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Court Ruling on CL South Bleachers Case Expected Wednesday

McHenry County Judge Michael Chmiel is expected to render a decision in the case of the homeowners vs. Community High School District 155 on Wednesday.

The new $1.18 million bleachers at Crystal Lake South High School.
The new $1.18 million bleachers at Crystal Lake South High School.
A legal decision regarding the case of the $1.18 million football bleachers at Crystal Lake South High School is expected to be made on Wednesday in McHenry County Court.

McHenry County Judge Michael Chmiel is scheduled to render his decision on the matter of the Crystal Lake homeowners vs. Community High School District 155 at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18.

Attorneys for the three homeowners who filed the lawsuit against the school district pleaded their side of the case on Nov. 7, as did attorneys for District 155, the city of Crystal Lake and McHenry County Regional Superintendent of Schools.

Judge Chmiel has taken the past month to consider all arguments and prepare his decision. 

The residents are asking for a ruling that would force District 155 to comply with the city of Crystal Lake's zoning application, review and approval process.

Such a decision would mean District 155 would have to present building plans to the city's Planning and Zoning Commission, which would review all aspects of the project (size, height, seating capacity, parking spaces, proximity to property lines) and allow neighbors an opportunity to see, hear and comment on the plans, as well. 

The Planning and Zoning Commission would then forward a recommendation for or against the proposal to the city council. The council would have its opportunity to discuss the project in a public meeting and hear homeowners' input as well.

District 155 attorneys argued they are not obligated to follow local zoning laws. They maintain the district is governed by the laws of the state via the McHenry County Regional Office of Education, which issued building permits for new bleachers at Crystal Lake South High School, 1200 S. McHenry Ave. 

Attorneys for the homeowners and the city point to a December 23, 2011 decision by Illinois Att. General Lisa Madigan that said school districts must comply with municipal and county zoning ordinances. 

The bleachers were constructed this past summer, with no prior notice to the city or nearby homeowners. 

However, despite tomorrow's ruling, even Judge Chmiel last month acknowledged it is both possible and likely the losing party will immediately take the matter to the Illinois Appellate Court in Elgin. 

Check back to Patch on Wednesday for an update on the ruling. 

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

S.H. December 17, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Good luck homeowners!
Kathleen Scott December 17, 2013 at 08:31 PM
David vs. Goliath - hoping for justice for the homeowners!
Concerned Citizen December 17, 2013 at 08:54 PM
I hope the homeowners win! After that, it is time for Johnnie to GO!

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