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Hinsdale, Illinois |


Published May 31, 2007

Village goes to court to shut down residents' appeal of Hinsdale Club

  By Pamela Lannom

   Hinsdale officials are going to court to protect the village board’s approval of The Hinsdale Club planned unit development.
   The village filed suit Tuesday asking a DuPage County court to intervene after 60 residents filed an application May 23 to appeal the approval. The action asks the DuPage County 18th Judicial Circuit Court to declare that the board’s approval cannot be appealed to the zoning board of appeals.
   “You’re damn right it’s a bold move,” Village President Mike Woerner said Wednesday. “We believe, in the state of Illinois, PUDs are not appealable by the ZBA. We believe this is not even a valid request,” he said of the residents’ application.
   The Hinsdale Zoning Code allows the village board to approve a planned unit development after a public hearing before the plan commission, as long as the PUD meets certain standards. The plan commission held three public hearings on The Hinsdale Club before officially recommending approval in April. Trustees approved the PUD April 17.
   The residents contend in their appeal that the village board did not have that authority.
   “In adopting the rezoning ordinance, the Hinsdale Board of Trustees violated Illinois law by usurping the power, function and authority of the Hinsdale Zoning Board of Appeals and by depriving the zoning board of appeals of its statutory right and obligation to conduct a hearing on the rezoning,” the application for appeal states.
   Plan commission Chairwoman Laura La Placa said she was surprised by the residents’ appeal.
   “I will say I, on at least five occasions during the public hearings, expressed that these are not variations outside the code that would be appealable,” she said. “This is not an appealable variation. We went through this many times because people kept bringing this up.
   “It’s unfortunate that we had three public hearings and this happened,” she said.
   Woerner said he wants a judge to rule on this matter and said he hopes the village’s action sends a message about frivolous lawsuits and appeals.
   “I believe when those people are served by the sheriff, I think they’ll be surprised,” he said. “From this day forward, people really need to know what they’re signing, what they’re getting into.”



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