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CL South Bleachers Mediation Held

A mediation session regarding the Crystal Lake South bleachers was held Wednesday, Sept. 18, and representatives from all sides were present.

Before and After: the bleachers at Crystal Lake South High School.
Before and After: the bleachers at Crystal Lake South High School.


Attorneys and representatives from Community High School District 155, the city of Crystal Lake and the Amberwood Drive homeowners met last week for a mediation session regarding the Crystal Lake South High School bleachers.

The meeting was orchestrated by local attorney Jim Bishop, a former District 155 and 47 School Board member, at his office in Crystal Lake on Wednesday, Sept. 18.

Former school board members Robert Boncosky, Bill Lyons and Patricia Philpot also helped bring the parties together, hoping to bring a resolution to the legal dispute over the newly constructed $1.18 million stadium at South High School, 1200 S. McHenry Ave.

Due to the nature of the mediation, parties would not comment on the discussions held that night. However, one official said no resolution was reached.

Unless someone comes back to the table with a proposed resolution, all sides are working toward the Nov. 7 hearing date set by McHenry County Judge Michael Chmiel. 

The legal battle began in August when three Amberwood Drive residents filed a lawsuit against District 155, asking that construction on the bleachers be halted and school officials follow the city's zoning application, variance request and permitting process for the 51-foot-tall structure. 

The homeowners' property backs up to the stadium, which is now three times the width than the original bleachers. The new stands also are solid, whereas the previous structure had gaps between the benches, and the larger home stands were moved to the homeowners' side of the field.

They were also built 41 feet from the homeowners' back property lines when city code requires a 50-foot setback. Attorneys for the homeowners say Crystal Lake South High School needs an additional 680 parking spaces to accommodate the new stands, which seat up to 3,900 spectators. 

Crystal Lake city officials maintain state law and a ruling by Illinois State Attorney General Lisa Madigan in December 2011 bind school districts to comply with municipal and county zoning codes.

School District 155 officials insist they are governed by the McHenry County Regional Superintendent of Schools, which issued the permits for the construction.

Justin Hansen, representing the city of Crystal Lake, has presented a motion to the judge asking for a "summary of judgement," on whether the school district is required to comply with the municipal zoning ordinances.

Replacement of the bleachers started in June and rapidly proceeded throughout the summer, despite the city issuing three stop-work orders. 

Crystal Lake South has hosted two football games since the bleachers were completed in August. Since then, placement of port-o-potties and concession stands under the bleachers have met the disapproval of neighbors.

Some Crystal Lake residents have complained on the Patch Facebook page and through e-mails the stadium's new speaker system is considerably louder than the old one.

To provide more parking, District 155-47 Transportation officials moved its entire fleet of school buses from its headquarters located at Crystal Lake South High School to Crystal Lake Central provide more parking at South's first home game against Marian Catholic High School.
 


Related Stories:

Lake County States Attorneys Representing McHenry Co. Regional Superintendent in Bleachers Case

School Bus Fleet Moved for CL South Game; Local Leaders Offer to Serve as Mediators

Just Delivered: 5 Port-O-Potties Unders Crystal Lake South Bleachers

CL South Bleachers Inspected; Court Proceedings Continue

Bleachers: District 155 May Challenge City's Zoning Code if Forced to Follow Process

Petition Supports City in Bleachers Dispute

CL South Fans May Get to Use Bleachers- For Now; Legal Battle Continues

District 155 Extends Court Battle to Include City of Crystal Lake, Regional Superintendent

CL South Neighbors File Lawsuit Against District 155; Football Season in Flux

District 155 Installs Massive New Bleachers at CL South High School Without City Approval

'Battle of the Bleachers' Continues Between District 155 and City of Crystal Lake 

CL Mayor Asks District 155 to Stop Work on Bleachers and Obtain Zoning Approval

Stop Work Order from City to District 155 for CL South Bleachers

Railroaded September 27, 2013 at 03:35 PM
Lets get them all REMOVED Who are WASTING OUR TAX $$... not just the chosen few!

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