Lawsuit settlement talks underway between U-Haul and Lake Zurich
Rejection isn't getting in the way of U-Haul's courtship with the village of Lake Zurich that began early last year.
After being voted down twice by Lake Zurich trustees and denied a third chance at approval in January, the U-Haul plan became the subject of a lawsuit filed against the village by the company and the owner of the building where the business would operate at Route 22 and Buesching Road.
In the latest twist, attorneys for Lake Zurich, building owner Amerco Real Estate Co. and U-Haul are to appear for a July 29 hearing before Lake County Associate Judge Luis Berrones regarding the status of lawsuit settlement discussions. A sign posted near the curb of westbound Route 22 at Buesching states a zoning application for the property is pending before the village.
Lake Zurich is accused in the complaint of improperly denying U-Haul the right to occupy the 88,000-square-foot building and interfering with contractual and business relations. U-Haul wants to renovate the building on the northeast corner of Route 22 and Buesching and create a retail space inside with 1,200 self-storage units, along with trucks and trailers available for rent.
The suit says Lake Zurich, which has received extensions to file a formal answer to the claims, should issue the special-use permit the company needs to operate from the structure.
Court documents filed by attorney Hal Emalfarb contend Amerco Real Estate has taken a $3 million hit and faces foreclosure because of the Lake Zurich village board's erroneous decision on the U-Haul proposal.
"It is further alleged by U-Haul that the operation of its business has been delayed by the village's error, causing substantial money damages," Emalfarb wrote as part of the suit filed in January.
Emalfarb said Thursday he believes the sides will have a settlement worked out in time for the July 29 court appearance but declined to elaborate.
Lake Zurich Village Attorney Scott Uhler declined to immediately comment.
"With active litigation, we are careful about public discussion of certain issues," Uhler said.
On Jan. 4, the Lake Zurich village board for the second time denied U-Haul's special-use permit request. Later in the meeting, the village board declined to reverse its vote and give a third chance to U-Haul.
Last August, the village board rejected U-Haul but reversed its vote later in the session and allowed the company to return with a more complete proposal to the advisory planning and zoning commission.
Mayor Thomas Poynton broke a 3-3 tie to give the second chance to U-Haul, which he called unusual for village government.