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posted: 11/12/2012 11:49 AM

Federal court sets hearing on PhilHaven injunction

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  • A federal court will hear arguments in February over a controversial proposal to build a 50-unit apartment building in Wheeling to house residents with physical and mental disabilities. Wheeling officials have twice rejected the plan.

      A federal court will hear arguments in February over a controversial proposal to build a 50-unit apartment building in Wheeling to house residents with physical and mental disabilities. Wheeling officials have twice rejected the plan.

 
Daily Herald report

A federal judge will hear arguments Feb. 15 on a developer's request for an order requiring Wheeling officials to approve a controversial plan for an apartment building to house people with mental and physical disabilities.

U.S. District Court Judge John Z. Lee scheduled a hearing for that afternoon to address the Daveri Development Group's motion for a preliminary injunction that would require the village to approve the site plan for the PhilHaven housing development.

The Chicago-based builder filed for the preliminary injunction last week, saying that without quick action they could lose their chance to develop the proposed 50-unit building at 2418-2422 W. Hintz Road.

"Unless injunctive relief is granted and Wheeling timely issues the necessary approval, plaintiffs are at risk that Daveri will be unable to acquire the property upon which PhilHaven is to be constructed and to keep the funding necessary for the project, which will result in the deprivation of housing desperately needed by the mentally and physically disabled persons in the Wheeling area," their motion reads.

Wheeling trustees twice denied approval for the $13 million project this year after hearing from residents strongly opposed to it. Neighboring homeowners cited concerns ranging from increased traffic and flooding to its impact on property values and safety of other residents.

In order to grant a preliminary injunction, a court must rule that Daveri would have a strong chance of succeeding if the litigation went to trial and not acting right away would cause the developer irreparable harm.

According to the motion, Daveri needs to send a project assessment to the Illinois Housing Development Authority by Dec. 7 and complete its application by March 15, 2013.

Zee ordered Wheeling attorneys to provide a formal response to the motion for preliminary injunction by Nov. 29.

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