CHICAGO (CBS) — Crystal Lake South High School must tear down the 55-foot-tall bleachers it built on the west side of its football field, after the Illinois Supreme Court sided with the neighbors in a dispute over whether the district needed permits for the structure.
“We are very happy, and relieved, and extremely thankful to the Supreme Court,” said Kim Maselbas-Gurba, whose home is directly behind the bleachers.
She and other homeowners who live next door to the football field had sued Community High School District 155, arguing the $1.2 million bleachers erected in 2013 were built without proper permits, were too close to property lines, invaded their privacy by allowing strangers to see into their homes, hurt property values, and created huge amounts of noise.
The district had argued it was exempt from Crystal Lake zoning laws, but the Supreme Court rejected that argument, as had two lower courts.
While grateful the Supreme Court sided with homeowners, Maselbas-Gurba said she’s disappointed the district hasn’t moved faster to come up with a plan for new bleachers that would be less obtrusive and comply with zoning rules.
“They’ve done nothing. They haven’t contacted the city. They haven’t submitted new plans. They were asked by the city and the planning and zoning commission to please submit new plans,” she said.