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Article updated: 3/8/2013 5:01 PM

Judges upholds lawsuit over seizing Peotone airport land


A Will County judge has sided with the Illinois Department of Transportation in its effort to condemn farmland that lies within the boundaries of a proposed airport south of Chicago.

Judge Susan O'Leary on Friday denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the department asserting its right to seize 300 acres near Peotone for the planned South Suburban Airport. The department has offered the family that owns the land $3.9 million.

The family has refused the offer. Their attorneys claim the state's attempt at eminent domain is premature because the proposed airport hasn't been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Illinois has invested $30 million in land purchases, and the Transportation Department is seeking more funds to acquire all of the nearly 6,000 acres needed for the airport.

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