New anti-NorthPoint group says it will take legal action against Joliet

A new group announced its intentions on Tuesday to take legal action against the city of Joliet for approving the controversial NorthPoint Development project earlier this year.

Members of the Stop NorthPoint group said they organized with the "sole purpose" of filing a lawsuit against Joliet to prevent the "widespread devastation" that would come with the construction of the nearly 1,300-acre industrial park on what is now largely farmland, according to a news release.

"We are here specifically to stop NorthPoint," Erin Gallagher, the group's spokeswoman, said at a news conference Tuesday in front of the Joliet City Hall.

"We have no other agenda," Gallagher said

Two attorneys from Chicago, Bob Fioretti and Mark Roth, are working with the Stop NorthPoint group on its legal challenge.

Fioretti, a former Chicago alderman who ran for mayor last year, appeared at the news conference on Tuesday. He called the NorthPoint project "governmental overreach."

"It's big money forcing the little guy out no matter which way we look at it," Fioretti said.

Fioretti didn't have a timeline for when a lawsuit would be filed and provided few specifics on what the lawsuit would entail. He said the group had various concerns over everything from the agreement the Joliet City Council passed to the way council held the meetings leading up to its April vote.

He added there's "a lot more discovery that has to be done on this project."

Stop NorthPoint members said they are a separate entity from the Just Say No to NorthPoint group which formed originally to organize against the project when it was before the Elwood Village Board in 2017 and 2018.

Still, Gallagher said Stop NorthPoint would be "working in tandem" with other anti-NorthPoint efforts. Other NorthPoint opponents also vowed further legal action after their failed attempt to delay the public hearings on the project in April. About 250 members of the public had to give their overwhelmingly anti-NorthPoint comments over the phone to the City Council over four days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I think when we all work together, we'll be able to stop this project," Fioretti said.

Ron Adamski, a Stop NorthPoint co-founder and Manhattan resident, said he thought NorthPoint would bring "unnecessary and unwanted" industrial warehousing to the area.

"We represent the thousands of people who don't want to see Will County destroyed," Adamski said.

Gallagher said the group has also set up a legal fund. To learn more go to stopnorthpoint.com.

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.