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City of Springfield v. Judith Jones Dietsch Trust

April 13, 2001


Appeal from Circuit Court of Sangamon County No. 99MR402 Honorable Dennis L. Schwartz, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Cook

We must determine whether the City of Springfield or the Village of Chatham has jurisdiction to regulate the subdivision of property that is contiguous to Springfield and within its statutory planning jurisdiction but subject to a conflicting annexation agreement between the property owner and Chatham. Like the trial court, we find that Chatham has the power to regulate the use of the property at issue and affirm summary judgment in favor of the defendants.

In 1988, Springfield adopted a comprehensive land development plan pursuant to the Illinois Municipal Code (Municipal Code) (65 ILCS 5/1-1-1 through 11-152-4 (West 1998)), which extended Springfield's planning jurisdiction to unincorporated contiguous land within 1.5 miles of Springfield's corporate limits. 65 ILCS 5/11-12-5 (West 1998) (any municipality may adopt development plan applicable to contiguous land within 1.5 miles of municipality's corporate limits and not included in any other municipality). The Judith Jones Dietsch Trust (owner) owns a 36-acre tract of land near Chatham Road on County Highway 40 in unincorporated Sangamon County, Illinois. The property is contiguous to Springfield's corporate limits. The property is not contiguous to Chatham's corporate limits, but Chatham provides municipal services to this area. Traveling by land over unincorporated property and around a portion of Lake Springfield, the property is 1.8 miles from Chatham. However, the straight-line distance to the property, traversing the lake, is between .25 and .6 miles from Chatham's corporate limits.

In 1998, the property owner decided to develop the property and sell lots for single-family residences. The owner did not submit the subdivision plans to Springfield for review. Instead, the owner entered into an annexation agreement with Chatham pursuant to the Municipal Code. 65 ILCS 5/11-15.1-1 (West 1998) (municipality may enter into annexation agreement with owners of unincorporated property, providing for control of the property and contemplating future annexation when land becomes contiguous to the municipality). Chatham approved a preliminary plan for subdividing the property. The owners then proceeded with the development and began marketing the lots. The subdivision plans contained minor deviations from Springfield's subdivision requirements, but internal City of Springfield documents indicate that the plans were "workable."

In October 1999, Springfield filed a complaint seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the Judith Jones Dietsch Trust, Judith Jones, personally and as trustee of the Judith Jones Dietsch Trust, and the Village of Chatham (collectively referred to as defendants). The suit specifically sought (1) a declaration that Springfield had statutory jurisdiction to regulate the subdivision of property within 1.5 miles of its corporate limits and (2) to enjoin the defendants from proceeding with the development of a subdivision contiguous to Springfield's corporate boundary under the defendants' annexation agreement.

In April 2000, Chatham filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the Municipal Code gave it subdivision and zoning jurisdiction over the property by virtue of the annexation agreement. Springfield then filed a cross-motion for summary judgment, arguing that Springfield had statutory jurisdiction to apply its land subdivision ordinance to property that is contiguous to Springfield's boundary, within Springfield's planning jurisdiction, and more than 1.5 miles from Chatham.

On June 1, 2000, the trial court issued an order granting Chatham's motion for summary judgment and denying Springfield's cross-motion for summary judgment. The trial court held that Chatham's annexation agreement prevailed over Springfield's ability to regulate land use within 1.5 miles of its boundary. We review the trial court's decision de novo.

Resolution of the issue before us depends upon the interpretation of the Municipal Code. Since municipalities are creatures of statute, they have no jurisdiction beyond their corporate boundaries unless that jurisdiction is conferred by the legislature. Petterson v. City of Naperville, 9 Ill. 2d 233, 243, 137 N.E.2d 371, 377 (1956). Thus, extraterritorial jurisdiction of a municipality is strictly controlled by statute. See City of Carbondale v. Van Natta, 61 Ill. 2d 483, 485-86, 338 N.E.2d 19, 21 (1975).

An examination of the Municipal Code shows that the legislature has granted extraterritorial jurisdiction in limited circumstances. Defendants note in their brief that such jurisdiction has been granted in only seven instances, including the two that are at issue here.

Section 11-12-5 allows a municipality with a comprehensive development plan to exercise jurisdiction over subdivisions up to 1.5 miles outside of its corporate limits. That section provides:

"Every plan commission and planning department authorized by this division 12 has the following powers ***:

(1) To prepare and recommend to the corporate authorities a comprehensive plan for the present and future development or redevelopment of the municipality. Such plan may be adopted in whole or in separate geographical or functional parts, each of which, when adopted, shall be the official comprehensive plan, or part thereof, of that munic- ipality. This plan may include reasonable requirements with reference to streets, alleys, public grounds, and other improvements hereinafter specified. The plan, as recommended by the plan commission and as thereafter adopted in any municipality in this state, may be made applicable, by the terms thereof, to land situated within the corporate limits and contiguous territory not more than one and one-half miles beyond the corporate limits and not included in any municipality. Such plan may be implemented by ordinances (a) establishing reasonable standards of design for subdivisions and for resubdivisions of unimproved land and of areas subject to redevelopment in respect to public improvements as herein defined ***." (Emphasis added.) 65 ILCS 5/11-12-5 (West 1998).

Section 11-12-9 permits municipalities to enter into jurisdictional agreements with each other regarding extraterritorial subdivision authority and provides that, absent agreement, the respective jurisdictions meet halfway between their boundaries. It also provides that there is no intention to limit the power that any municipality has to annex additional territory.

"If unincorporated territory is within one and one-half miles of the boundaries of two or more corporate authorities that have adopted official plans, the corporate authorities involved may agree upon a line which shall mark the boundaries of the jurisdiction of each of the corporate authorities who have adopted such agreement. On and after September 24, 1987, such agreement may provide that one or more of the municipalities shall not annex territory which lies within the jurisdiction of any other municipality, as established by such line. In the absence of such ...

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