Court battle continues over Palatine apartments for disabled
The village of Palatine will be back before a Cook County judge next month contesting a lawsuit filed against them by the developer of a proposed apartment building for people with disabilities.
In March, Cook County Judge Neil H. Cohen granted the village's motion to dismiss the case, but the developer is asking the judge to reconsider his decision. If the judge rejects the request, the developers could appeal.
The developer, the Chicago-based Up Development company, sued Palatine in November, asking a court review the facts of the case after village officials denied a rezoning request that would have allowed construction of Catherine Alice Gardens at 345 N. Eric Drive.
Palatine Village Manager Reid Ottesen said he had sent the developer a summary of 10-12 possible alternate sites in the village to consider building Catherine Alice Gardens within 24 hours of the board's August 2013 decision to deny the proposal. The two sides had a meeting set for November, but the village called it off when the developer filed the lawsuit, he said.
"That prematurely ended any and all discussion." Ottesen said. "I can't discuss it with them when they are suing us."
Jessica Berzac, a consultant for Up Development who works on the Catherine Alice Gardens project, said her team was disappointed that the village canceled the meeting when the company filed litigation. She said they would be interested in meeting with the village now, even as the lawsuit has been going for over six months.
"We've always been interested in meeting with the village," Berzac said. "Our number one goal is meeting the critical need for supportive housing in Palatine."
She said timing of lawsuit was due to a deadline to either file or lose the right to take the village to court.
According to the Up Development website, Catherine Alice Gardens would have featured 33 apartments and an on-site social service staff for tenants. The project was expected to cost about $10 million.
The August vote was perhaps the most controversial one taken by the Palatine village council last year. Residents living near the proposed site protested the plan, and on the day of the vote, every seat in the council chambers was full.
The case will be back in court on July 16.