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updated: 12/7/2017 7:35 PM

Barrington wants neighbor's 'oversized' house lawsuit tossed

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  • Barrington is seeking dismissal of Karen McCarthy's federal lawsuit claiming village government allowed her neighbors, Adam and Kara O'Dempsey, to build a home on South Summit Street that's too large in violation of local law. Here, the O'Dempseys' house is in front of McCarthy's.

      Barrington is seeking dismissal of Karen McCarthy's federal lawsuit claiming village government allowed her neighbors, Adam and Kara O'Dempsey, to build a home on South Summit Street that's too large in violation of local law. Here, the O'Dempseys' house is in front of McCarthy's.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington is seeking dismissal of a federal lawsuit claiming the village government allowed Kara and Adam O'Dempsey to build a home, left, that's too large and in violation of local law. Karen McCarthy, who owns the neighboring house, filed the suit.

      Barrington is seeking dismissal of a federal lawsuit claiming the village government allowed Kara and Adam O'Dempsey to build a home, left, that's too large and in violation of local law. Karen McCarthy, who owns the neighboring house, filed the suit.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington resident Karen McCarthy filed a federal lawsuit claiming village government allowed her neighbors to build a home that's too big and in violation of local law. Signs warn her neighbors to keep off her property.

      Barrington resident Karen McCarthy filed a federal lawsuit claiming village government allowed her neighbors to build a home that's too big and in violation of local law. Signs warn her neighbors to keep off her property.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington resident Karen McCarthy filed a federal lawsuit claiming village government allowed her neighbors to build a home that's too big and in violation of local law. Signs warn her neighbors to keep off her property.

      Barrington resident Karen McCarthy filed a federal lawsuit claiming village government allowed her neighbors to build a home that's too big and in violation of local law. Signs warn her neighbors to keep off her property.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 

Barrington is seeking dismissal of a woman's federal lawsuit claiming village government allowed her neighbors to build a home that's larger than local law allows.

Documents filed by attorney John Murphey contend the suit lodged against the village by South Summit Street homeowner Karen McCarthy doesn't belong in federal court because she's presenting "a garden-variety zoning dispute dressed up in the trappings of constitutional law."

In part, McCarthy's complaint claims the oversized house built in 2016 and owned by Kara and Adam O'Dempsey should conform to Barrington's zoning law and seeks unspecified compensatory damages. The O'Dempseys' house exceeds a permitted maximum of 6,236 in "floor area square footage," according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

McCarthy contends Barrington's issuance of construction permits for the O'Dempseys' house violated her due process rights under the 14th Amendment, according to the lawsuit filed for her by attorney Bradley Loberg in July.

Murphey has filed court papers seeking dismissal of McCarthy's case on behalf of Barrington. McCarthy did not use village channels available to her to contest the size of the house before it was constructed, according to the motion filed last month to dismiss.

"It is important to emphasize what the complaint does not allege," wrote Murphey. "There are no allegations plaintiff availed herself of the (zoning board of appeals) process."

McCarthy expressed concern about the couple's house about four months before it was finished when she spoke during public comment time at a Barrington village board meeting in April 2016. McCarthy voiced disappointment that she demolished her old house and built a new structure on the property where she's lived since 1991 only to have the O'Dempseys' home built next door.

According to the lawsuit, the O'Dempseys bought the home next to McCarthy's on South Summit Street in January 2015 and had it torn down to make way for the new house that was completed in late August 2016.

McCarthy, an architect, was a member of Barrington's Village Center Redevelopment Commission until it was disbanded after five years in 2002. She still has a sign facing the house next door warning her neighbors against trespassing on her land.

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