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Local News

Ruling on NorthPoint injunction coming Monday

Opponents show their disagreement with the NorthPoint Development project at a Feb. 24 meeting of the Joliet Plan Commission.
Opponents show their disagreement with the NorthPoint Development project at a Feb. 24 meeting of the Joliet Plan Commission.

A Will County judge on Monday will rule on a motion aimed at blocking the first annexations for the logistics park that NorthPoint Development wants to build in Joliet.

Hearings were held Thursday morning for an Elwood motion for a preliminary injunction and a NorthPoint motion seeking to dismiss the case.

Judge Roger Rickmon said he will rule Monday morning on both cases.

The judgment will come one day before the Joliet City Council plans to vote on the annexation of 355 acres, which would be the first of an eventual 1,260 acres NorthPoint is assembling for the future Compass Global Logistics Hub.

The logistics park would stretch to Elwood, which opposes it and contends Joliet did not give proper notice of public hearings held before the Plan Commission and City Council before a pre-annexation agreement was approved in April.

Elwood also contends the hearings done improperly without opponents given enough opportunity to make a case against the NorthPoint plan.

Attorney Jordan Kielian pointed to a four-minute limit that led to the Elwood village administrator being cut off while speaking against the project during phoned-in comments at the City Council hearing held under COVID-19 restrictions,

"They can limit people by saying, 'You have a special interest. You don't,'" Kielian said at the court hearing. "What you can't do is cut everybody off at four minutes no matter who they are and what interest they have. That's what they were doing at that hearing."

Attorneys for NorthPoint called the Elwood arguments "disingenuous," pointing particularly to an argument that village officials did not speak at the Plan Commission hearing because proper notice was not given that the pre-annexation agreement would include decisions on rezoning and a special use permit.

"The village of Elwood knew damn well what was going on at that meeting," Attorney Bryan Kopman said, adding that the village encouraged people to attend the Plan Commission hearing and oppose the NorthPoint project. "They put a post about it on their Facebook page."

Kopman also questioned whether Elwood Village Administrator Julie Friebele ever actually intended to pose questions about the project, noting she read from prepared remarks that did not include a list of questions.

Friebele, the one witness at the hearings, said during testimony that she did want to ask NorthPoint representatives about their plans.

"I wanted on behalf of the village to state our case and directly ask questions that would pertain to the impact of this development on our village," she said.

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