Supportive housing developers sue Palatine
Developers of a proposed apartment building in Palatine for people with disabilities have filed a lawsuit asking a judge to review the facts of the case after village officials denied a rezoning request that would have allowed the project to go forward.
The Palatine village council voted 4-2 in August against the zoning change for Catherine Alice Gardens, a planned 33-unit affordable housing building for people with disabilities at 345 N. Eric Drive, near the village's downtown. Trustees at the time voiced an unwillingness to rezone the former warehouse property that had been vacant for more than a decade, saying they hoped a manufacturer could eventually move in.
The suit, filed in Cook County court by attorneys for Up Development, asks a judge to review the matter, said project manager Jessica Berzac.
"This is a right that every zoning petitioner in the state of Illinois has, to have a new review of the facts of the case," Berzac said. "We just felt the facts of the case were so strong that it was worth it to see what a court would think."
Berzac said the suit is different from ones previously filed against Arlington Heights and Wheeling after requests for similar housing projects were denied. Both of those were federal housing discrimination lawsuits, which in the case of Arlington Heights was thrown out. Wheeling settled its suit, allowing the project to be built.
"It's not even about the denial, it's a new review," Berzac said. "The judge will review all of the evidence and make a ruling. It's not about what Palatine did, it's just a review of the facts themselves."
Project attorneys needed to file the suit because deadline e was approaching, even though negotiations about an alternate site in Palatine are ongoing, she added. Since the suit's filing, those negotiations have been halted.
"We know that the village is very supportive of the concept in many ways, which we're thankful for and we hope they will continue to engage with us," Berzac said.
Village manager Reid Ottesen could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.