Buyers claim sellers misrepresented property zoning

Steve Gonzalez Sep. 26, 2007, 8:42am

Coy and Teresa Chester filed suit against James and Susan Powell in Madison County Circuit Court Sept. 21, alleging they violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act when selling them real estate.

According to the complaint, the Chesters purchased real estate from the Powells that is located at 8715 Heinz Road in New Douglas on Aug. 8, 2006. Co-defendant Christine Scott of Re/Max Preferred Partners was the real estate agent in the deal.

The Chesters claim the defendants breached the real estate contract by knowingly and purposefully misrepresenting the zoning conditions of various areas of the property, specifically that the "sports utility complex" was commercially zoned.

They also claim the defendants omitted that they required a special use permit to operate a commercial sports business from the "sports utility complex" on the property and that the permit was non-transferable.

The Chesters claim the alleged omissions were made with the purpose of inducing them to purchase the property.

They also claim that Christine Scott of Re/Max advertised the property that described the zoning conditions on the property even though she was aware that the representations made were false at the time the advertisement was published.

"Defendant's policy in regard to advertisement for real estate constituted deceptive, fraudulent, or unfair business practices in violation of Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act in that the public advertisements regarding the property claimed that the sports utility complex was zoned commercial even though it was not," the complaint states.

The Chesters claim they have suffered damages including loss of property value, loss of future profits, additional loss of income due to higher interest rates and loss of income due to business decisions made in reliance upon the representations made by the defendants.

Represented by Scott Bjorseth and Amy Garcia of Hoagland, Fitzgerald, Smith & Pranaitis of Alton, the Chesters are seeking compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $250,000, plus all costs of the suit.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder.

07 L 840

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