August 15, 2022
Local News

Lawsuit claims inadequate due process at NorthPoint hearings

Elwood village seeks to nullify agreement between Joliet, NorthPoint

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Elwood village officials filed a lawsuit against the City of Joliet that largely claims the city failed to provide adequate due process for people who spoke out against the NorthPoint pre-annexation agreement at public hearings.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday claims the public hearings held by the Joliet City Council and plan commission over the NorthPoint agreement had a “four-minute rule” that failed to provide adequate due process for opponents of the plan and did not allow for cross-examination of supporters or the developer East Gate Logistics Park Chicago.

State records show NorthPoint Development manages East Gate. The company a defendant in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit asks a Will County judge to declare the pre-annexation agreement void and prohibit the City of Joliet from annexing, rezoning and granting a special use permit under the agreement.

Joliet Interim City Manager Steve Jones said in an email that the city does “not comment on pending or threatened litigation.”

The pre-annexation agreement was approved by the Joliet City Council on April 17 in a 6-3 vote following several days of public hearings where the majority of the speakers were against it.

The agreement allows NorthPoint Development to use 1,260 acres of land for a future Compass Business Park that would stretch from the south end of Joliet to Elwood and Manhattan.

The lawsuit said the development would decrease property values, increase traffic congestion, increase maintenance of village roads and increase the burden on the village’s police and fire services.

The lawsuit claimed the Joliet plan commission held a meeting over the pre-annexation agreement on Feb. 24 that failed to provide proper legal notice of a public hearing and failed to include sworn testimony from witnesses.

No time restrictions were placed on a presentation by East Gate representatives at the meeting, the lawsuit said.

At the Joliet City Council public hearings on the agreement, no witnesses provided sworn testimony and no time restrictions were placed on East Gate representatives, the lawsuit said.

Felix Sarver

Felix Sarver

Felix Sarver covers crime and courts for The Herald-News