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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Majority of All County Board Members Required to Approve Rezoning

A developer filed an application with the county requesting a rezoning of its property.  1940 LLC v. County of McHenry.  The County ZBA recommended approval, and the County Board voted 11 to 10 in favor of the rezoning.  However, the County Board Chairman ruled that the petition failed to pass because the rezoning required a majority of the entire County Board, not just those present, to vote in favor of the rezoning.  The developer challenged that interpretation in court. 

The Counties Code provides that "map amendments may be passed at a county board meeting by a simple majority of the elected county board members..."  The developer argued that "simple majority" requires that only a majority of the board members present at a meeting must vote in favor of the rezoning.  The County argued that the addition of the word "elected" in the statute meant that a majority of all board members must vote in favor.  Both the trial court and the appellate court agreed with the County's interpretation, finding that the developer's interpretation would make the word "elected" irrelevant.  Because the County Board consists of 24 elected members, the rezoning failed because it did not get the 13 votes required for passage.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink


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