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Nat'l Boulevard Bk. v. Village of Schaumburg





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


Defendant, Village of Schaumburg (Village), appeals from a judgment of the circuit court of Cook County declaring the R-1, single-family, zoning classification of plaintiff's property invalid insofar as it prohibits a high density residential development proposed by plaintiff, Eugene Matanky. Plaintiff Matanky, the sole beneficial owner of the property held in trust by plaintiff National Boulevard Bank of Chicago, initiated this declaratory judgment action after the Village Board denied his request for a rezoning of the subject property to permit construction of either the initial or alternate development he proposed.

The circuit court found that plaintiff had overcome the presumption of validity of the Village's zoning ordinance as applied to the subject property, and the court approved as reasonable the combined multifamily and single-family uses contained in plaintiff's alternate plan.

We reverse the judgment of the circuit court.

The subject property is a vacant 26.5-acre rectangular parcel, approximately 860 feet long at its northern and southern boundaries and 1350 feet deep. *fn1 It is located immediately south of Schaumburg Road and approximately 800 feet west of Roselle Road in the Village of Schaumburg. Abutting the property on the south and west sides are single-family residential areas developed under an O-R, office-research, classification which permits single-family development as a special use. Called the Woods and Timbercrest subdivisions, these residential areas contain single-family residences with values from $60,000 to in excess of $100,000. Across Schaumburg Road to the north, Friendship Village, a church-sponsored housing project for the elderly, has been developed under B-2, planned unit development (PUD) zoning. The buildings of Friendship Village are set back 700 feet from Schaumburg Road and are partially screened by a grove of trees. Also north of the subject property on Schaumburg Road, are areas zoned R-6 and R-4, single-family, that are partially improved with single-family homes.

Abutting the subject property to the east is an area zoned T-1, transitional district. This property contains the Town Square Shopping Center, accessible from Roselle Road, and substantial vacant land. The Town Square Shopping Center contains a number of small shops and an animal shelter maintained by the homeowners' association of the Woods subdivision. Also directly west of the plaintiff's property is a small area zoned B-2, containing a gasoline station.

South of the shopping center, in an area zoned T-1, are the Town Square Apartments which are being converted to condominium use by plaintiff. The Town Square Apartments do not abut and are separated from the subject property by a school and park. There are other multifamily developments in the general area of the subject property. One such development, Laurelwood, provided a model for plaintiff's alternate proposal of combined multifamily and single-family uses.

On November 25, 1975, the subject property was formally annexed by the Village and, in accordance with the Village zoning ordinance, automatically received an R-1 classification, the highest and most restrictive classification permitted. Apparently, a previous attempt by the Village to annex the property in 1971, had been rendered ineffective by its failure to properly record the annexation plat and ordinance. However, between 1972 and 1975, the property had been depicted on the Village zoning map as bearing a B-2, business-general retail, classification subject to a special use as a PUD. The 1971 ordinance permitting the special use provided for the construction of 460 apartment units to be located in three and five-story buildings, covering 11 percent of the subject property; however, construction on this project did not commence within the two-year period required by the ordinance.

Plaintiff obtained an option to purchase the subject property for $500,000 in September 1974. Before exercising his option and unaware that the property had not been properly annexed, plaintiff discussed with the Village mayor his plan to modify the PUD permitted under the special use ordinance. Plaintiff was advised that the Village Development Committee would have to approve any modification in the special use. Plaintiff proceeded to exercise his option to purchase the property in April 1975, and began preparing a proposal for improving the site. Plaintiff met with and discussed his plans with the development committee and was thereafter referred to the Village Zoning Board of Appeals to seek an amendment to the special use ordinance. Sometime after applying to the Zoning Board of Appeals in March 1976, plaintiff learned that the property had been rezoned R-1 by virtue of the Village's annexation of the property in November 1975. Plaintiff then sought rezoning.

The present R-1 zoning of the subject property permits one single-family residence on every 2 1/2 acres of land. The Village asserts that the R-1 classification is a holding zone and does not claim that it is the appropriate classification for the property. Plaintiff seeks to develop the property under a B-2 PUD classification, with R-6 cluster zoning.

Plaintiff initially proposed to build 66 three-story, six-unit buildings on the property. The cedar and masonry buildings would be dispersed in clusters leaving a 4-acre wooded area in the northwest corner of the property. The density of this proposal is 14.9 units per acre. At the request of the Village, plaintiff submitted a revised plan which included 56 six-flat buildings and 20 single-family lots bordering the west and south perimeters of the property that adjoin the existing single-family subdivisions. The overall density of this proposal is 13.4 units per acre.

In other respects the initial and alternate plans are similar. Plaintiff planned to sell each six-flat module for approximately $150,000 to individuals for their own use and rental. The common areas, including recreational facilities, would be owned and maintained by a condominium association. Access to the multifamily units would be provided from Schaumburg Road, and extensive landscaping and berming would be used to buffer the development from existing uses in the area.

The witnesses for both plaintiff and the Village agreed that the present R-1 zoning of the subject property is not a reasonable classification. Plaintiff's experts testified that either the initial or alternate plan submitted by plaintiff represented the highest and best use of the subject property. Plaintiff's planning and zoning expert testified that the proposed clustered six-flats would preserve the wooded character of the property, would be in keeping with the character and development of the area, and would provide a good transition between the Woods and Timbercrest subdivisions and the commercial uses in the T-1 zone. He did not advise placing single-family homes next to the Town Square Shopping Center, but admitted that the property could physically be adapted to either single-family or townhouse development and that these uses would also be consistent with the surrounding uses. He stated that the proposed development would not depreciate the surrounding single-family homes, noting that the Woods and Timbercrest subdivisions, which were completed in 1975, had been developed during a period of time when the subject property was shown on the Village zoning map as a B-2 PUD.

Plaintiff's architect described both the initial and alternate site plans proposed by plaintiff. He testified that the site could feasibly be developed as single-family but it would not provide plaintiff as high a return on his investment. Plaintiff's real estate expert estimated the fair market value of the property as currently zoned to be $250,000; if developed as single-family similar to the abutting subdivision, to be $665,000; if developed under plaintiff's alternate plan, to be $1,235,000; and under the initial proposal to be $1,267,000. It was his opinion that the proposed uses would not depreciate or impede the normal increase in the values of surrounding property but that if single-family homes were located next to the shopping center they would encounter ...

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