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Crime & Courts

Glen Ellyn, gas station operator file motion to dismiss lawsuit

Protect Glen Ellyn filed suit in May to stop construction of gas station

Opponents of a gas station proposed at the southeast corner of St. Charles Road and Main Street have filed a lawsuit against the village of Glen Ellyn for approving the project and gas station operator True North Energy LLC. The village and True North Energy in turn have filed a motion to dismiss the suit.
Opponents of a gas station proposed at the southeast corner of St. Charles Road and Main Street have filed a lawsuit against the village of Glen Ellyn for approving the project and gas station operator True North Energy LLC. The village and True North Energy in turn have filed a motion to dismiss the suit.

GLEN ELLYN – The village of Glen Ellyn and the operator of a gas station being proposed at the southeast corner of St. Charles Road and Main Street have filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by opponents of the gas station.

In May, the nonprofit group Protect Glen Ellyn Inc. filed the suit in DuPage County Circuit Court against the village and True North Energy LLC to stop the station from being built.

The lawsuit asks for a court to declare the group's "procedural and substantive due process rights have been violated" and the project and special-use application does not comply with the village's zoning ordinances. The group also wants a court to determine the project violates the village's own planning principles and to reverse the special-use permit given to True North.

In turn, the village and True North Energy on June 27 filed a joint motion to dismiss the suit. The motion argues that Protect Glen Ellyn does not have standing to challenge the village's granting of a special-use permit and other zoning relief to True North Energy because it does not meet the jurisdictional requirement in the Adjoining Landowner Act that it be an owner or tenant of real property within 1,200 feet of the property.

"Moreover, plaintiff's challenge to the grant of a special use permit and other zoning relief does not fall within the stated purpose of the Adjoining Landowner Act, which is to provide an avenue for neighboring property owners or tenants to challenge the use of property that violates either zoning or building regulations," the motion to dismiss stated.

A hearing on the case is set for July 6.

Megan Clifford, president of Protect Glen Ellyn, said in an email that "it is disappointing to see our elected leaders continue the pattern of ignoring those they represent. They have not engaged us on the merits of the case and have chosen to waste tax payer dollars to side with True North rather than protect our children and rescind the special use permit. Protect Glen Ellyn is looking forward to having our case heard in court."

During public hearings on the project, residents who live near the site voiced concerns the gas station would create flooding problems and cause fumes, emissions and gas runoff into the surrounding neighborhood. They also voiced concerns about the station's proximity to Forest Glen Elementary School.

In response to concerns raised by residents, along with village staff and the village's Architectural Review and Plan commissions, True North revised its plans, agreeing to more than 30 conditions.

Despite continued opposition from residents, Glen Ellyn trustees and former Village President Alex Demos on May 1 voted 5-2 to finalize the sale of land at 825 N. Main St. for the gas station and convenience store.

Trustees previously voted April 25 to approve variations from the village's code to allow for the gas station – which would be able to accommodate as many as 12 vehicles at a time – and 4,200-square-foot convenience store. On March 13, they also approved a special-use permit and sign code variations for the project.

The Village Board in February 2016 voted to sell the 1.35-acre property to True North for $630,000 for the development of the gas station and convenience store.

The village purchased the land for $590,000 in September 2010 and invested $90,000 in remediation, demolition and restoration efforts over six years. Previously, a dilapidated gas station had been on the property.

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