The City of Crystal Lake has apparently decided to defend its zoning powers vigorously after being brought into the South High School Bleacher case by District 155.
As a result of an agreed order entered by Judge Thomas Meyer, the bleachers will be completed by the time of the first football game and, unlike in past years, home team fans will not be facing into the sun.
In the meantime, Crystal Lake will not hold a $1,000 a day fine over the heads of District 155 taxpayers.
The case will come before Judge Michael Chmiel next Friday at 9:15.
The issue probably will boil down to whether or not the City of Crystal Lake can assert its Home Rule authority over the high school district on zoning and storm water management matters.
Speaking for the neighbors in the shadow of the bleachers who started the legal action, Jean Bianchi said,
“We’re happy that the athletes and parents and fans are going to be able to have an uninterrupted football season…We wouldn’t want them caught in the backfire of this controversy.
“We question why the school board wants to spend oodles of money on lawyers and it will be oodles of money…
“This will be a case where lawyers want to set new precedent , the possibility of allowing school districts to avoid complying with city zoning and planning ordinances.
“At this point there has never been a case that showed that.
“We want them to stop spending all this money on lawyers.”
When asked it his client would appeal an unfavorable court decision, District 155 attorney Robert Swain said,
“I imagine each side would take it up.
“It’s not a trivial case.”
Crystal Lake attorney Justin Hansen pointed out in the hearing that “our two legal positions are exactly opposite.”
He said the City was “willing to defer enforcement of the stop work order” and allow the grandstand to be completed so “the students can enjoy their facilities.”
Afterward District 155 Board President Ted Wagner commented,
“So, we’re back in the kid business.”