IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS
COUNTY DEPARTMENT, CHANCERY DIVISION
The names of the 30 plaintiffs, all owners of record of condominium units in the 340 Randolph or 360 Randolph buildings, are on file in the court records.
THE CHICAGO PLAN COMMISSION, THE
CHICAGO CHILDREN'S MUSEUM, THE
CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT, a municipal
corporation, THE CITY OF CHICAGO, a
LINDA SEARL, CHAIRMAN,
ALD. WILLIAM J.P. BANKS,
ALD. EDWARD M. BURKE,
MAY OR RICHARD M. DALEY,
DAVID WEINSTEIN, LEON D. FINNEY, JR.,
DORIS B. HOLLEB, LYNEIR RICHARDSON,
CAROLE BROWN, SMITA SHAH,
TOM BYRNE, ARNOLD L. RANDALL,
GEORGE W. MIGALA,
ALD. PATRICK O'CONNOR,
JOHN H. IVELSOIV, IVANCY A. PACHER,
ALD. MARY ANN SMITH,
ALD. BERNARD L. STONE,
GRACIA M. SHIFRIN,
ALD. REGNER "RAY" SUAREZ, and
Case No. 08 CH 20346
COMPLAINT FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW TO ENJOIN THE ILLEGAL USE OF PROPERTY AND OTHER RELIEF
NOW COME the plaintiffs, (the names of the 30 owners from 340 and 360 E. Randolph are available in the court records) by their attorneys, Litchfield Cavo, LLP, and the Law Offices of
James E. Fabbrini, and complaining of the defendants, THE CHICAGO PLAN COMMISSION,
THE CHICAGO CHILDREN'S MUSEUM, THE CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT, a municipal
corporation, THE CITY OF CHICAGO, a municipal corporation, LINDA SEARL,
CHAIRMAN, ALD. WILLIAM J.P. BANKS, ALD. EDWARD M. BURKE,
MAYOR RICHARD M. DALEY, DAVID WEINSTEIN, LEON D. FINNEY, JR.,
DORIS B. HOLLEB, LYNEIR RICHARDSON, CAROLE BROWN, SMITA SHAH,
TOM BYRNE, ARNOLD L. RANDALL, GEORGE W. MIGALA,
ALD. PATRICK O'CONNOR, JOHN H. NELSON, NANCY A. PACHER,
ALD. MARY ANN SMITH, ALD. BERNARD L. STONE, GRACIA M. SHIFRIN,
ALD. REGNER "RAY" SUAREZ, and PATRICIA SCUDIERO, state as follows:
NATURE OF THE ACTION
1. This is a complaint for writ of common-law certiorari, and for administrative
review of the Chicago Plan Commission's written decision dated May 15, 2008 (the
"Resolution"), approving and adopting the written report of the Chicago Department of Planning
and Development and Department of Zoning dated May 15, 2008, with respect to a purported
application ("Application" ) filed by defendant, Chicago Children's Museum, for approval under
the Lake Michigan and Chicago Lakefront Protection Ordinance (the "Ordinance") to allow the
construction of a purported museum facility in Grant Park and in the Chicago Lakefront
Protec tion District. (A copy of the Resolution and DPD Report are attached hereto as Exhibits Aand B, respectively).
2. Plaintiffs allege that the decision and Resolution of the Chicago Plan Commission
(the "Commission") regarding the Application, which is deemed a final order, violates the
Ordinance, is unconstitutionally arbitrary and capricious, is an abuse of discretion and against the manifest weight of the evidence. The Commission's findings of fact, upon which its determination is based are insufficient and not supported by competent evidence.
3. At all times herein, plaintiffs own property at 340 East Randolph and 360 East
Randolph, Chicago, Illinois, within 250 feet of the property known as Grant Park, which is
owned and/or controlled by defendants, Chicago Park District and the City of Chicago.
