Discrepancies On Midlothian Village Zoning Map Could Leave Property Owners In A Bind When Selling Or Rebuilding Homes

Alan Krygowski found problems with a village map that might be a wakeup call for some property owners; like a stretch of homes marked down as businesses.

Video Transcript

- Behind the scenes. Behind the lines. Inside the stories others won't tell. The Morning Insiders.

RYAN BAKER: The topic of zoning might put some people to sleep, but not the man you're about to meet. He says he found problems on a village map that could be a big wake up call for some suburban property owners. Morning Insider, Lauren Victory, dived into his zoning dispute.

ALAN KRYGOWSKI: So each have their individual heat. They each have their individual washers and dryers.

LAUREN VICTORY: Alan Krygowski shows us a rental property that's been in his family for 35 years.

ALAN KRYGOWSKI: This is the rear entrance. This [INAUDIBLE] goes into the living room.

LAUREN VICTORY: Two separate apartments labeled as two flat on the original 1986 survey and inspected as two units in 2014, by the village of Midlothian.

ALAN KRYGOWSKI: The county calls it a two unit. I'm taxed as a two unit. My insurance company calls it a two unit.

LAUREN VICTORY: But the 2020 Midlothian zoning map does not. His two apartment home is marked as a single family resident.

ALAN KRYGOWSKI: For four cars in the back.

LAUREN VICTORY: The longtime realtor says that will affect eventual resale.

ALAN KRYGOWSKI: My estimation is the difference in value is probably $40,000, plus, you've also got the tenants who have been longtime tenants of mine who would end up being displaced.

LAUREN VICTORY: The problem goes beyond his property. See these four red boxes. That's color coded for business. But here are those, quote unquote, "businesses," they're plain old homes. Nothing commercial looking about them. How did these zoning mistakes happen? CBS 2 took that question to Village Hall where the building superintendent told us they were not errors, but a conscious decision by the village board to zone that way. Homeowners have the chance to appeal at village meetings, or can get something called a legal nonconforming letter.

ALAN KRYGOWSKI: That says that the property is legal, it just doesn't conform to the new zoning, which is helpful.

LAUREN VICTORY: But that letter also says if the building were damaged more than 50%, permits would only be approved for how the property is currently zoned. Meaning Krygowski's apartments, and his neighbors' apartments, would need to be reconstructed as houses only. These homes would be rebuilt as businesses. The Village confirmed that.

ALAN KRYGOWSKI: I don't know why this is such a hurdle to get it corrected.

LAUREN VICTORY: The landlord is now considering legal action. In Midlothian, Lauren Victory, CBS 2 News.

RYAN BAKER: The building superintendent said changing one property zoning is not allowed. He called that spot zoning. The only way to get around that is to change the zoning on the entire block through a hearing, which he said isn't likely. For more stories like this, download the CBS Chicago app and look for the section called Morning Insiders.