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Village of Maywood v. Health





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. FRANCIS X. CONNELL, Judge, presiding.


Rehearing denied April 13, 1982.

The Village of Maywood (Maywood) sought to enjoin defendants from operating a methadone clinic allegedly in violation of the village zoning ordinance. The trial court found that the methadone clinic was a permitted use under the ordinance, and denied injunctive relief.

The issues on appeal are: (1) whether the methadone clinic is a permitted use under the Maywood ordinance, (2) whether Maywood is estopped from enforcing its zoning ordinance because it had previously issued various building permits to defendants, (3) whether judicial interpretation of the zoning ordinance is affected by an interpretative resolution passed by the village after this litigation commenced, (4) whether the trial court erred in excluding certain evidence and (5) whether portions of defendants' brief should be disregarded because points and authorities listed are not referred to or argued in the body of the brief.

The subject property is located at 308 South Fifth Avenue in Maywood, Illinois. The area is zoned "B-4 Office and Residential." Included among the permissible uses for this area are the following:

"8.4 B-4 Office and Residential District 8.4-1 Permitted Uses. The following uses of land or buildings are permitted:

Offices of professional persons such as physicians, dentists, health practitioners (but not including veterinarians), attorneys, architects and engineers, and including outpatient medical and dental clinics, but not hospitals.

Section 4.12 of the Maywood zoning ordinance states that a use is prohibited if it is not listed as permitted.

The property was formerly used as a family alcoholic abuse center. Health, Inc., operates an outpatient drug rehabilitation program on the leased premises. Their methadone clinic combines methadone maintenance, detoxification, and group and single therapy sessions for a case load of approximately 90 patients. The staff includes medical doctors, licensed practical nurses and counselors. It provides social, legal and educational services in addition to job training and procurement.

Health, Inc.'s program is Federally, State and locally funded. It is licensed, maintained and supervised by the United States Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Illinois Dangerous Drug Commission.

On June 8, 1979, Health, Inc., applied for and received a building permit to renovate the subject property for its methadone clinic. The village issued a certificate of completion for that work on July 30, 1979. Shortly thereafter, Maywood notified defendant that operation of a methadone clinic required a special use permit. On September 4, 1979, the Maywood Plan Commission conducted a public hearing on Health's application for a special use permit.

The Plan Commission found that the program was Federally, State and locally funded, was maintained by the Illinois Dangerous Drug Commission, and worked in connection with Westlake Hospital. They found that the program exists by virtue of the Illinois Dangerous Drug Abuse Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 91 1/2, par. 120.1 et seq.), which declares that it is the public policy of the State to establish programs to provide treatment and rehabilitation for controlled substance addicts. The Plan Commission then recommended that a special use permit be granted. The board of trustees rejected this recommendation and directed that Health, Inc., cease its operation.

On November 21, 1979, Maywood filed suit alleging: (1) that defendants' clinic was a nonpermitted use, (2) that defendants were in violation of Village off-street parking requirements, (3) that defendants' activities constituted a nuisance, and (4) that defendants' operation of the clinic was ultra vires conduct which exceeded the limitations of its corporate charter. The latter count was stricken prior to trial.

On April 10, 1980, the Village of Maywood passed Maywood Resolution No. R 80-9, "A Resolution Interpreting Section 8.4 of the Maywood Zoning Ordinance, as amended." It states in pertinent part that the Maywood Zoning ordinance does not provide for a methadone clinic as either a permitted or special use in the B-4 Office and Residential District, as thereby retroactively interpreted by the village board of trustees.

Prior to trial, Maywood requested that Health, Inc., produce a copy of its floor plans pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 237 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 110A, par. 237). Health, Inc., responded that the plans were not relevant. At the onset of trial, Maywood asked the court to instruct Health, Inc., to produce the requested documents. The court noted that Maywood was told to dispose of the matter in the pretrial hearing and should not have waited until trial began. The court indicated that if the floor plans became essential during the trial, then the court would take the matter under advisement at that time.

During the trial, the court excluded expert testimony of a land use and zoning specialist and of a forensic toxicologist offered by Maywood. The excluded testimony by the land use and zoning expert related to the nature of the surrounding uses in the B-4 district. The excluded testimony by the forensic toxicologist concerned the character of a methadone clinic as a permitted use and whether methadone use can be lethal.

Following a bench trial, the trial court held that Health, Inc.'s, methadone clinic was a permitted use under Section 8.4, B-4. The count alleging off-street parking violations was stricken for lack of proof. The trial court found that defendants' activities did not constitute a nuisance. The trial court then denied injunctive relief. The issue of nuisance was not presented on appeal.

In its appellate brief, plaintiff accurately points out that points and authorities listed in defendants' brief are not argued in the body of the brief. Plaintiff argues that this violates Supreme Court Rules 341(e)(5) and 341(f) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. ...

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