527 N.E.2d 1273, 173 Ill. App. 3d 909, 123 Ill. Dec. 498 1988.IL.853
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County; the Hon. Raymond McKoski, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE WOODWARD delivered the opinion of the court. NASH and REINHARD, JJ., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE WOODWARD
This is the second appeal arising from the ongoing litigation between the petitioner, Indian Valley Golf Club, Inc. (Indian Valley), and the respondent, the Village of Long Grove (Long Grove), generated by Indian Valley's efforts to disconnect certain property it owns from Long Grove.
On July 28, 1981, Indian Valley filed a petition to disconnect 117 acres owned by it and lying within the corporate limits of Long Grove pursuant to section 7-3-6 of the Illinois Municipal Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 24, par. 7-3-6). A motion to dismiss the petition, filed by Long Grove, was denied. However, when on October 17, 1983, the case was called for trial, it was learned for the first time that Long Grove had annexed a single lot located on the northern border of petitioner's property. The lot, known as lot 78, had previously been part of unincorporated Lake County. As a result of this annexation, Indian Valley was granted leave to file an amended petition to disconnect. The amended petition involved approximately 113 acres and excluded approximately 3 1/2 acres previously sought to be disconnected in the original petition. Long Grove again filed a motion to dismiss, alleging that the amended petition failed to show that the property sought to be disconnected (subject property) satisfied the statutory requirements for disconnection. Included among those contentions were Long Grove's assertions that the subject property was not situated entirely on the border of Long Grove and that disconnection of the subject property would result in isolation of a portion of the municipality from the remainder of Long Grove. The trial court found that the proposed disconnection would result in the isolation of a portion of Long Grove; however, it further found that the property which was the subject matter of the proposed disconnection was situated on the border of Long Grove. (Indian Valley Golf Club, 135 Ill. App. 3d at 547.) The trial court thereupon dismissed the petition to disconnect. Indian Valley thereafter appealed that decision to this court.
In the first appeal, this court reversed the dismissal of the petition to disconnect. We agreed with the trial court that the subject property was situated on the border of Long Grove. However, we disagreed that the disconnection would result in isolation of a part of Long Grove. In its cross-appeal, Long Grove had argued that lot 78 remained isolated from Long Grove because it was inaccessible to Long Grove by road and, thus, incapable of being provided with police services by the village. We stated as follows:
[In] our view the fact that lot 78 is inaccessible to the village by road is inconsequential to a determination of whether or not the lot is isolated from the rest of Long Grove. Rather, what we believe to be the determining factor, according to cases from this district and others, is contiguity. If property is isolated from a municipality, it is not contiguous to it; if contiguous, it is then not isolated. [Citation.]" Indian Valley Golf Club v. Village of Long Grove (1985), 135 Ill. App. 3d 543, 548-49.
We then determined in the first appeal that the common boundary of 150 feet in this case constituted a substantial physical touching, and that the contiguity was such that it satisfied the mandate of the statute that no part of a municipality should be isolated from the remainder. (Indian Valley Golf Club, 135 Ill. App. 3d at 551.) The dismissal of the petition was reversed, and the case was returned to the trial court for further proceedings.
Following the denial of its petition for rehearing in the first appeal and prior to the issuance of this court's mandate, Long Grove filed a petition for condemnation against the legal and equitable owners of the Fiore Nursery property located immediately to the east of Indian Valley's property. A few weeks earlier, Long Grove had passed an ordinance annexing State Highway 83, which runs along the eastern boundary of Indian Valley's property and separates the Indian Valley golf course from the Fiore Nursery. Following this, Long Grove passed a number of ordinances purporting to annex other parcels of property lying to the west and north of lot 78, north of Indian Valley's property. See Village of Long Grove v. First National Bank (1987), 164 Ill. App. 3d 253.
After the matter was remanded to the trial court, Long Grove filed a motion for summary judgment; Indian Valley filed a cross-motion for summary judgment. Due to the activities outlined above, the municipal boundaries of Long Grove had undergone certain changes since the time of the first appeal to this court. Prior to the appeal, the subject property had approximately one-half mile that was coterminous with Long Grove's boundaries. At the time of the hearing on the motions for summary judgment, the subject property had 335 feet at the northern portion of the Indian Valley property which was coterminous with the then existing boundaries of Long Grove. Since the Route 83 right-of-way had been annexed to Long Grove, the disconnection of the Indian Valley property would result in the Route 83 right-of-way being connected to Long Grove for a distance of only 40 feet.
On September 26, 1986, following a hearing on the motions for summary judgment, the trial court denied Long Grove's motion and granted partial summary judgment in favor of Indian Valley as to the border and isolation requirements of the disconnection statute, although no order was entered on that date. In granting partial summary judgment for Indian Valley, the trial court stated as follows:
"The Appellate Court found, as a matter of law, after reviewing the facts developed at the hearing on the Motion to Dismiss before the trial Court that there would be no isolation under the disconnection statute and, in effect, reversing the trial Court's determination on that issue. And the Appellate Court further found that the land sought to be disconnected was on the border.
In my opinion, the trial court here is bound by those two holdings. The facts at the time of the hearing are controlling, as Long Grove suggests, and that was stated in the Appellate Court decision in this case. But at least in my view, 'the facts at the time of the hearing' means the facts at the time of the hearing in the 2 -- 619 motion. If the facts were changed or have been changed -- and they have been changed. There is no question about that. The facts are changed. I could only consider those changed facts if the Appellate Court had remanded for rehearing on the issues that those facts are relevant to.
The Appellate Court did not remand this case for rehearing on the border or isolation requirements. The Appellate Court made a finding on those requirements. There was no remandment of further hearing on further evidence on those two issues. The matter was remanded for further proceedings, whether those would be summary judgment or a trial on the remaining statutory criteria. And I believe that those are the only issues that remain before me."
Commencing on October 27, 1986, and continuing through November 3, 1986, the case proceeded to trial on the remaining elements Indian Valley had to satisfy in order to obtain disconnection, namely, whether disconnection would unreasonably disrupt the growth prospects and planning and zoning ordinances of the municipality; whether disconnection would result in substantial disruption to existing municipal services; and whether the municipality would be unduly harmed by disconnection through the loss of tax revenues in the future. On December 9, 1986, the ...