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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Homeowner Prevails in Zoning Case Against Neighbor

An Illinois Appellate Court recently upheld an injunction against a residential property owner operating a boarding house and a vehicle parking and storage facility in an Adjoining Landowner Act lawsuit (65 ILCS 5/11-13-15) brought by a neighboring resident. Frederick v. Gaca.

Frederick filed a lawsuit against his neighbors alleging a variety of claims regarding the use of residential property next door to his home. In his lawsuit, Frederick alleged the home's six bedrooms were rented out to various individuals and operated as a boarding house. He also claimed there were approximately 20 vehicles parked or stored on the property at any one time, including cars, pickup trucks, delivery trucks, and a heavy-duty work truck. According to the lawsuit, some of the parked vehicles were tenant vehicles and others were parked or stored under separate arrangement or agreement, including the payment of parking and storage fees. In support of his claims, Frederick submitted affidavits from former tenants and users of the parking and storage facility that demonstrated the illegal uses. Frederick claimed that these uses constituted a public nuisance and violated various provisions of the City of Naperville zoning ordinance. 

The trial court ultimately ruled in favor of Frederick, entering a permanent injunction stopping the defendants from operating a boarding house or a parking or storage facility on the residential property. 

The defendants appealed, and the Appellate Court upheld the injunction, finding that the evidence clearly established that the property was being used in violation of numerous provisions of the Naperville zoning ordinance. The Appellate Court also rejected the defendants argument that the parking and storage facility was a lawful "home occupation." The Appellate Court concluded that Frederick met his burden under the Adjoining Landowner Act to establish the unlawful use of the neighboring property, and the trial court's injunction was upheld.


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