Five years ago, DuPage County accepted regulatory control over College of DuPage's 273-acre campus to prevent the school from de-annexing from Glen Ellyn.
Now that COD and Glen Ellyn officials have resolved their differences, county board members are poised to approve a new intergovernmental agreement that will return oversight responsibilities -- including those related to building codes, zoning, sign codes and liquor licensing -- back to the village. If approved, the deal will take effect June 30.
The intergovernmental agreement was ratified this week by the Glen Ellyn village board and the COD board of trustees. The county board is expected to approve it on April 11.
"Under its new leadership, the college has been moving forward to rebuild trust with the village of Glen Ellyn," COD board Chairwoman Deanne Mazzochi said. "We believe this agreement is an important step forward in both organizations being good neighbors."
Glen Ellyn Village President Alex Demos said the idea of returning COD to the jurisdiction of Glen Ellyn picked up steam when he started having discussions with Mazzochi after she became the COD board chairwoman.
"We started brainstorming through the issues," Demos said. "And we realized that both of us working together could come up with a compromise that really plays well to both College of DuPage and to us."
In 2012, the relationship between COD and Glen Ellyn was on the verge of a breakup.
Both sides had bickered for years over the village's inspections and permit fees. COD officials argued the campus wasn't under the village's jurisdiction and didn't have to submit to its review process.
The long-running dispute reached a point where COD officials were seeking to de-annex from Glen Ellyn.
But then a deal was struck in March 2012 to transfer regulatory control to the county while keeping COD within the corporate limits of Glen Ellyn.
County board Chairman Dan Cronin said the 2012 agreement was devised as a short-term solution by the late Jerry "JR" McBride, a county board member from Glen Ellyn who died in 2014.
"He demonstrated the wisdom, foresight and community spirit needed to forge a path of compromise at the time, with the knowledge that the situation would improve between the College of DuPage and the village of Glen Ellyn," Cronin said.
COD President Ann Rondeau said one of her first priorities when she started in July was to "re-engage" with Glen Ellyn.
"I have found the current village leadership to be an excellent group of professionals and exemplary neighbors," Rondeau said. "This agreement will allow the college and the village of Glen Ellyn to reestablish ties and interact in a responsible manner that is mutually beneficial to both parties and the taxpayers we serve."
Village and county officials agree the deal reflects a renewed spirit of collaboration and cooperation.
"Everyone left egos and aggravation at the table we said, 'How do we move forward?'" Demos said. "This is the end result."