Appeal from the Circuit Court of Madison County. No. 94-MR-325. Honorable David Herndon, Judge, presiding.
The Honorable Justice Maag delivered the opinion of the court. Hopkins, P.j., and Goldenhersh, J., concur.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Maag
JUSTICE MAAG delivered the opinion of the court:
The plaintiffs, the People of the State of Illinois ex rel. Earl L. Vuagniaux and Alice G. Vuagniaux, appeal the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant, the City of Edwardsville (City).
The relevant facts are as follows. In 1968, the City purchased a parking lot located at Second and St. Louis Streets. This parking lot was used for public parking. In December of 1987, the City's planning department prepared a tax-increment-financing (TIF) redevelopment plan. This plan was revised on January 20, 1988. The City then adopted ordinance No. 4162-3-88 approving the central-area tax-increment redevelopment plan and redevelopment project on March 15, 1988. It is undisputed that the subject parking lot is located within the physical boundaries of the TIF district and is within the redevelopment project area. In May of 1988, ordinance No. 4177-5-88 was passed, authorizing the City's issuance of central-area redevelopment-project-area general obligation bonds in the principal amount of $1,400,000 for the purpose of funding the tax-increment redevelopment plan and project approved by City ordinance No. 4162-3-88 and providing for a tax levy for the payment of said bonds. In July 1988, the redevelopment plan was amended. On July 28, 1988, Garrett A. Balke, Inc. (Korte-Balke), sent a letter to Nina Baird, the City's clerk, stating its development concept. Within its development concept, Korte-Balke stated that it intended to relocate Earl Vuagniaux "to a new building of approximately 10,000 square feet in the City Parking Lot at Second and St. Louis Streets." The letter also requested the City to "vacate Second Street between St. Louis and Vandalia [and] convey to [Korte-Balke] fee simple title to Lot 55 (the City parking lot) for $1.00 and other considerations." The City then passed ordinance No. 4197-8-88 on August 16, 1988, authorizing the transfer of certain real property pursuant to the Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 24, par. 11-74.4-1 et seq. (now see 65 ILCS 5/11-74.4-1 et seq. (West 1994))). This ordinance stated as follows:
"Section II: Prior to the execution and delivery of title instruments, the City, District and the developers shall execute an agreement setting forth the terms upon which the City and the Tax Increment Financing District shall transfer the real estate to the developers and the developer's agreement for development and purchase of the parcels. Said terms shall include, but not be limited to:
A. Purchase price: One Dollar ($1.00) per parcel.
C. Developers shall, upon the Second and St. Louis Street parking lot site, construct at least 10,000 square feet of office, retail or compatible general commercial space within two years of said parcel being transferred to developer."
The City then solicited and received proposals for the parking lot in 1989. One of those proposals was submitted by the Vuagniauxes.
In August of 1989, a report on the TIF district was prepared by the City's TIF committee. This report discussed the fact that there had been considerable debate over parking in the downtown area and the fact that the new county administration building was going to worsen the problem. The report stated, inter alia, as follows:
"L. Conversion of Free Parking
In order to enhance district revenue, the City should consider temporarily transferring title to the Second and St. Louis Street parking lot to the district. The lot could then be upgraded and converted into a leased parking lot. I believe that the market downtown would support $25-50 per month fees for each spot."
On October 12, 1989, Terry Smith, Edwardsville's City Planner, prepared a letter to the City's finance committee regarding the ...