Islamic Center of Western Suburbs in August filed the lawsuit claiming that DuPage discriminated against the group by rejecting its request to use a house at 28W774 Army Trail Road as a religious institution. The legal action was taken after DuPage County Board members on May 8, 2012, voted 15-3 to deny a conditional-use permit.
Then in March, DuPage lost a similar lawsuit filed by another religious organization. That prompted a federal judge to give the county and Islamic Center of Western Suburbs a chance to resolve their dispute.
The neighbors to the property are still not happy about the proposal:
Still, neighbors remain strongly opposed to the conditional-use request. About 50 of them attended Monday night’s public hearing.
Several of the neighbors voiced concerns about the possibility of flooding, increased traffic and lower property values. They say the house should remain a single-family home.
“We have a right to enjoy our properties without the intrusion of a commercial property butting into our neighborhood,” said Laura Wiley, who lives adjacent to the property. “It is changing the landscape of our neighborhood. It is going to inhibit our personal enjoyment of our property.”
Sounds like a typical NIMBY situation: the neighbors say the property will harm their quality of life while studies by the group bringing the proposal suggest there will be few issues. I’ve just been reading Colored Property: State Policy and White Racial Politics in Suburban America and there seem to be some parallels here. Suburbanites continue to make an economic, rather than racial, argument that they should be able to defend the value of their hard-earned property versus what they view as intrusions.
What happens if the DuPage County Board rejects the proposal again? The article suggests the Board can’t really do that as a similar case in Naperville (see here) has moved forward and the Islamic learning center will be built. So, it will be interesting to watch this upcoming vote…