Attempt to remove Prospect Heights condo board unsuccessful

  • The River Trails condominiums, a 16-building complex in Prospect Heights, could be converted to apartments if 75 percent of owners approve a sale.

    The River Trails condominiums, a 16-building complex in Prospect Heights, could be converted to apartments if 75 percent of owners approve a sale. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer, May 2017

 
By Ema Sasic
esasic@dailyherald.com
Updated 8/3/2017 6:58 PM

An attempt by condo owners in the Prospect Heights River Trails Condominium Assocation to remove their board of directors failed.

About 150 residents attended a special meeting Wednesday -- with most voting in favor of ousting the five-member board over plans to sell to a developer. But the board's lawyer, citing condo bylaws, says that wasn't enough.

 

Since May, residents have been protesting the board's decision to list the 16-building, 360-unit complex for sale. The board says it's been approached by several local developers interested in deconverting the condos, located south of Palatine Road and west of Milwaukee Avenue.

But many homeowners say they were never consulted. In an attempt to stop a possible sale, they've tried to remove and replace the existing board.

According to the bylaws, board members may be removed with a two-thirds majority vote of homeowners at a special meeting.

Homeowners interpreted that to mean if they could establish a quorum -- 20 percent of unit owners -- then two-thirds of those in attendance would need to vote in favor of the board members' removal.

But the condo board's lawyer, Stuart Fullett, said two-thirds of all homeowners, not just those present, needed to vote for any removal to occur.

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"It was made very clear to them at the beginning of the meeting: If you don't have two-thirds presence, there can't be enough to do a removal," Fullett said.

Virgilio Arregiun, one of the organizers of Wednesday's meeting and whose parents live in the complex, disagreed with that interpretation. He says an attorney representing homeowners is considering legal action against the current board.

"I feel like we're being very discriminated against and bullied around," Arregiun said.

Meanwhile, Fullett said board members will continue soliciting offers from developers. A sale could be approved only by a vote of 75 percent of owners, with some votes being weighted depending on how many units and number of bedrooms each person owns.

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