FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Amended complaint has been filed in the lawsuit against the Village of Glen Ellyn and GSP properties over the Apex 400 project; seeks injunctive relief to halt demolition
Glen Ellyn, June 6, 2019…The plaintiffs in Shoub Properties, LLC vs. Village of Glen Ellyn (DuPage Case No 2019 MR 0396) including two residential landowners, one downtown landowner and Citizens for Glen Ellyn Preservation, filed an amended complaint this week and are seeking injunctive relief to halt demolition of the Giesche building and transfer of the Main Street Parking Lot. The Honorable Bonnie M. Wheaton has been assigned to preside over this case.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege that the Village violated Illinois law in rushing the Apex 400 project through to approval. The suit alleges that Village President Diane McGinley and others failed to abide by Illinois law concerning the use of public funds for the purposes related to Apex 400 because there was no hearing on the matter that allowed the Historic Preservation Commission of the Village of Glen Ellyn to consider the impact of Apex 400 on the Giesche Building or on the Glen Ellyn South Downtown Historic District. Such a hearing is required under Illinois law concerning tax increment financed (TIF) projects.
Notably, since July 2018, the developers of Apex 400 have known that there was concern for the Giesche Building as a historic structure and they were informed by the State Historic Preservation Office (within the Illinois Department of Natural Resources) not to engage in demolition or work on the Giesche Building without further consultation with the SHPO.
The lawsuit also alleges that the Village did not engage in proper proceedings to transfer the South Main Street Parking Lot and that the Village is not empowered to develop and operate a parking garage that violates local ordinance or state accessibility regulations.
Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that the developers of Apex 400 failed to obtain zoning relief in the form of required special use permits and required deviations from the zoning ordinance and that they failed to properly pursue subdivision.
The amended lawsuit also alleges that the Village violated the due process rights of residents and property owners by failing to conduct the appropriate public zoning proceedings: meetings took place in secret, residents were given inadequate notice for the meetings that were public and meeting processes were deficient.
The lawsuit asserts that the massive project is entirely too large for Glen Ellyn, particularly in the south downtown Glen Ellyn area where business, governmental, religious and other uses suffer a severe lack of parking.
The lawsuit also disputes the Village’s allowance of interior demolition of the Giesche Building and removal of the sign as well as exterior demolition of portions of the St. Petronille’s rectory. With respect to demolition, neighbors have complained since the beginning of April that with no notice, asbestos contractors hired by the developer began demolition and left remnants of siding and insulation strewn about the neighbors’ property and surrounding areas. The Village confirmed that asbestos was involved in the partial demolition of these structures. No further demolition has occurred since the April 5, 2019 filing of the lawsuit. but the Village has indicated its intention to allow further demolition of at least the Giesche Building.
Citizens for Glen Ellyn Preservation has authorized its attorneys to seek emergency injunctive relief to halt the efforts to transfer the South Main Parking Lot and to demolish the Giesche Building.
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Our Press Release for our "Save Main" Rally on Saturday April 6th, 2019
The Rally starts at 10 A.M. at 498 Hillside Ave in Glen Ellyn
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Save Main Plans Rally this Saturday
Glen Ellyn group opposes the Apex 400 Development
Glen Ellyn, IL; April 3, 2019 — Save Main, a Glen Ellyn resident activist group opposing a large development in the heart of the downtown business district, will be hosting a rally this Saturday, April 6 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 498 Hillside Avenue.
“We believe the proposed Apex 400 development is a big and permanent mistake,” explains Mike Formento, a former Glen Ellyn Village President who will emcee the rally. “While our group is pro development and looks forward to the continued growth of our great town, we need responsible development.”
The Apex 400 is a five story complex which will encompass all of the existing Giesche building lot, the current Main Street parking lot and the Glenwood parking lot. If built it will stand 64 feet high and 323 feet wide — taller than 4 1/2 Fire and Wine buildings stacked atop one another and wider than the length of a football field — right at the entrance to the Main Street business district. This violates the village zoning code for height by 29% and for lot coverage by 54%.
“Glen Ellyn is a vibrant community with a distinctive small town character and close knit community,” says Brian Collie resident of Glen Ellyn and a planned speaker at the rally on Saturday. “Our success, really our competitive advantage, comes from balancing the promotion of economic growth while maintaining our historical small town charm; a massive development like this which overshadows the rest of Main Street will not only change the character of our town but threatens the very drivers of our economic success,” Collie continues.
A public survey was conducted in 2018 by Houseal Lavinge Associates, a community planning consultant, concluded that Glen Ellyn’s “distinct character is highly valued by residents and acts as a magnet for visitors and those considering moving to the area.” While the Giesche lot is now privately owned by GSP Development, the Main Street and Glenwood lots represent three quarters of the planned development and are village-owned. This land is valued at $4.6 MM.
“One of the great ironies of this development is that it is intended to attract Millennials to the town, says Robert Dieter, resident of Glen Ellyn and a planned speaker at the rally. “The belief is that we need to get bigger, change and modernize. But, we know that 95% of Millennials believe in historic preservation and strongly value authenticity. We should not be looking to change but rather evolve our town in a way that is innovative and encompasses our heritage,” Dieter goes on to say.
“One thing I’ve come to learn in working with this group is that we have world class talent right here in town,” says Barb Lemme, a business owner, resident and planned speaker at the rally.“ “My sincere hope is that the village board and staff and our residents can work much more collaboratively to help us meet future needs in a fresh and innovative way.”
Currently there are hundreds of “SAVE MAIN” yard signs throughout Glen Ellyn showing community support. Many residents signed a petition, others have donated to the cause and others have spoken out publicly in planning commission and village board meetings. “Our residents deserve to have a strong voice in something that represents a pivotal point in the future of our town, Formento says. “We hope to see lots of town members this Saturday morning.”
The Save Main Rally will take place Saturday, April 6 at 498 Hillside Avenue (Hillside just west of Main Street), from 10 a.m - 12 p.m. Please feel free to bring friends, neighbors, kids. There is a short speaker presentation planned at 10:30 a.m.