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July 21, 2024

City of DeKalb sued over improper rezoning vote for apartment complex –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On September 13, 2015

DeKalb, IL. (ECWd) –
Edited for clarity and to correct ownership of real estate…
The City of DeKalb, IL., recently voted to approve rezoning a piece of property owned by Crane Properties in their “University Village apartment complex”.
The suit alleges an improper vote, and improper procedures in the vote to rezone the real estate. In other words, the city passed an Ordinance without the required number of votes.
According to court documents, the mayor may only vote if three circumstances exist:

  1. – There is a tie vote of the aldermen
  2. – one-half of the aldermen then holding office voted in favor of the motion – even if there is no tie
  3. – where a vote greater than a majority is required

Additionally, the DeKalb city code does not require the mayor to vote, only that it states the mayor shall not vote unless one of those conditions occur…meaning he is not required to, but may vote under those conditions.
City Municipal Code cannot not supersede state statute and the Mayor has voted in matters that are not in accordance with state statutes. It has become somewhat routine for this Mayor voting in violation of state statutes.
As for the zoning change, the suit alleges that:

  1. various violations of city zoning are contained within the redevelopment plan
  2. the requested redevelopment plan does not conform to the requested zoning variations
  3. the plan was approved without a recommendation from the city’s zoning board of appeals
  4. the process required a two-thirds favorable vote (which didn’t happen)

Read the Complaint filed September 9, 2015:
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  • Brad Hoey
    Posted at 16:42h, 13 September Reply

    The University Village is a privately property owned property and is not affiliated with Northern Illinois University.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 17:27h, 13 September Reply

      I corrected the article.

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