Supreme Court to Referee Fight between Municipalities and Schools

A press release from Crystal Lake High School District 155:

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Crystal Lake South Bleacher Case

by Jeff Puma

The Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case involving the Crystal Lake South High School bleachers. The Community High School District 155 Board of Education and the McHenry County Regional Superintendent of Schools both filed requests asking the Supreme Court to review the September 2014 Appellate Court decision that Crystal Lake South High School’s 18-month-old bleachers were subject to the City of Crystal Lake’s zoning ordinances (2nd District, Illinois Appellate Court; 2-14-0098).

South High School bleachers.

Crystal Lake South School Bleachers.

“We are pleased and grateful that the Illinois Supreme Court is willing to hear this case because this question of law has never been decided before.

“We look forward to a definitive ruling from the state’s highest court on the important constitutional questions that are raised in this case,” said Community High School District 155 Board of Education President Ted Wagner.

Because of the significance of this matter to public school districts throughout the state, District 155’s attorneys (the Arlington Heights-based law firm of Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer, Rodick & Kohn LLP—a leading firm in school law) are providing legal services for the Supreme Court appeal on a pro bono basis at no cost to the district.

Wagner confirmed that District 155 is continuing to pursue zoning relief under city ordinances through the City of Crystal Lake’s Planning & Zoning Commission.

As ordered by the Circuit Court in September 2014, the district filed a zoning application, and is presently preparing for a hearing before the Commission.

In December 2014, the Appellate Court issued a temporary stay order blocking the demolition of the Crystal Lake South bleachers. The stay of demolition will remain in place until the Supreme Court issues its final decision in the case.

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