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The Residences at Riverbend Condominium Association v. City of Chicago

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

November 19, 2013

THE RESIDENCES AT RIVERBEND CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, an Illinois Not-For-Profit Corporation, ELLEN BARRY, JOHN SIMON, PETER BROIDO, and WILLIAM AYLESWORTH, Plaintiffs,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, a Municipal Corporation, Defendant

For The Residences at Riverbend Condominium Association, an Illinois Not-For-Profit Corporation, Ellen Barry, John Simon, Peter Broido, William Aylesworth, Plaintiffs: Joseph J Jacobi, Richard N. Kessler, McDonald Hopkins LLC, Chicago, IL.

For City Of Chicago, Defendant: William Macy Aguiar, LEAD ATTORNEY, City of Chicago, Department of Law, Chicago, IL.

OPINION

Page 983

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

AMY J. ST. EVE, United States District Court Judge.

On May 30, 2013, Plaintiffs, the Residences at Riverbend Condominium Association (" Association" ) and individuals Ellen Barry, John Simon, Peter Broido, and William Aylesworth, filed the present seven-count

Page 984

Complaint against Defendant City of Chicago seeking declaratory and injunctive relief relevant to the development of three buildings with retail, office, residential, and hotel uses in an area known as Wolf Point in downtown Chicago. Before the Court is Defendant's motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the following reasons, the Court grants Defendant's motion and dismisses this lawsuit with prejudice.

LEGAL STANDARD

A Rule 12(b)(6) motion challenges the sufficiency of the complaint. See Hallinan v. Fraternal Order of Police of Chi. Lodge No. 7, 570 F.3d 811, 820 (7th Cir. 2009). Under Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must include " a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The short and plain statement under Rule 8(a)(2) must " give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007) (citation omitted). Under the federal notice pleading standards, a plaintiff's " factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Put differently, a " complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). " In reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint under the plausibility standard, [courts] accept the well-pleaded facts in the complaint as true." Alam v. Miller Brewing Co., 709 F.3d 662, 665-66 (7th Cir. 2013). A plaintiff " can plead himself out of court by pleading facts that show that he has no legal claim." Atkins v. City of Chicago, 631 F.3d 823, 832 (7th Cir. 2011).

BACKGROUND

Accepting Plaintiffs' well-pleaded facts as true, the Association is a non-profit corporation that owns property at 333 N. Canal Street, Chicago, Illinois. (R. 1, Compl. ¶ 3.) The individual Plaintiffs -- Ellen Barry, John Simon, John Broido, and William Aylesworth -- are members of the Association and also own property at 333 N. Canal Street. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 3, 4.) The dispute in this lawsuit pertains to a parcel of land 250 feet away from the Residences at Riverbend known as Wolf Point. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 1, 3.) The origin of this dispute can be traced back to June 22, 1973, when the City enacted a zoning ordinance that created Planned Development No. 98 (" PD-98" ). ( Id. ¶ 7.) PD-98 affected the zoning for an undeveloped parcel of property adjoining the Chicago River near the Merchandise Mart and Apparel Center and divided the parcel into Subarea A and Subarea B. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 7, 8, 14.) The creation of Subarea B, which entails the Wolf Point property at issue in this lawsuit, allowed for the development of " Office Building, Retail, Residential, Parking Facilities and Related Uses." ( Id. ¶ 15.) In the past 40 years, however, no one has built a structure for office, retail, or residential use on Wolf Point. ( Id. ¶ 19.) Instead, the Wolf Point property is used for off-street parking. ( Id. ) At the same time, nearby areas, such as River North and the Fulton River Districts, experienced substantial improvement and development. ( Id. ¶ 28.)

Plaintiffs maintain that the improvements to the nearby areas have been the impetus behind the considerable influx of people and businesses moving into the area. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 30-32.) Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that the area's rapid growth has caused significant stress on the neighborhood's infrastructure. ( Id. ΒΆ 30.) ...


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