Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit, Will County, Illinois. No. 94-MC-8418. Honorable William Penn, Judge Presiding.
Present - Honorable Tom M. Lytton, Presiding Justice, Honorable Michael P. McCUSKEY, Justice, Honorable Peg Breslin, Justice. Justice Breslin delivered the opinion of the court. Tom M. Lytton, P.j., and Michael P. McCUSKEY, J., concur.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Breslin
The Honorable Justice BRESLIN delivered the opinion of the court:
The petitioner, the Board of Trustees of the Mokena Community Public Library District, (Library District), appeals a trial court order permitting the disconnection of a parcel of land from its territory pursuant to an annexation by the respondent, the Village of Tinley Park (Village). At issue is whether the Public Library Act of 1991, 75 ILCS 16/1-1 et seq. (West 1994) (Act), absolutely prohibits annexations which render library district territory non-contiguous. For the reasons which follow, we hold that it does not.
This case arose following passage of the Village's ordinance which annexed certain territory within the Library District's boundaries. The annexation was part of an intergovernmental boundary agreement between the Village and the Village of Mokena whereby the two villages agreed that future annexations of unincorporated territory would occur in an orderly fashion up to an agreed upon boundary.
As a result of the annexation at issue in this case, a parcel of the Library District's territory was left non-contiguous to the rest of the district. Although the parcel was not annexed, the Village intended to annex it in the future. It was used for commercial purposes and did not have any residential development. The parties do not dispute the fact that the parcel was non-contiguous; instead they disagree as to whether the annexation is permitted in light of the resulting non-contiguity.
In an effort to prevent the disconnection of the annexed property from its territory, the Library District filed a petition pursuant to section 15-85 of the Act, 75 ILCS 16/15-85 (West Supp. 1995). Section 15-85 provides for annexed territory to be disconnected from library districts by operation of law. However, under certain circumstances, the library district may petition the circuit court to block the annexation or to seek another appropriate remedy. In relevant part, section 15-85 provides:
(b) A disconnection by operation of law under this Section does not occur if, within 60 days after the annexation, the public library district files with the appropriate circuit court a petition alleging that the disconnection will cause the territory remaining in the district to be non-contiguous or that the loss of assessed valuation by reason of the disconnecting will impair the ability of the district to render fully adequate library service to the territory remaining in the district.
(c) When a petition is filed under subsection (b), the court shall set it for hearing. At the hearing, the district has the burden of proving the truth of the allegations in its petition. In determining whether to grant the petition, the court may consider at least the following factors:
(i) whether the disconnection will cause the territory remaining in the district to be non-contiguous;
(ii) whether the loss of assessed valuation by reason of the disconnection will impair the ability of the district to render fully adequate library service to the territory remaining in the district;
(iii) the convenience of the residents of the annexed territory and whether a plan exists enabling the residents of the annexed territory to use either the public library district facilities of the city, village, or incorporated town to which the territory has been annexed; and
(iv) whether the city, village, or incorporated town has annexed any other territory within the district within the preceding 2 years and the ...