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Crystal Lake South bleachers lawsuit hearing set for Thursday

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013 4:59 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013 11:29 a.m. CDT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Oral arguments will be heard Thursday in the lawsuit pitting the city of Crystal Lake against Community High School District 155 over bleacher expansion at Crystal Lake South High School.

At 2 p.m. in room 202 of the McHenry County Courthouse, lawyers representing the city, school district, regional superintendent and residents will give oral arguments to help Judge Michael Chmiel decide whether school code overrules home-rule municipal zoning code in cases of construction on school grounds.

Michael Burney, an attorney representing the three residents who initially brought the suit against the district, said he did not expect Chmiel to make a ruling Thursday but one would likely come "sooner rather than later."

Attorneys for the residents and city argue the district acted improperly when it built a $1.18 million expansion to stadium bleachers at Crystal Lake South High School in the summer without going through the city zoning ordinance process.

Attorneys for the school district and regional superintendent argue because the project was approved by the regional superintendent, there was no need for city approval.

Justin Hansen, a lawyer for the city, said all sides filed a motion for a summary judgement, meaning there is no disagreement over the facts of the case but a difference in the interpretation of the law.

"Each side thinks the judge will rule in their favor," Hansen said.

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