A property owner alleged that the Village’s denial of a drive-through pharmacy as a special use rendered a property in downtown Wilmette undevelopable under its highest and best use.
The property originally was planned as a mixed-use retail and residential condominium development. Weak market conditions at the time precluded that development. The developer then entered into a lease with a nationally recognized pharmacy chain to develop a drug store with a drive-through facility. The Village of Wilmette does not allow drive-through facilities in its downtown district and denied the request for building permits. The developer then sued the Village for damages, alleging the property was not salable.
The MaRous report analyzed land sales in downtown Wilmette and other comparable desirable downtown locations and found most of these high-quality downtown suburban locations had significant limitations on drive-throughs and in most instances did not allow drive-throughs. It was further found that this restriction did not limit downtown redevelopment. The market analysis found anominal difference between those downtown sites that allowed drive-throughs and those that did not. A minimal hardship to the plaintiff for the restrictions on drive-throughs was found to exist.