At a special meeting Wednesday morning the Riverside Brookfield High School District 208 Board of Education voted unanimously to authorize filing a lawsuit against the village of Brookfield over village board’s decision not to grant a special-use permit and a zoning variance for the construction of a new parking lot and new tennis courts on land owned by the high school north of Hollywood School.
The lawsuit will be filed Wednesday. A copy of the complaint is not yet available.
School board members and the district’s lawyer said Wednesday morning that they would have no comment beyond a press release.
“The board has been advised and believes very strongly that the village’s denial is contrary to Illinois law,” the press release states.
The press release states village trustees offered no reasons for their decision, even though the village’s Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously had recommended that the special-use permit and zoning variance be granted.
“The village trustees gave no reasons for denial of the school district’s request, other than a comment by President [Kit] Ketchmark to the effect that the village was not responsible for solving the high school’s parking problems nor was it the village’s concern if its decision had an impact on the district’s renovation plans or upcoming athletic season,” the press release stated.
Ketchmark said Wednesday morning that he has not yet seen the lawsuit so he could not comment.
The only member of the public who attended the school board’s special meeting harshly criticized the school board for filing the lawsuit which she said would waste taxpayers’ money.
Martha Carlson, who has been critical of the high school’s plans to build a parking lot north of Hollywood School since it was unveiled nearly a year ago, said school officials should listen to neighbors opposing the project and focus on educating students.
“You need to responsive to the community. It is not your job to create a Max McCook athletic facility for the high school,” Carlson said. “Your job is to educate our children, to be responsible with our tax dollars and you are wasting our money.
“I think you guys should be ashamed of yourselves.”