Whether jurisdictional control of the College of DuPage campus will be transferred from the village of Glen Ellyn to DuPage County is one-third of the way to becoming reality.
The college's board of trustees voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a five-year agreement among the three governmental entities that was drawn up in a court mediation session this month.
If approved by the elected boards of all three, the deal could bring a temporary resolution to a long-running battle between the state's largest community college and the municipality in which it resides.
COD had sought to deannex from Glen Ellyn due to what college officials saw as burdensome and unnecessary village building regulations. The village maintained that the college's peer review inspection process for new campus construction didn't replace village-led building inspections.
COD's 273-acre campus will remain within the village limits, while the county and state would have "all regulatory control and authority over the college, its property and operations," according to terms of the agreement.
While officials from all three governmental institutions have discussed the agreement, Tuesday marked the first time the 3-page agreement was released.
It notes that while the college shall recognize the jurisdiction of the county, it "may seek variances, waivers or changes in county ordinances, consistent with state law."
Following the college board's approval of the agreement, COD President Robert Breuder said the college will follow through with matters of construction according to county ordinances and codes. Already, he noted, the college has been complying with existing county stormwater regulations.
In a Feb. 10 Daily Herald story, county board members Grant Eckhoff and Jim Zay said in their opinion that COD would have to follow the county's ordinances. Zay said COD officials wouldn't get a "rubber stamp" from the county.
In response, Breuder said the college would be responsible for applicable ordinances and codes.
"The College of DuPage doesn't sidestep its obligations with regard to the ordinances it has to comply with, as it is according to state statute," he said.
Under the terms of the agreement, COD will continue to pay village taxes including sales, utility, hotel and motel. The college will also continue to pay for village water and sewer at residential rates.
On Tuesday, the COD board was set to consider a separate agreement with the Lisle Woodridge Fire Protection District for fire protection services. But that item was pulled from the agenda to take a step back to evaluate all alternatives, Breuder said.
He said Lisle-Woodridge is "a front-runner" in his mind, but COD could also look at a private ambulance service, or remain with the Glen Ellyn Volunteer Fire Company.
He said the college is looking for the best service at the best price.
The college will continue to pay "agreed upon" village inspection fees, and the village will continue its inspections on the east side of the Berg Instructional Center, until jurisdiction is transferred.
The agreement can be renewed three more times, for a total of 20 years, and at the end of each five-year period, the college can choose to return to the village's jurisdiction, or deannex.
COD attorney Ken Florey said the village board is expected to consider the agreement Monday, and various county committees will look at it before it is considered by the full county board.
The agreement was approved by COD's board subject to review by its attorneys.