Glen Ellyn trustees confront COD board

Updated 11/17/2011 11:06 AM

Two Glen Ellyn trustees said at a College of DuPage board meeting Wednesday that the village will enforce its ordinances and codes on the 273-acre college campus beginning Dec. 1.

The announcement came a week after a ruling by DuPage County circuit court Judge Terence Sheen that said the college isn't exempt from the village's jurisdiction and may be subject to village building inspections, permitting and approvals.


"Judge Sheen has determined that this college is subject to the jurisdiction of home rule ordinances, including those from the village of Glen Ellyn," Trustee Peter Cooper said. "Make no mistake about it -- the village's well-reasoned, publicly passed ordinances control the College of DuPage, and anyone who tells you differently either hasn't read the judge's opinion, didn't understand the judge's opinion, or simply is not being candid."

Cooper and fellow Trustee Carl Henninger addressed the COD board during the public comment period. They said the village would issue citations and stop-work orders if ongoing construction projects at COD don't comply with village code.

After the board meeting, COD President Robert Breuder said those statements were "threats."

"We'll deal with it when it comes," Breuder said.

He reiterated the college's position on the judge's 20-page ruling: that both parties' motions for summary judgment were denied, meaning the village doesn't have complete control.

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"The judge's ruling was unequivocally clear. He denied both summary motions. That is the bottom line. The village can continue with its rhetoric. It's never been up for debate that there's overlapping jurisdiction. The question is the degree to which," Breuder said.

The village issued citations and stop-work orders to the college during the summer of 2010 when the college began installing 3,900 square feet of signage that didn't comply with local codes.

Cooper and Henninger asked the COD board to consider readopting a 2007 intergovernmental agreement between the two sides. COD withdrew from that agreement in December 2008, arguing that it ceded too much control to the village.

Breuder said that agreement was struck by the college's leadership at the time "to placate Glen Ellyn" -- and it was against the advice of the college's legal counsel.


COD Board Chairman Dave Carlin, who was on the board at the time the 2007 agreement was approved, said he had "serious reservations" with it.

Wednesday, both Breuder and Carlin said the 2007 agreement is not on the table.

COD officials have asked the village to consider an agreement approved by the college's board of trustees April 28 -- with "98 percent" of additional amendments requested by the village in May.

Cooper said that agreement "basically removes municipal ordinances" from the college and "abdicates" the village's responsibilities.

Cooper and Henninger invited COD board members to a "joint meeting" between the two boards Monday at village hall. But after the COD meeting, Carlin said he won't be attending.

"We have no interest in being a prompt in their charade," Carlin said.

Village Manager Mark Franz said the village will assess the kind of enforcement it will do. There's a potential the college could be fined as much as $750 per day.

"They're doing construction at their own risk," Franz said.

Breuder said he will bring a resolution before the COD board at its next meeting in December to leave Glen Ellyn's boundaries.

"What you saw tonight is a prime example of why we can't work with the village of Glen Ellyn," he said.

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