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1999-12-19
Lisle, IL. Win A Car, Stop a Meijer's

The Mayor of the Village of Lisle, IL is in a tough spot. The residents of his community voted last April by a 65% majority that they had no interest in a 215,000 s.f. Meijer's superstore on Maple Avenue. In fact, many residents in the village think the Meijer's plan was driven through the approval process so fast that the Mayor and Council should be cited for speeding. An anti-Meijer's group calling itself The Citizens for Responsible and Appropriate Development in Lisle (CRADL) has raised over $80,000 to help pay for the legal costs of keeping the village honest. After the Village Council voted to annex land and approve the superstore, several residents appealed the decision, and in October, a DuPage County Circuit Court judge ruled in favor of the residents. According to the Chicago Tribune, the court declared that the public hearing held by the village was invalid because it violated a state law allowing residents the right to cross-examine witnesses. Residents were time-limited during the hearings, and not allowed to interrogate the developers. After the court's ruling, Meijer's, which is headquartered in Grand Rapids, MI, appealed the court ruling, and CRADL is helping to raise funds to pay for the latest twist in the legal battle. Ironically, CRADL had to go before the Village Board and the Mayor to request a raffle permit to sell tickets to win a 2000 Buick Regal Grand Sport car donated by a supporter. The Village Board voted 4-2 to allow CRADL to hold a raffle that will raise money to fight the Village Board's decision. "I'm concerned that we are granting a raffle permit to raise funds to sue the village of Lisle," complained Mayor Ron Ghilardi. But CRADL is now hoping to sell 400 tickets at $100 each for the new car. "We are anxious to get enough to see this through to the end," said Janna Sampson, treasurer for the non-profit group. "It would be a shame to have a good case and just run out of money," she told the Tribune.

What you can do: It would appear from the court ruling that Meijer's may have run out of gas as long as CRADL does not run out of money. CRADL hopes the car raffle will give them the funds needed to run the Meijer's plan right off the road. The land, by the way, is owned by St. Procopius Abbey. It seems the Church is not too happy about residents' attempts to side-swipe the church's efforts to sell its 61 acred parcel for a very unpopular project.For more information about "car wars" in Lisle, contact info@sprawl-busters.com










 
 
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