Dan Harkins Jun. 24, 2015, 9:12am


A St. Clair County village is being sued by one of its area development agencies for allegedly refusing to rezone property to make way for an upcoming project.

According to a lawsuit filed on April 23 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, TBHP LLC filed a complaint against the village of Caseyville. On Oct. 21, 1998, to woo private developers, Caseyville passed three ordinances that designated the village's area along Illinois Route 159 as blighted and set up a tax incremental redevelopment plan for the area, designated the Rt.159 Project as eligible for this TIF funding and approved TIF funding for the latter project.

Then, on April 7, 2004, the city "determined that the original TIF Project .. was not economically feasible and was an insufficient inducement to private developers, including but not limited to TBHP, to undertake development and incur costs" for the project, the plaintiff alleges.

In March 2005, the city tried again by adopting an ordinance that declared the area blighted, but Caseyville refused to act on the TBHP's request for a zoning change for the area from March until late October 2011, the lawsuit states.

By Oct. 28, 2011, the TBHP withdrew its request for a zoning change and filed a request for a zoning change instead for a portion of property comprising "the Route 159 Project to be rezoned from SR-1 to B-2," the complaint states.

On Feb. 8, 2012, Caseyville's Planning Commission recommended approval of the rezoning, and four days later the Caseyville Village Board ratified the recommendation. 

But two years later, after the TBHP incurred "engineering costs, architectural costs, market study cost, development costs, licensing costs, permit costs and attorneys' fees" to pursue development proposals, the Caseyville Planning commission refused to recommend a final rezoning of the subject properties to let the project move forward, the lawsuit states.

The plaintiff seeks to be compensated for the expenditures it undertook to make way for the Route 159 Project.

The plaintiff is represented by Sterling and Dowling PC in Fairview Heights.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-238.

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