Will Rosemont rezoning request get second chance in Des Plaines?

Updated 7/8/2015 6:06 PM

A Rosemont Park District attorney said Wednesday officials are evaluating their options after Des Plaines aldermen rejected a rezoning request that would have allowed the park district to continue collecting revenue from a billboard.

Terrence McCabe, of the Rosemont-based law firm Ryan & Ryan, said the proposed zoning change -- from residential and limited office commercial zoning to general commercial zoning -- would have fit well with Des Plaines' comprehensive plan.


And he argued that it would have made the 4-acre property near Higgins and Mannheim roads more inviting to prospective development.

Aldermen on Monday night denied the park district's rezoning request, which effectively means the district cannot relocate a billboard that is due to be taken down with the expansion of the Jane Addams Tollway.

The district stands to lose revenues it collects from the billboard company, Outdoor Media. It's still unknown when the billboard will be taken down as the tollway widening continues.

One alderman, Malcolm Chester, argued the city shouldn't do any favors for the Rosemont Park District since the district's attorneys tried to interfere with Des Plaines' redevelopment efforts in April at another site on the Des Plaines-Rosemont border.

George Sakas, the city's director of community and economic development, said if the park district resubmits the same rezoning request, he would deem it a repetitive petition, and the district would have to wait a year before the city council could consider it again.

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But if the district alters its proposal in some way, it's possible the matter could return sooner to the council or plan commission, where another public hearing would be held, Sakas said.

On Monday, Chester said the park district property, which is located fully within the city of Des Plaines, was offered for sale to the city at an amount four times what the park district paid for it originally.

McCabe confirmed the sale offer, but said a price would have been based on the Illinois Tollway's appraisal of the land.

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