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Thursday, March 7, 2013

No Evidence of Racial Discrimination in Zoning Case

A property owner and the operator of a former hotel on the property desired to sell his property for development of a senior housing facility.  The owner sought zoning relief to allow senior housing, which was not permitted in the manufacturing district in which the property was zoned.  The City denied the zoning relief, and the owner brought suit against the City on various grounds, including that (a) the City had engaged in racial discrimination in amending its zoning code and denying zoning relief to allow the senior development and (b) the City's zoning code was unconstitutionally vague.
The Seventh Circuit ruled in favor of the City, finding that the owner did not provide any evidence of racial discrimination in the City's zoning process. The Court determined that it was not unreasonable for the City to restrict residential uses in a manufacturing district in order to protect the residents from the effects from heavy industrial and manufacturing-type uses.  As noted by the Court, "[i]t is even easier to see why a retirement home would be an inappropriate use in a heavy industrial district, and specifically in the M-2 district in which Parvati’s former hotel is located."  The Court also held that the owner did not provide evidence of any damages incurred because of the City's zoning process, and that the City had cured any alleged deficiency in the ordinance.
Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink


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