4. The Chicago Plan Commission (the "Commission") is a commission created by
an ordinance of the City of Chicago pursuant to 65 I LCS 511 1-122-4 et seq. The following
defendants are members of the Commission:
Linda Searl, Chairman;
Ald. William J.P. Banks;
Ald. Edward M. Burke;
Mayor Richard M. Daley;
Leon D. Finney, Jr.;
Doris B. Holleb;
Arnold L. Randall;
George W. Migala;
Ald. Patrick O'connor;
John H. Nelson;
Nancy A. Pacher;
Ald. Mary Ann Smith;
Ald. Bernard L. Stone;
Gracia M. Shifrin;
Ald. Regner "Ray" Suarez;
5. Upon information and belief, defendant, Chicago Children's Museum (the
"Museum"), was, and is, a nonprofit corporation, organized under the laws of the State of
6. The Chicago Park District is a municipal corporation organized pursuant to state
statute and local ordinances. The Park District owns the property that is the subject of this
lawsuit and is listed as a co-applicant on the Chicago Children's Museum's application.
LAKE MICHIGAN AND CHICAGO LAKEFRONT PROTECTION ORDINANCE
7. Chapters 16-4 of the Chicago Municipal Code (formerly known as Chapter 194
B) entitled the Lake Michigan and Chicago Lakefront Protection Ordinance was enacted in 1973
pursuant to 65 I LCS 511 1-48.2-1 et seq., in which the city's home rule powers established Lake
Michigan and Chicago's lakefront, as a "district having special environmental, recreational,
cultural, historical, community, and aesthetic interests and values."
8. The ordinance requires that any physical change, whether temporary or
permanent, public or private, to be undertaken, including, but not limited to landfill, roadway,
building or construction of any kind within the Lake Michigan and Chicago Lakefront Protection
District must be approved by the Chicago Plan Commission.
9. The Ordinance details the application procedures for review by the Commission.
10. The Ordinance sets forth fourteen policies (the "policies") "which shall govern
present and future development programs for Chicago's lakefront," and also sets forth thirteen
purposes for which the Ordinance is adopted.
WRIT OF CERTIORARI AND ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW OF
APPROVAL OF APPLICATION UNDER THE LAKE MICHIGAN AND
CHICAGO LAKEFRONT PROTECTION ORDINANCE
11. The plaintiffs re-allege the foregoing paragraphs 1 through 9 as if fully set forth
12. On May 15, 2008, the Commission convened and conducted a public hearing on
the Chicago Children's Museum's application to allow construction of a purported museum
13. The May 15, 2008 Report of the Department of Planning and Development and
Department of Zoning (the "DPD Report"; Exhibit B.) concludes that "based on the findings in
this report, it is also the recommendation of the Department of Planning and Development.. . that
the Chicago Plan Commission approves the development proposal as being in conformance with the provisions of the Lakefront Protection Ordinance."
14. The May 15, 2008 Resolution of the Commission (Exhibit A) adopts "as the
findings of fact of the Chicago Plan Commission" recitals to the Resolution and the DPD Report,
and resolves that the Application "be approved as being in conformance with the provisions of
the Lake Michigan and Chicago Lakefront Protection Ordinance."
15. The May 15, 2008 Decision and Resolution of the Commission regarding the
Application was (a) unconstitutionally arbitrary and capricious; (b) unconstitutionally violated the Ordinance; and (c) the Commission's findings of fact regarding conformity with the Purposes and Policies of the Ordinance were not based on sufficient or competent evidence, were against the manifest weight of the evidence, and constitute an abuse of discretion for the following reasons, among others:
a. The DPD report makes no findings of fact supporting its recommendation that the
commission approve the development proposal as being in conformance with the
provisions of the Ordinance;
b. The Resolution of the Commission cites no findings of fact in either the recitals to
the Resolution, or otherwise in approving the Application as being in
conformance with the provisions of the Ordinance.
c. The resolution of the Commission ignores long-standing Supreme Court
precedent which specifically and unequivocally holds that the property in
question, Grant Park, is forever to remain vacant of buildings.
d. At the May 15,2008, hearing on the Application before the Plan Commission (the
"Hearing"), no competent evidence was submitted by the Department of Planning
and Development, the Chicago Children's Museum, the Chicago Park District,
that the site is in conformance with the Ordinance or any of its purposes and
e. At the hearing, the following persons, among others, testified in opposition to the
Application and identified how it failed to conform to the Ordinance's purposes
and policies, including:
f. These individuals, together with many other witnesses, provided the only
competent evidence at the hearing on the record relating to the Ordinance, its
purposes and policies.
