Christian G. Spesia
Chris Spesia has been a partner with Spesia & Ayers since 2001 and focuses his practice on municipal law, real estate, land use and development with a focus on industrial, pipeline and utility related projects, litigation, and estate planning. Chris Spesia is “AV” rated by Martindale Hubbell. Chris Spesia’s litigation background includes most kinds of civil cases, including zoning, mandamus and eminent domain and Estate litigation. His recent cases include the successful prosecution of a multi-million dollar oral contract to create a will claim in both the circuit and appellate courts.
Chris Spesia acts as the Village Attorney for the Villages of New Lenox, Minooka and Rockdale and as the City Attorney for Crest Hill and assists with the representation of the Villages of Manhattan, Bradley and Grant Park. As a municipal attorney, Chris Spesia has been involved in the annexation, rezoning and development of thousands of acres for the Firm’s rapidly-growing Villages and has established Tax Increment Financing, Special Service Areas and Business Development Districts for the benefit of residential, industrial and commercial projects.
Chris Spesia has utilized his litigation, land use and real estate experience to assist the Firm’s pipeline and public utility clients in obtaining government approvals and necessary rights-of-way for new projects involving water towers, water lines, sewage treatment plant expansions, natural gas facilities and crude oil pipelines.
Chris Spesia has represented the Firm’s public utility client in land use and construction disputes with municipalities and in the Illinois Commerce Commission, including multiple acquisition transactions and defense of customer complaints. Chris Spesia has also worked on closing the purchase of sewer and water systems from public and private entities and recently handled the purchase of a water system serving 44,000 residents.
Chris Spesia works with the Firm’s Estate Planning group on crafting plans that achieve the objectives of its clients, including Estate Tax and probate avoidance. Chris Spesia also serves as a Trustee for Firm clients.
Among Chris Spesia’s transactions and cases are those related to:
- Complex boundary litigation between several municipalities involving disputed jurisdiction over thousands of acres in high-growth areas.
- Represented multiple pipeline companies in the successful negotiation and acquisition of right-of-way across the State of Illinois.
- Establishment of Special Service Area and Business Development District and worked on Development Agreements that facilitated the construction of Silver Cross Hospital, the adjacent medical campus and surrounding commercial areas.
- Annexation of approximately 900 acres of industrial property under a favorable annexation agreement to preclude forcible annexation of power plant by an adjacent municipality.
- Trial and appeal of suits challenging municipal denial of zoning requests and building permits.
- Handling of case involving the rights of trucks involved in interstate commerce to access local roadways in the federal district and appellate courts.
- Defended injunction proceeding involving the rights of a real estate developer to capacity in a municipally-owned sewage treatment plant.
- Purchase of hundreds of acres of real estate by a Forest Preserve District and Village for conservation and recreation purposes.
- Litigated and negotiated resolution of contractual dispute between a municipality and an Illinois Public Utility.
- Represented an Illinois Public Utility before the Illinois Commerce Commission (“ICC”) in defense of formal customer complaints and in proceedings requesting ICC approval of system acquisitions including the acquisition of a water system serving 44,000 residents.
- Represented pipeline companies in the zoning and permitting of multiple meter stations in Will, Livingston, LaSalle, Bureau and Boone Counties.
- Negotiated Road Use Agreements with Township Highway Commissioners and resolved multi-million dollar claim for road damage.
- Obtained zoning approval and negotiated a lease for a crude oil tank facility and barge depot.
- Represented municipal entity in the negotiation of agreements to purchase water from the City of Chicago and worked on the acquisition of substantial right-of-way for the project.
- Worked on the sale of a pipeline and related right-of-way for the conveyance of liquid petroleum products.
- Represented landowners in multiple 1031 tax-free exchanges.
- Multiple Bond Issuances for Government and Private Development.
Articles and Publications
Construction Before Just Compensation – Fourth District Changes Game In Condemnation Cases
(Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association Journal, November 2015)
Special Value Has No Value In Condemnation Cases
(Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association Journal, May 2015)
Video Gaming – A Good Gamble for Future Municipal Revenues?
(Illinois Institute for Local Government Law Journal, November 2012)
Local Public Entities And Estoppel As Defense
(Illinois Institute for Local Government Law Journal, April 2010)
How Pochie v. Cook County Officers Electoral Bd. May Affect An Objector’s Petition To Candidates’ Nominating Papers
(Illinois Institute for Local Government Law Journal, April 2009)
Regulating Campaign Contributions And Adopting More Restrictive Ethics Provisions
(Illinois Institute For Local Government Law Journal, May 2008)
When Does Estoppel Apply Against A Public Entity?
(Illinois Institute For Local Government Law Journal, October 2007)
Fact Specific vs. Ultimate Facts – Pleading Requirements In Court Controlled Annexations
(Illinois Institute For Local Government Law Journal, June 2006)
Special Service Areas And Special Assessment Areas – A Growing Trend In Financing Of Public Improvements For New Construction
(Illinois Institute For Local Government Law Journal, January 2006)
Second District Declares Right To Cross-Examination In Zoning Hearings
(Illinois State Bar Association Local Government Law Newsletter, March 2001)
Can A Bank Foreclose On An Annexation Agreement?
(Illinois State Bar Association Local Government Law Newsletter, March 2000; Illinois Institute For Local Government Law Journal, January 2001)