City Pushback on Grandfathering

Hello everyone and especially Mr. Frank Rolfe, and sorry to be so long winded…

Mr. Rolfe we first meet on a Chicago Mobile Home Park bus tour you sponsored on Saturday April 13, 2013.

I learned a lot during the drive / show & tell followed by the Q&A sessions back on the bus rolling to the next stop / Community.

My name is Karl Breehne and I am an Airline Pilot by trade but the tragedy of 911 in 2001 as everyone knows resulted in devastating many lives and families. As the result of 911 and the severe down turn in the airline industry I worked in the Real Estate industry followed by the Mobile Home industry. The good news is I will never be unemployed again & hung out to dry since my cousin Derrek and I now own and operate a Mobile Home Community that we named 2 Creeks in Rural Greenville, IL which has much potential.

I am back to flying a full schedule for American Airlines and working with Derrek when I am not in the air. I am posting here seeking advice / help / information. I would like to reference an article by Mr. Frank Rolfe printed in THE JOURNAL on APRIL 2013 Page 9 titled “COMMUNITY MANAGMENT PERSPECTIVE” subtitled “The Top 5 Risks To A Manufactured Home Community”. Item 2 Mr. Rolfe discusses “CITY PUSHBACK ON GRANDFATHERING”. We have one of those over bearing City Inspectors Frank refers to in the article. One of the ways we are trying to improve our Community is by removing older homes which are tight spaced wise and replacing them with new or newer homes and the inspector is not backing down on the newer spacing code which is the bad news. Some good news is we threatened to go to court like the article refers and even shared / showed the City gang the article. The City Inspectors boss the City Manager said if my Attorney can convince the city Attorney we are correct on this he will go with what the two Attorneys agree on as law no questions asked & no need for court.

(Note: We have an older Community sect. 80 sites & a newer development which must go by the newer code.)

I contacted the IL Manufactured Housing Assoc. which did not produce good results and I discussed with our Attorney who mostly does collections type work in court for us. Our Attorney did in his words a brief search / not extensive looking for Illinois case law on the issue as suggested by the article with in his own words “disappointing results”. Our Attorney stated to me after collections court the other day he could do a lot more extensive research for much more $$$ so I said hold up I will see if I can come up with more data / info from other sources such as IMHA and now you folks my peers. So here I am looking to my peers in the industry for guidance / information / leadership.

Has anybody already done or dealt with this in the state of Illinois?

Does anyone have an IL Attorney that has been down this path for them??

Look forward to your responses / post or a phone call since this may be easier to discuss on the phone.

Again sorry to be so long winded but the devil is in the details.

Thanks in advance for anyone’s help!!

618-664-0758 office.


Here is what you have to do. You need to call every law firm in that county and ask if they have a “municipal lawyer”. Ask if they’ve sued the city before and what the results were. You should also try to research any past or present lawsuit the city is involved in, to find out which attorneys normally sue the city (particularly the ones who have won in the past). Then go to those attorneys who already sue the city regularly (and are qualified to do so) and find one that will take your case (and believes in it). A single phone call from a municipal lawyer who has sued the city before (and won) will get more settled in 10 minutes than a regular lawyer will accomplish in two years of litigation. We used a municipal lawyer so highly feared in one town that we had issues in, that their first attempt was to convince the lawyer not to take the case (which failed) and then they completely withdraw all issues rather than have to face them in court. You need that kind of guy. Ever see the westerns where the gunslinger is so feared that the adversary doesn’t even try to outdraw him but just backs down and leaves? That’s the kind of lawyer you need to get what you are after. You can only find them in the manner I’ve outlined.

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