Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Muirhead Hui L.L.C v. The Forest Preserve District of Kane County

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Second District

July 11, 2018

MUIRHEAD HUI L.L.C; ROBERT C. MUIRHEAD; MARGARET M. MARCOM; THE ROBERT C. MUIRHEAD DECLARATION OF TRUST DATED OCTOBER 29, 1991; MICHAEL PETERSDORF; and SARAH PETERSDORF, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
THE FOREST PRESERVE DISTRICT OF KANE COUNTY; MICHAEL KENYON, in His Official Capacity as President of the Forest Preserve District of Kane County; MONICA MEYERS, in Her Official Capacity as Executive Director of the Forest Preserve District of Kane County; KINNALLY FLAHERTY KRENTZ LORAN HODGE & MASUR, P.C.; and GERALD HODGE, Defendants-Appellees.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kane County No. 17-MR-152 Honorable David R. Akemann, Judge, Presiding.

          JUSTICE SCHOSTOK delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Burke and Spence concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          SCHOSTOK, JUSTICE

         ¶ 1 The instant case concerns the interpretation of a restrictive covenant and whether the sellers retained any property rights after they sold their property. The circuit court of Kane County found that they did not and therefore dismissed their complaint. The sellers appeal from the trial court's order. We affirm.

         ¶ 2 BACKGROUND

         ¶ 3 In 2003, the plaintiffs Muirhead Hui L.L.C., Robert C. Muirhead, Margaret M. Marcom, and the Robert C. Muirhead Declaration of Trust Dated October 29, 1991, sold some parcels of land to the defendant the Forest Preserve District of Kane County (the District). Other individuals who are not parties to this suit also sold some parcels to the District. The land the District acquired totaled 531.8 acres and would become known as the Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve. The District hoped to receive a grant from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in order to make certain improvements to the land. In order to facilitate receiving that grant, the District included a restrictive covenant with the deeds that were recorded on September 25, 2003. That covenant stated:

"The real property described herein must be maintained for public outdoor recreation use purposes only as prescribed by the State of Illinois, Department of Natural Resources under terms of the State's Open Space Lands Acquisition & Development (OSLAD) grant program and shall not be sold or exchanged or have other encumbrances places [sic] on the title, in whole or in part, which divests control or interest in the property to another party without prior approval from the State of Illinois, Department of Natural Resources or its successor."

         ¶ 4 On January 21, 2004, one of the deeds was rerecorded to correct a scrivener's error in the legal description.

         ¶ 5 On January 4, 2005, all of the deeds were rerecorded to add specific DNR covenant and grant language. The new covenant was titled, "Historic and Natural Resources Preservation Covenant For 531.8 acres of the Muirhead Springs Acquisition by the Kane County Forest Preserve District, Kane County," and it placed additional restrictions on the property.

         ¶ 6 On August 14, 2005, the District sent to the DNR a letter requesting to modify the boundaries of the Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve project. The District stated that it intended to restore all of the land "to native prairie and pay particular attention to restoration in the wetland areas and near the naturally occurring springs." The District further stated, however, that it could not restore all of the land at once. The District therefore requested that it be allowed to reduce the project from the original 531.8 acres to 200 acres at the northern end of the property. The parcels sold by the plaintiffs were not adjacent to these 200 acres.

         ¶ 7 On March 21, 2006, the DNR sent to the District a letter approving the District's request to reduce the project to 200 acres. The DNR also approved a grant of $750, 000.

         ¶ 8 In 2013, Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) publicly announced that it was planning a new transmission-line construction project, the Grand Prairie Gateway Project (GPG Project), that would run through Ogle, De Kalb, Kane, and Du Page Counties. On December 2, 2013, ComEd filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) a petition seeking approval to construct the GPG Project, under the Public Utilities Act (220 ILCS 5/1-101 et seq. (West 2012)). In 2014, the ICC granted the District's petition to intervene in the proceedings. The District recommended that the GPG Project transmission line go through the Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve. ComEd raised a concern as to whether the line could go through that property, in light of the restrictive covenant in the 2005 deeds.

         ¶ 9 On June 30, 2014, the defendant attorney Gerald Hodge, acting as counsel for the District, rerecorded the deeds for the property at issue. The rerecorded deeds removed all of the restrictive-covenant language.

         ¶ 10 On October 22, 2014, the ICC approved the GPG Project, but it did not adopt the District's proposed route through the Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve. Thereafter, owners of land along the approved route petitioned the ICC to rehear the matter and reconsider the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.