16. The Decision and Resolution of the Plan Commission violated the Ordinance and
unconstitutionally deprived plaintiffs of due process and/or a reasonable opportunity to express their opinions and views because:
a. Defendants failed to provide notice of the May 15, 2008 hearing to individuals
who own property at 340 East Randolph, Chicago, Illinois;
b. After being apprised of the obvious deficiencies in Applicants' notice and
Applicants' failure to comply with section 17 - 13 - 0107, the Commission,
erroneously, arbitrarily, and unconstitutionally determined that the property
owners at 340 East Randolph, including several plaintiffs, were not entitled to
receive notice of May 15,2008 hearing.
c. The Commission erroneously and unconstitutionally determined that Applicant
need only provide notice to the condominium association for the property known
as 340 East Randolph.
d. Yet even if the Commission's finding as to notice was neither arbitrary nor
unconstitutional, as plaintiffs listed in caption were denied due process, by virtue
of Applicant's failure to provide notice to the condominium association that
governs and administers the property located at 340 East Randolph.
e. The Commission unconstitutionally and arbitrarily limited the plaintiffs'
opportunity to ask questions and express their opposition to the application, but
did not impose similar limitations on Applicant or those individuals in support of
f. The Commission unconstitutionally and arbitrarily allowed Applicant to increase
andlor change the boundary of the planned development, notwithstanding
Applicant's failure to revise its notice so that it reflected the new radius and new
17. The plaintiffs reserve the right to supplement the allegations of paragraphs 13, 14
and 15 upon defendants' filing of the complete Administrative Record in this matter.
18. The Decision and Resolution of the Plan Commission regarding the Application is
a final order and binding upon all parties.
19. Plaintiffs have either a statutory appeal from the Chicago Plan Commission
decision under the Administrative Review Act, 735 ILCS 513-101 et seq., or if that provision is
inapplicable, they have no adequate remedy in the matter other than by petition for issuance of
an order of certiorari, directed to Chicago Plan Commission, commanding the Commission to
certify and bring the record of the proceedings of May 15,2008 proceedings before this Court.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs request:
a. that an Order of certiorari be issued immediately, by the Clerk and under seal of
this Court, to bring up a transcript of the proceedings and of the decision and the
record, the papers and files of the proceeding before the Commission, and all
other Commission documents , so that they may be reviewed by this Court, or, in
the alternative, that this Court review the final administrative decision of the
Chicago Plan Commission, set forth as the Resolution in Exhibit A, pursuant to
the Administrative Review Law, 735 I LCS 513-101et seq.; and.
b. that, upon review by this Court of such transcript, record, papers, files and
Administrative Record , the decision and Resolution of Chicago Plan Commission
be reversed, vacated and voided; and
c. that such other relief be granted plaintiffs, including,the costs of this suit and
reasonable attorney's fees pursuant to 740 ILCS 23115, as the Court determines
just and proper.
Patrick J. Ruberry, Esq.
LITCHFIELD CAVO, LLP
303 West Madison Street, Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60606-3300
(3 12) 78 1-6677
(312) 781-6630 f ax
I.D . No. 3635 1
James E. Fabbrini, Esq.
Law Offices of James E. Fabbrini By:
415 North LaSalle Street, Suite 603, Attorneys for the Plaintiffs
Chicago, IL 6061 0
Phone (3 12) 494-3 13 1
Fax (3 12) 494-3 1 3 3
Firm I.D. No. 43 16 1