Appeal from the Circuit Court of McHenry County. No. 92-MR-131. Honorable James C. Franz, Judge, Presiding.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Inglis
PRESIDING JUSTICE INGLIS delivered the opinion of the court:
This appeal comes to us from a grant of summary judgment by the circuit court of McHenry County in favor of Pinnacle Corporation (the developer) and against the Village of Lake in the Hills (LITH) and various village officials. The City of Crystal Lake (Crystal Lake) was allowed to intervene in the action, and it is the appealing party. The circuit court's order required LITH officials to execute a final plat of subdivision. We affirm.
The developer's verified complaint alleges the following: the developer owns 311 acres of real property at the southwest corner of Miller Road and Randall Road in McHenry County. The developer plans to build single-family homes and townhomes on the land.
On May 6, 1992, the developer and LITH entered into an annexation agreement whereby LITH would annex the 311 acres. Prior to executing the annexation agreement, LITH had granted preliminary approval for a planned-unit development on the property. The annexation agreement allowed the developer to submit for approval final plats of subdivision for individual phases of the development, instead of submitting a single final plat for the entire development.
On or before August 13, 1992, the developer submitted to LITH its final plat and related engineering plans for the first phase of the development. LITH's engineering consultant recommended that the engineering plans be approved in an August 26, 1992, letter to LITH's president and its board of trustees. On October 22, 1992, the LITH village board voted to approve the final plat and authorized the LITH president and clerk to sign it. LITH officials have refused to sign the final plat or deliver it to the developer for recording. The developer sought an order requiring recordation of the final plat and awarding damages, and a writ of mandamus requiring LITH officials to execute the final plat and deliver it to the developer.
Crystal Lake filed a petition to intervene, alleging that it had jurisdiction over a portion of Miller Road pursuant to an intergovernmental agreement between Crystal Lake and LITH. The means of ingress and egress to the developer's subdivision is via Miller Road, over the portion within Crystal Lake's jurisdiction. Crystal Lake has a duty to evaluate safety issues on Miller Road. Crystal Lake alleged that its rights with regard to Miller Road would be prejudiced if it were not allowed to intervene. Crystal Lake's motion was granted.
Crystal Lake then filed an unverified answer to the developer's complaint, raising three affirmative defenses. LITH filed a verified answer. LITH alleged that its officials refused to sign the final plat because the developer agreed in the annexation agreement to improve Miller Road in accordance with plans and specifications agreed to by both LITH and Crystal Lake. As of the date of LITH's answer, LITH and Crystal Lake had not agreed on the improvements necessary for Miller Road. LITH also alleged that, according to the intergovernmental agreement between it and Crystal Lake, it and Crystal Lake agreed to cause improvements to be made in a uniform and consistent manner to arterial roads, including Miller Road. If the parties' standards differed, the road was to be improved to the stricter standard. LITH also alleged that, within 60 days of its receipt of the final plat, it notified the developer of various corrections to the plat and of Crystal Lake's objections to the plat and, thus, the reasons for refusing to execute the plat.
On December 8, 1992, the developer filed a motion for summary judgment, alleging that LITH did not approve the final plat within 60 days, as is required by the Illinois Municipal Code (65 ILCS 5/11- 12-8 West 1992)). The developer sought an order requiring the McHenry County Recorder to record the final plat and a writ of mandamus requiring LITH officials to execute and deliver the final plat. Attached to the summary judgment motion was the affidavit of Paul D. Leder, the developer's consulting engineer. Mr. Leder averred that he met with Crystal Lake representatives on January 29, 1992, to discuss improvements to Miller Road. Based on those Discussions, Leder's engineering firm drew up final engineering plans for Miller Road, which were sent to Crystal Lake by messenger on or about May 26, 1992. Leder received a courier service invoice confirming delivery to Crystal Lake on May 28, 1992.
On June 19, 1992, Crystal Lake sent a letter to the developer, copied to Leder, stating that Crystal Lake was reviewing the final engineering plans and was waiting for the submission of a traffic study evaluating the impact on Miller Road of present and future developments to the west of LITH. Leder communicated with Crystal Lake officials between May 28, 1992, and September 1, 1992, and Crystal Lake never informed Leder that the final engineering plans failed to comply with safety or access control standards. The first written notice received by Leder from Crystal Lake concerning the sufficiency of the final engineering plans was a letter from Crystal Lake's city manager dated September 18, 1992.
The trial court granted the developer's summary judgment motion. Both the trial court and this court denied motions to stay the enforcement of the judgment pending appeal.
Crystal Lake argues in this court that factual questions exist as to whether the developer complied with the Plat Act (765 ILCS 205/2 (West 1992)) and whether LITH complied with its plat approval obligations under the Municipal Code. The developer contends that the case is moot because the final plat has already been recorded and the developer has sold subdivided lots to third parties. Additionally, the developer argues that summary judgment was properly granted on the record.
We reject the developer's argument that Supreme Court Rule 305(i) (134 Ill. 2d R. 305(i)) renders the case moot. Rule 305 governs stays of judgments pending appeal. Subpart (i) is titled "Effect on Interests in Property ...