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La Salle Nat'l Bk. v. County of Cook

OPINION FILED JULY 19, 1977.

LA SALLE NATIONAL BANK, TRUSTEE, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLEES,

v.

THE COUNTY OF COOK, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT. — (THE VILLAGE OF GLENVIEW, INTERVENOR-APPELLANT.)



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. EDWARD F. HEALY, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE STAMOS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied September 26, 1977.

This appeal arises out of an action for declaratory judgment against the County of Cook in which plaintiffs sought to have the single-family zoning restriction of the subject property declared invalid. The trial court found that the zoning restriction was invalid as applied to plaintiffs' property and that plaintiffs were entitled to use the property for multiple-family purposes. Cook County appeals from that judgment.

The subject property is owned by plaintiffs, La Salle National Bank and American National Bank and Trust Company, as trustees, and is situated in unincorporated Cook County near Glenview. The property consists of approximately 28 acres of vacant land and is located between Pinsky Road (unimproved) on the north, Lake Avenue on the south, Landwehr Road on the east, and Potter Road on the west. The subject property is zoned solely for single-family residences as is the property immediately to the east and west of the subject property.

Plaintiffs filed an application with the Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals for a zoning reclassification which would permit plaintiffs to erect a multi-family development on the subject property consisting of six structures containing approximately 500 units. The Zoning Board, after a public hearing on the application, recommended to the Cook County Board of Commissioners that the application be denied. The County Board denied plaintiffs' application for rezoning.

At trial in the circuit court of Cook County, the owners of the beneficial interests in the subject property, an architect-city planner and a real estate appraiser-consultant testified on behalf of plaintiffs. Each owner of a beneficial interest in the subject property testified that he purchased his interest with knowledge that the property was zoned solely for single-family residences. Plaintiffs' architect-city planner testified that the highest and best use of the subject property would be for multiple-family residences. However, he also testified that the existing community must be protected and admitted that in formulating his opinion as to the highest and best use of the subject property he did not take into consideration the absence of public transportation from the area surrounding the subject property. Plaintiffs' real estate appraiser testified that the highest and best use of the subject property would be for multiple-family residences. However he also testified that some of the homes surrounding the subject property could suffer a 10-percent decrease in value as a result of a multi-family development.

Homeowners residing near the subject property, a licensed real estate broker, the highway commissioner of Northfield Township, the vice president of High School District 225 (in which district the subject property is located, including nearby Glenbrook South High School), the building and zoning director of Glenview, a city planning and zoning consultant, and a traffic engineer testified on behalf of defendant. Each homeowner testified that he purchased his property in reliance upon its single-family zoning classification. One homeowner also noted that the absence of excessive traffic was an attractive feature of the community.

Defendant's real estate broker testified that the plaintiffs could derive a profit from selling their land for single-family residential purposes and that the need for single-family dwellings exists in the community. He also testified that the proposed multi-family development would be out of character with present community development and that a multi-family development would adversely affect the value of surrounding single-family homes.

The vice president of High School District 225, testifying on behalf of defendant, also opposed plaintiffs' proposed development. His opposition was based upon a belief that plaintiffs' development would aggravate an already severe traffic problem which existed near Glenbrook South High School, located just north of Lake Street, between Landwehr and Pfingsten roads.

Defendant's city planner testified that Potter Road, bordering the subject property to the west, could not accommodate the traffic which would result from a multi-family development. He further testified that the subject property is suitable for single family use, that there is a need for single-family homes and that sewer and water could be provided for single-family residences.

• 1 It is now axiomatic that a presumption exists in favor of the validity of the zoning ordinance. (Forestview Homeowners Association v. County of Cook (1974), 18 Ill. App.3d 230, 309 N.E.2d 763.) This presumption can only be overcome if the one challenging the ordinance shows (1) its invalidity by clear and convincing evidence (Buhrmaster v. County of Du Page (1973), 16 Ill. App.3d 212, 215, 305 N.E.2d 722, 725), and (2) that it is arbitrary and unreasonable and has no substantial relation to the public health, safety or welfare. (La Salle National Bank v. City of Evanston (1974), 57 Ill.2d 415, 428, 312 N.E.2d 625, 632.) Based upon the aforementioned testimony and an examination of exhibits, we find that plaintiffs have failed to sustain their burden of proving that the single-family zoning classification as applied to the subject property is invalid.

• 2 The factors to be considered in determining the validity of the zoning ordinance are the following:

1. The existing uses and zoning of nearby property;

2. The extent to which property values are diminished by the particular ...


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