Appeal from the Circuit Court of Monroe County. No. 00-MR-24 Honorable Dennis B. Doyle, Judge, presiding.
Justices: Honorable Melissa A. Chapman, J.
Honorable Richard P. Goldenhersh, J., and
Honorable Clyde L. Kuehn, J.,
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Chapman
In 1995, as partial compensation in an eminent domain proceeding, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) granted the plaintiffs a series of permits for access to the planned Illinois State Route 3 bypass around the City of Waterloo, Illinois (City). After the construction of the bypass was complete, the plaintiffs applied to the city council for approval of a subdivision plat that proposed utilizing two of the access points previously granted by IDOT. The city council denied the plat based on its failure to meet standards for access to Route 3 contained in the City's comprehensive plan and subdivision ordinances enacted after IDOT had granted the plaintiffs the permits.
Ruling on the plaintiffs' motion for a summary determination of major issues, the trial court held that IDOT's jurisdiction over Route 3 does not preempt all local control over access to the highway. Pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 308 (155 Ill. 2d R. 308), the plaintiffs requested the trial court to certify to this court the question of whether IDOT's authority to regulate access to state highways preempts the City's authority to deny a proposed subdivision plat based on its proposed accesses to Route 3. The trial court certified the question, and the plaintiffs filed the instant interlocutory appeal. We answer the certified question in the negative and affirm the trial court's ruling.
In July 1995, plaintiffs Tom and Joan Adams, Jay Huetsch, Robert Hawkins, and Market Street Development, Inc., entered into a settlement agreement with IDOT in an eminent domain proceeding. Under the agreement, the plaintiffs sold IDOT a highway right-of-way for the construction of a portion of Route 3, which IDOT planned to reroute from its previous location to bypass the city. IDOT compensated the plaintiffs for the taking both by providing monetary compensation and by granting the plaintiffs permits for access to Route 3 from their property. At that time, the property was agricultural.
In the winter of 1996, while the construction of the Route 3 bypass was ongoing, the City adopted a comprehensive plan. That plan recommended, in relevant part, as follows:
"It is recommended that the City take preemptive measures to protect the long[-]term utility of the [Illinois] Route 3 corridor. The State and Federal Government[s] are making a substantial investment in these improvements[,] and therefore[,] protecting its use as a through-traffic carrier is important.
The [Illinois] Route 3 Bypass has initially been designed to rural 2-lane standards. The right-of-way[,] however[,] could eventually accommodate a 5-lane urban design standard. It is recommended that access along the Bypass be limited to public street intersections at not less than 1000-foot intervals. Land access to adjacent parcels would be from these intersecting public streets rather than from private entrances off Route 3."
On July 20, 1998, the City amended the chapter of its code of ordinances governing subdivisions to implement the comprehensive plan. As amended, the City's revised code of ordinances provides, in relevant part, as follows:
"Whenever a development abuts an existing or proposed arterial highway, access to the development or property from the arterial highway shall be provided by one of the following means:
(A) A public frontage road separated from the arterial highway by a planting strip, defined as landscape twenty (20) feet wide, consisting of shrubbery and trees at least five (5) feet in height when planted and *** maintained at not less than eighteen (18) feet in height when full grown. The frontage road shall have access to the arterial highway at [a] right angle.
(B) A public street entered onto the arterial highway at [a] right angle.
(C) Public street intersection[s] off of the Limited Access Highway shall be located at not less than one thousand (1,000) foot intervals on the same side of the street." Waterloo Revised Code of Ordinances §34-3-9 (amended July 20, 1998).
In 1999, the Route 3 bypass was completed and opened to the public. The plaintiffs thereafter applied to the City's city council for approval of a subdivision plat for the North Pointe West Subdivision, a proposed commercial development along relocated Route 3. The proposed subdivision consists of three commercial lots with a shared parking lot that has two access driveways to Route 3. The Waterloo Planning Commission recommended that the city council deny the plat; however, ...