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American Nat'l Bk. & T. v. Vil. of Oak Lawn





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. RICHARD L. CURRY, Judge, presiding.


Rehearing denied March 19, 1980.

Plaintiffs, Edward J. and Joan A. McNamara, who are the beneficial owners of land held in trust by plaintiff, American National Bank & Trust Company of Chicago, applied to the Village of Oak Lawn (village) for rezoning of the subject property from an R-1, single-family, to an R-3, multifamily, zoning classification. The village denied their request for rezoning and plaintiffs filed an action in the circuit court of Cook County seeking to have the existing zoning classification declared invalid and unconstitutional as applied to their property. The circuit court held in favor of plaintiffs. The defendant village appeals.

We reverse the judgment of the circuit court of Cook County.

The property consists of two vacant parcels of land bisected by 106th Place and located on the west side of Kilpatrick Avenue, between 106th and 107th Streets, in the Village of Oak Lawn. *fn1 It is zoned R-1 which permits single-family dwellings, parks and playgrounds, public schools, churches, libraries, convents and monasteries.

Immediately north of the property, across 106th Street on the west side of Kilpatrick Avenue, is a residential home owned by the Granatas. The Granata home is the only improved lot in an area zoned single-family on the west side of Kilpatrick Avenue, north of 107th Street to 105th Street. This area includes the subject property. Immediately east of the property, across Kilpatrick Avenue and north of 107th Street, is an area zoned single-family, improved with single-family residences.

The blocks on which plaintiffs' parcels are located contain three zoning classifications. The plaintiffs' property is separated from a commercial C-2 zone on the west side of the block facing Cicero Avenue by an area zoned R-3, multifamily. A supermarket, gas station and the

Granata funeral home are established in the commercial zone facing Cicero Avenue. The property zoned R-3 abuts the subject property and is improved with multiple-unit apartment buildings.

Southwest of the subject property, across 107th Street, the property is zoned R-3 and is improved with multiple-unit buildings. 107th Street is designated a village collector street and traffic on Kilpatrick Avenue stops where it intersects 107th Street. The Harrold L. Richards High School is located on the east side of Kilpatrick Avenue, south of 107th Street.

Although the village adopted a comprehensive amendment to its zoning ordinance in 1975, the subject property has been zoned R-1 continuously since 1964. Plaintiffs purchased the subject parcels in 1968 and 1972 with knowledge that the property was zoned for single-family use.

Plaintiff Edward J. McNamara testified that he proposed to construct two three-story, 11-unit condominium buildings on the parcel north of 106th Place. South of 106th Place he proposed to develop two three-story, nine-unit condominium buildings. The brick, two-bedroom units would be similar to buildings he had previously constructed immediately west and south of the subject property. McNamara had also built a multifamily condominium north of the subject property between the Granata home and the Granata funeral parlor on land purchased from the Granatas. The witness had obtained rezoning in the area within the preceding five years to develop multifamily structures.

McNamara testified that under the present zoning he thought eight single-family residences could be built on the property, compared to the forty condominium units he proposed. Approximately 60 people would occupy the proposed condominium while the single-family residences would accommodate about 30 people. He felt that the condominium development would not significantly increase the number of cars in the area. At the rear of the buildings he proposed to provide one parking space for each unit.

Plaintiffs' architect described the proposed buildings and site plans. The witness testified that the proposed construction would be in compliance with the village's R-3 zoning classification. The buildings would face north and south so that the sides of the buildings would face the front of the single-family residences on the west side of Kilpatrick Avenue. The parking areas were planned for entrance from Kilpatrick Avenue, but, in the trial court, plaintiff agreed to revise his proposal to provide ingress and egress from the east-west streets. The architect considered the proposed structures to be architecturally compatible with the existing uses in the area. In his opinion, the subject property is not suitable for single-family residences because the multifamily buildings directly to the west are separated from the subject property by only a lot line. If single-family residences were built on the subject premises, they could back up to the multifamily buildings, but he considered the street a better buffer than a rear yard.

Plaintiffs' experts agreed that the proposed condominium development was the highest and best use of the subject property based on the location of the property, the need for a variety of housing types, the location of Cicero Avenue one block west, the ...

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