The opinion of the court was delivered by: JAMES B. PARSONS
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
The City of Chicago enacted regulations which were designed to prevent billboards from abutting major highways. Chicago's zoning ordinance and electrical code, both amended in 1990, limited the number, size, and type of sign that would be permitted near the City's major highways. The ordinance and the electrical code require that entities wishing to place advertising signs near highways must petition the Chicago Zoning Administrator for a permit to do so.
Sections 8.9(5), 9.9(5) and 10.14(5) of the zoning ordinance provide in pertinent part that :
No advertising sign shall be permitted within 500 feet of any major route . . . . The 500 feet shall be measured from the center line of the lane of traffic . . . .
This is the so called "500 foot setback" requirement.
Sections 10.14-1, 10.14-2, 10.14-3 and 9.4-1 require special use permits for "roof signs" exceeding 50 feet in height. In addition, § 10.14(7) of the zoning ordinance prohibits signs from being placed within 75 feet of property in a residential district.
Each application was denied by the Zoning Administrator for failure to comply with the "500 foot setback" requirement, the "roof sign" requirement, and the "75 foot setback" requirement of the zoning ordinance. National appealed the Zoning Administrator's decisions to the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals. The Administrator's decision to deny the permits was affirmed on appeal.
National then filed suit against the City of Chicago. In Counts I-IV, National alleges that the pre-amendment ordinance and the pre-amendment electrical code were unconstitutional on their face and as applied. National also alleges that its' due process, equal protection, and First Amendment rights were violated when it was denied permits for the signs which it sought to erect. In Counts V and VI, National argues that the amended zoning ordinance and the amended electrical code are also unconstitutional as they violate National's rights to due process and the rights guaranteed it by the First Amendment.
The City of Chicago moved the Court to dismiss National's complaint and on September 30, 1991, the Court entered an order granting the motion to dismiss. On that date, however, the Court reserved the issuance of the Opinion and Order for a later date in order to take the matter under further advisement. It is that motion to dismiss that is the subject of the instant Memorandum Opinion and Order.
The City moved the Court to dismiss Nationals' complaint on several grounds. First, it asserted that National's challenges to the old ordinance and old electrical code are moot as those provisions have been superseded and no longer have the force of law. Second, it asserted that National's challenges to the old laws failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. And third, it asserted that National's challenges to the current law also failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
The City asserts that National has no viable constitutional challenge under the old ordinance and old code because those provisions have been superseded by amended versions. The question then is whether National can pursue a ...