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Queenwood E. Home, Ltd. v. Vil. of Morton

OPINION FILED MARCH 17, 1981.

QUEENWOOD EAST SHELTERED CARE HOME, LTD., PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE AND CROSS-APPELLANT,

v.

THE VILLAGE OF MORTON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT AND CROSS-APPELLEE.



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

MR. JUSTICE WEBBER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

This appeal concerns itself with the validity of an ordinance adopted by the board of trustees of the village of Morton. Plaintiff filed a complaint in declaratory judgment (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 110, par. 57.1) asking that the circuit court of Tazewell County declare the ordinance void on either of two grounds: (1) That it was beyond the police power of the defendant; or (2) that certain provisions offended against the due process provisions of the constitutions of the United States and the State of Illinois. The trial court held that the ordinance was void as being beyond the regulatory power of the defendant. Defendant appeals this judgment. The trial court also found in favor of the defendant on the various constitutional issues. Plaintiff cross-appeals this judgment. We affirm the trial court's finding and judgment as to the regulatory power issue and reverse as to the constitutional issues.

The matter was submitted to the trial court on a stipulation of facts. The ordinance in question reads as follows:

"ORDINANCE NO. 1978

AN ORDINANCE TO REGULATE AND PROHIBIT FALSE ALARMS

WHEREAS, the Morton Municipal Code was adopted on March 2, 1970, and duly published in book form; and

WHEREAS, the Village Fire Chief has advised the Village Board of an increasing number of false fire alarms due to improper maintenance of fire detection systems;

WHEREAS, the Village incurs substantial costs in the event of a false fire alarm;

WHEREAS, the continual answering of false fire alarms subjects other property owners to substantial risks;

WHEREAS, after due and careful consideration, the Village Board deems it to be in the best interests of the Village of Morton to prohibit the existence of faulty fire detection systems;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE PRESIDENT AND BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE VILLAGE OF MORTON, Tazewell County, Illinois, that the Morton Municipal Code is hereby amended by adding Title 5, Chapter 4, Sections 1 through 6 as follows:

5-4-1: FIRE DETECTION SYSTEM: A fire detection system is defined as any type of mechanical device or devices which automatically activates a fire alarm.

5-4-2: MAINTENANCE OF FIRE DETECTION SYSTEMS: The owner, occupant or lessee of a premises containing a fire detection system shall maintain said system in proper working condition.

5-4-3: PRESUMPTION OF IMPROPER WORKING CONDITION: Any fire detection system which activates a fire alarm due to any cause other than smoke or heat shall be ...


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