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Hinsdale, Illinois |


Published June 7, 2007

Residents react to lawsuit on their appeal

  By Pamela Lannom

   Residents clearly are unhappy about a decision Village President Mike Woerner made last week to ask a judge to rule on their appeal of The Hinsdale Club decision.
   “I would have expected more of my village than to file litigation against citizens who have executed their right to appeal,” Bob Neiman said Monday after a special meeting of the zoning and public safety committee.
   Neiman is one of 60 residents who filed an application May 23 appealing the village board’s approval of the Hinsdale Club planned unit development on Ogden Avenue. Woerner responded by filing a lawsuit asking a DuPage County 18th Judicial Circuit Court judge to determine whether the zoning board of appeals has the authority to hear the appeal.
   The village should have invited the residents who filed the appeal to sit down and discuss the issue, Neiman said. He pointed out the irony of village’s stated desire to avoid litigation and its decision to file lawsuit.
   Caron Schreiber, who also attended the meeting, agreed.
   “It shouldn’t be about bringing people to court,” she said, but about representing the citizens officials have been elected to serve.
   “That’s good government,” she said.
   Mary Ann Wands, former trustee, ZBA member and plan commission chairman, said last week said she’s very upset about the lawsuit.
   “I feel very bad for the village — I really do,” she said. “I feel this is not the same village that we were 10 years ago. It’s very different. It’s a very sad day when the residents make a plea and they’re going to be punished for it.
   “It just doesn’t make any sense to me,” she added. “I’m stunned.”
   ZBA Chairman Tom Nelson said the zoning board must maintain independence and integrity and declined to make any further comment.
   “I can’t speak about anything,” he said Monday. “I have two active cases in front of us.”
   The ZBA did file notice with the village that an appeal had been filed and that a stay on proceedings was in effect pursuant to state law.
   The suit has been assigned to Judge Kenneth Popejoy, who will determine whether the ZBA has the authority to hear the residents’ appeal.
   “We expect the village to move for summary judgment in its favor at the appropriate time,” village attorney Ken Florey said.



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