Vue53 suit tossed by judge

Vue53 suit tossed by judge

By LINDSAY WELBERS
Staff Writer

The Hyde Park residents who filed a lawsuit to stop the development of a 13-story tower at the former McMobil site hit a snag last week when a judge dismissed their case.

The suit was filed in in August in response to a zoning change that allows for the construction of the building significantly taller than the ones immediately surrounding the site at 1330 E. 53rd St.

Hyde Park residents Michael Scott, James Des Jardins, Mark Graham and Lorraine Pettigrew filed the suit against the City of Chicago. Lake Park Associates, a management arm of the University of Chicago later volunteered to defend the city.

The suit was dismissed “for lack of subject matter jurisdiction due to the Plaintiffs’ failure to comply with the statutory requirement that notice of a challenge to a zoning ordinance be given to all property owners within 250 feet of the Subject Property not more than 30 days before filing suit,” Judge Katheleen Pantle of the Circuit Court of Cook County wrote in a ruling issued Jan. 27.

“The zoning change for Vue53 came after years of discussion about development along 53rd Street as well as public meetings last year where many local residents provided input into the project and voiced their support for it. We look forward to seeing construction begin on the project and seeing it bring new options for rental housing and new retailers to Hyde Park,” said Calmetta Coleman, director of communications for civic engagement at the U. of C.

Scott, the lead plaintiff on the case, said the group plans to appeal the court ruling.

“We are disappointed in the judge’s ruling. We believe that the company hired to send the notices did fulfill the legal requirements, and we intend to fully exercise our right to appeal this ruling. We continue to believe that the proposed McMobil development is the wrong building for the site, and we will continue to work to get the university to engage the community in a real discussion about the future of the McMobil lot and the rest of 53rd Street.”

The suit was initially filed because the zoning change allows for a building Scott said was “arbitrary and capricious.”

l.welbers@hpherald.com