Judge puts off fight between COD, Glen Ellyn
By Hank Beckman For The Sun May 21, 2012 3:26PM
Updated: July 2, 2012 8:35AM
The latest showdown between Glen Ellyn and the College of DuPage is on hold until May 30.
DuPage Judge Hollis Webster gave the two sides until then to prepare their cases over the motion COD filed May 16 to enforce the new mediation agreement negotiated under the direction of Webster.
“The village is interested in getting this resolved as soon as possible,” Keri-Lyn Krafthefer told the judge. She was filling in for village attorney Ellen Emery, who suffered a sudden illness and couldn’t attend the hearing.
COD Attorney Ken Florey agreed, saying the college wanted to “get it (the case) in here as soon as possible,” but when it became apparent the village would need more time, the extension was granted.
The college’s motion essentially asserts that the village has improperly inserted itself into a zoning matter between the college and DuPage County.
After the new date was set, Florey would only say that the motion seeks to force the village to “comply with the terms of the mediation agreement.”
Florey also indicated that both had until Friday to file relevant information with the court, but said any further comment would be inappropriate because it involved an ongoing legal issue.
The village insists that the participation of the Glen Ellyn government in DuPage County Zoning Board hearings is perfectly acceptable, and even encouraged by the college.
Village Attorney Stewart Diamond last week called the college “thin-skinned” and said the motion was tantamount to a gag order.
But the college maintains that what is a reasonable request for information from the village has been transformed into advocacy on the part of the village about issues surrounding building permits that were thought to be resolved by the mediation agreement.
“I don’t agree with that at all,” Glen Ellyn Village Manager Mark Franz said of the accusation that the village was trying to indirectly regulate the college’s campus renovation.
The two parties have engaged in a two-year fight over whether the college was obligated to satisfy building codes and ordinances of the village.
The village had consistently maintained that COD was under its jurisdiction, while the college had argued that it is part of the University System of Illinois and therefore under the jurisdiction of the Illinois Community College Board.
The village had argued that the college put students and residents at risk by failing to submit plans for campus renovation to the village for review.
DuPage Judge Terence Sheen ruled in November against the college existing separately from the village, instead giving a three-part test to determine whether the college had to obey a particular ordinance:
The ordinance or code had to be related to Glen Ellyn village government.
The ordinance couldn’t conflict with any state statute.
If the first two conditions were satisfied and the two parties still disagreed, they would resolve their differences by returning to court.
When the village interpreted Sheen’s decision as vindication, it began enforcing its codes and issuing citations for failure to comply.
The College Board of Trustees then promptly voted to de-annex from the village.
But the two sides stayed in negotiations with Judge Webster and reached an agreement in February that was thought to finally settle the matter to everyone’s satisfaction.
The college would remain incorporated within the village of Glen Ellyn, but operate under the jurisdiction of DuPage County codes.
But when the college went before the County Zoning Board on May 10 in what they thought was a routine petition for zoning status, several hundred Glen Ellyn residents showed up and village officials submitted a document expressing the village’s concern about, among other things, what it called the vague nature of many of the site plans submitted by the college.
That led to the college’s motion to force the village to comply with the mediation agreement.
The case will resume May 30 in Webster’s courtroom in the DuPage County Judicial Center in Wheaton.