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Urban Investment & Development v. Graham





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Lake County; the Hon. FRED H. GIEGER, Judge, presiding.


This is an action for mandamus in which plaintiff seeks to compel defendant to approve its subdivision plat. The trial court dismissed the petition and plaintiff appeals contending that it was entitled to the writ as it had complied with all statutes and ordinances necessary to the approval of its plat.

Plaintiff, Urban Investment and Development Company, a corporation, is the owner and developer of Hawthorne Center Plat which is a portion of a regional shopping center and located entirely within the corporate limits of the Village of Vernon Hills in Lake County, Illinois. It submitted the proposed plat to the officials of the village and the plat was approved by the village officers in 1974.

The plat was also submitted for approval to defendant, plat officer of Lake County, and to the technical staff of the Planning, Zoning and Building Committee of the County Board of Lake County in 1973. Plaintiff was advised that the technical staff would recommend approval of the plat if the storm water discharge rate of the proposed subdivision would comply with certain levels prescribed by the staff (these suggested standards were established by the technical staff; the county board had enacted no ordinances regulating storm water discharge levels of proposed subdivisions).

The plat was subsequently resubmitted to defendant and the technical staff and plaintiff advised them that the storm water standards required by the staff had been met.

The planning, zoning and building committee met in January 1975 and its chairman, who was the plat officer and is defendant herein, received the recommendation for approval of the plat from its technical staff. Defendant, however, refused to approve the plat stating he believed it did not adequately provide for storm water drainage on the land sought to be platted. The committee and, subsequently, the county board confirmed defendant's stance and this action followed.

The general requirements to be met by one who wishes to subdivide land and record a plat are found in section 1 of "An Act to revise the law in relation to plats" (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 109, par. 1), which provides, in part,

"* * * whenever the owner of land subdivides it into 2 or more parts, any of which is less than 5 acres, he must have it surveyed and a plat thereof made by a Registered Land Surveyor, which plat must particularly describe and set forth all public streets, alleys, ways for public service facilities, parks, playgrounds, school grounds or other public grounds, and all the tracts, parcels, lots or blocks, and numbering all such lots, blocks or parcels by progressive numbers, giving their precise dimensions."

Defendant does not here contend that plaintiff failed to meet any of the necessary provisions of "An Act to revise the law in relation to plats."

It would appear plaintiff submitted its proposed plat for defendant's approval, although the land was not located in the unincorporated portion of Lake County, to meet any requirements which might be imposed by reason of section 25.09a of "An Act to revise the law in relation to counties" (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 34, par. 415), which provides for approval, under the authority of the county board, of subdivision plats located within as well as outside the boundaries of municipalities. Insofar as is pertinent to this case, the statute provides that a county board may,

"* * * establish by ordinance or resolution of record reasonable rules and regulations governing the location, width and course of streets and highways, and the provision of public grounds for schools, parks or playgrounds, in any map, plat or subdivision of any block, lot or sub-lot or any part thereof or any piece or parcel of land in the county, which rules and regulations may include such reasonable requirements with respect to water supply and sewage collection and treatment, and such reasonable requirements with respect to street drainage and surfacing, as may be established by the county board as minimum requirements in the interest of the health, safety and convenience of the public of the county; and to require by ordinance or resolution of record that any map, plat or subdivision shall be submitted to the county board or some officer to be designated by the county board for its or his approval * * *. Provided, however, that the location, width and course of local streets and of facilities relative to the local distribution of water and other local municipal facilities shall be subject to the exclusive control of and approval by the municipality."

Section 25.09a (par. 415) does give the county board authority to require that proposed plats of subdivisions located anywhere within the county be submitted to its plat officer for approval and determination whether it conforms to such standards as the county board may have established in those limited areas of control within a municipality permitted by the statute.

Defendant contends that inasmuch as section 25.09a (par. 415) permits the county board to regulate street drainage of proposed plats located within a municipality that he, as its plat officer, is authorized to withhold approval of a plat when he is not satisfied with the provisions made for storm water drainage in the plat; on this basis defendant declined to approve plaintiff's plat.

We may not determine in this case to what extent section 25.09a (par. 415) gives jurisdiction to a county board over street or storm water drainage within a municipality as Lake County had not implemented the statute by the enactment of any ordinances or resolutions regulating such matters as is required by section 25.09a (par. 415). Any authority defendant might have to withhold approval of the plat for suspected drainage deficiencies was entirely dependent upon the county board having first ...

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