality, and description of the improvement * * *."

This provision of the statute has been held by our supreme court to be mandatory. (See County of DeWitt v. City of Clinton (1902), 194 Ill. 521, 62 N.E. 780.) However, an ordinance for street improvement need not set out in detail all the particulars of the work to be done. A substantial compliance with the requirement of the statute as to the description of a street improvement in the ordinance providing therefor, so that any contractor or person experienced in the construction of pavements could comply with the ordinance according to its intent, when taken in connection with the general ordinance on the same subject is all that is required. Chicago Union Traction Co. v. City of Chicago (1905), 215 Ill. 410, 74 N.E. 449.

• 2 In the instant case Ordinance No. 423 for paving improvement 75-C does prescribe the nature, character, locality and description of the improvement. It sets forth that it is to consist of the addition of gravel to an existing gravel base. It provides for the excavation, replacement and/or cleaning of side ditches and driveway culverts. It further provides that there will be adjustments, replacement and repair of existing driveways, valves, sewers and manholes. As to the requisite pertaining to locality the ordinance specifically sets forth the names of the streets involved, where the improvement is to commence and terminate. The pavement widths for the streets to be improved are specifically set forth in detail and the various improvements are further described in blueprints and plans which were incorporated in and made a part of the ordinance. With all this information set forth in Ordinance No. 423 we are of the opinion that it meets the substantial compliance test as required in the case of Chicago Union Traction Co. v. City of Chicago (1905), 215 Ill. 410, 74 N.E. 449.

• 3 It is further alleged that the ordinance is void since it fails to establish the grade of the streets and ditches. The reason for requiring that the grade be set forth is so that an estimate can be made as to the cost of the improvement. (See Brewster v. City of Peru (1899), 180 Ill. 124, 54 N.E. 233.) In the instant case the cost estimate for "Base Preparation," "Ditch Shaping & Grading" was computed and filed with the ordinance. This cost estimate was approved by the Village, hence we do not agree with the objectors that the ordinance is void because it does not establish therein the grade. See Lake v. City of Decatur (1879), 91 Ill. 596.

• 4 The objectors further contend that there is a lack of specificity in that the ordinance fails to show the locations of manholes, water valves, or culverts to be adjusted. In regard to this contention it should be noted that the ordinance provides for the repair and replacement of existing culverts and manholes and not for the initial construction of the same. We therefore deem this contention of the objectors to be without merit for certainly an engineer could readily determine the location of manholes and culverts already in existence. (See City of Pekin v. Grussi (1930), 338 Ill. 196, 170 N.E. 313. See also the cases of City of Springfield v. Sale (1889), 127 Ill. 359, 20 N.E. 86.) These latter cases held that the failure of an ordinance to specify the location of manholes did not invalidate it.

For the reasons stated we do not agree with the objectors that Ordinance No. 423 providing for paving improvement 75-C is void ...


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