CL South High School Bleacher Bill Giving Municipalities Zoning Power over Schools Signed

A press release from State Senator Pam Althoff and State Rep. Mike Tryon:

Legislation based on Crystal Lake South bleacher controversy signed into law by Governor Rauner 

Springfield, IL… Legislation filed in response to the costly bleacher battle between the City of Crystal Lake and District 155’s Crystal Lake South High School was signed into law on Thursday by Governor Bruce Rauner.

Sponsored by State Senator Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry) in the Senate and State Representative Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) in the House, Senate Bill 2186, signed into law as Public Act 99-0890, requires school districts and their school boards to adhere to the zoning requirements of the municipality, county or township where the pertinent part of a building, structure, or addition is built.

Partially built Crystal Lake South High School bleachers which were rejected by the Illinois Supreme Court (among others).

The bill further states that municipalities will make efforts to streamline the zoning process and ensure that any fees or costs tied to the review will be reasonable and not burdensome.

The new law seeks to clarify in the statutes the exact elements of local law that must be followed when schools engage in building or land improvements. In 2013, District 155 constructed a new set of home bleachers near the Crystal Lake South football field, and the new bleachers sat only 41 feet from neighboring property lines.

Crystal Lake zoning ordinances require a 50-foot setback. The bleachers and press box were also of a size and height that would require zoning variances from the city.

The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which affirmed lower court decisions that school districts are subject to local zoning laws.

Pam Althoff

Pam Althoff

“This law echoes what the court already decided,” said Sen. Althoff.

“But most importantly, it clarifies a gray area in the school code and lays down a clear path for future construction and developments.”

Mike Tryon

Mike Tryon

“Even though the City of Crystal Lake and District 155 ultimately reached an agreement, taxpayers for both bodies were left on the hook for the cost of both sides of the legal battle,” said Rep. Tryon.

“Moving forward, school districts and municipalities will now have a clear roadmap for working together on these types of projects.”

The provisions of the bill took effect immediately upon the bill’s signing.

= = = = =
No one voted against the legislation.


CL South High School Bleacher Bill Giving Municipalities Zoning Power over Schools Signed — 2 Comments

  1. How about a bill requiring Boards to post searchable board agenda packets that allow copy and paste.


    CHSD 155 does post Board Minute Packets.

    They are not searchable and don’t allow copy and paste.

    The search and copy and paste ability can be added with a $16 a month tool from Adobe called Adobe Acrobat DC that any elementary kid can be taught to use.

    Maybe one of the students at Fox River Grove Cons SD 3, Cary CCSD 26, Prairie Grove CSD 46, or Crystal Lake CCSD 47 (CHSD 155 elementary feeder districts) would volunteer for free to teach one of the $100K CHSD 155 Administrators, elected Board Members, or IT Department how this can be done.

    We can call it Kids for Transparency.

    Since the kids are on the hook for the 40 year pension funding schemes.

    Here are the complicated steps.

    Open the file in Adobe Acrobat DC.

    That takes about 1 second.

    Tools > Enhance Scans > Recognize Text > In This File > Recognize Text

    Wait 3 minutes while the tool cycles page to page.

    Save File (that takes about 1 second).


    Now any taxpayer or citizen can search, copy from the document, and paste to another document.


    Board Minute Packets are made available after the meeting.

    In addition to that, a Board Agenda Packet is needed.

    Board Agenda Packets are available before the meeting to Board Members and the Public.

    So the taxpayers have the same information as the Board Members.

    And the Board Members have searchable board packets (some do, some don’t, right now, in taxing districts all over Illinois).


    And a 3rd needed measure of taxpayer transparency needed at CHSD 155 is for board meetings to be videotaped and indefinitely archived on the school district website.


    So far no one in CHSD 155 taxing district has made that happen.

    Event after the giant bleachers were erected.

  2. As usual to litte to late !

    why didn’t you work on getting our tax $$ back oh great ones.. !

    that would have been way more helpful !

    now that we are all out so much $$ from our Town and State !

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