Gruba v. Community High School District 155, 2015 IL 118332 (9-24-2015).

School boards are subject to cities’ zoning ordinances

Individual Board Member Interests
Case: Gruba v. Community High School District 155, 2015 IL 118332 (9-24-2015).
Date: Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Illinois Supreme Court has held that a school district is subject to, and its school board must comply with, local government zoning and storm water restrictions, i.e., a city’s zoning powers. The case arose when neighbors to a high school didn’t like the bleachers being built in the football stadium. The city issued a stop-order against the board prohibiting the continuation of the work on the bleachers. The neighbors sued the district seeking to privately enforce the city’s zoning ordinances. The court considered the board’s arguments supporting its position that the city may not restrict a school district’s land use. The court disagreed in an opinion that reads like a reply brief. The court relied on a provision in the School Code expressly allowing boards to seek zoning changes, variations, or special new uses for properties held or controlled by the school district. The court reasoned that this provision demonstrates that the legislature intended to subject the local school board to the municipality’s zoning regulations.