Zoning laws restrict pool construction

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 12.32.46 PMBy Jack Ryan
News Editor 
Bleachers, how do they affect Prospect? How does one simple object that brings memories, chants, and laughter affect a school?
As everybody knows Prospect will begin building a pool this coming summer, but that construction will be halted as the construction of bleachers at Crystal Lake South High School affect the construction of any building at high schools in Illinois.
This past fall bleachers were constructed at Crystal Lake South High School and when they were built neighbors of the high school complained that it defied the zoning ordinance laws and that they need to be taken down. As Crystal Lake South did not take down the bleachers the issue wound up in the Illinois Supreme Court to decide if high school’s construction of buildings will have to follow the Zoning Ordinance Law. (See What is the Zoning Ordinance Law)
This decision affects Prospect because about two to three months ago Associate Principal Greg Minter got a phone call saying that construction of the pool will be halted due to Prospect not wanting to get into any legal issues, like Crystal Lake South, due to them not following the zoning ordinance law by building the pool.
When Minter received the phone call, he was disappointed to hear the construction will be halted until May or possibly June when the decision comes from the Illinois Supreme Court on whether or not high schools in the state of Illinois will have to follow this ordinance.
Minter disappointed on the postponement of the construction since high schools have never had to follow this ordinance before due to schools submitting their plans to the State Regional Office of Education
Prospect will wait until they hear if they have to follow the ordinance or not to see if they will be able to build the pool on the basis of the ordinance or the State Regional Office of Education.
“Our district is really reluctant to start a project until [the case] is resolved because we live in a residential zone area that does not allow for indoor swimming,” Minter said. “If someone in the community were to protest or zoning commission here protested it could tie us up in lengthy legal fees [and] until this issue is resolved their a little bit reluctant to start breaking ground.”
Even with the postponement of constructing the pool, Minter and the rest of the administration still hope to have the pool built by the 2016-2017 school year.
“The goal at this point is still yes, but depending on when we get started that is obviously going to have a major impact on that,” Minter said. “If we don’t get started [constructing] until September or October it won’t be ready.”
What is the Zoning Ordinance Law?
-Definition: Written regulations and laws that define how property in specific geographic zones can be used. Zoning ordinances specify whether zones can be used for residential or commercial purposes, and may also regulate lot size, placement, bulk (or density) and the height of structures.
Courts Ruling of Gurba v. Community High School District No. 155
-McHenry County Circuit Court (Sept. 3, 2014): The court ruled that Illinois school districts are summoned to follow the Zoning Ordinance Law.
-Appellate Court Ruling (Oct. 22, 2014): The court ruled that Illinois school districts are summoned to follow the Zoning Ordinance Law
-Illinois Supreme Court Ruling (decision in May or June of 2015):This court will have the final decision if Illinois school districts have to follow the Zoning Ordinance Law
-What this means for Prospect: Depending on if the Illinois Supreme Court makes high school districts follow the Zoning Ordinance Law, Prospect will have abide by these laws affecting the construction of the pool and how it is built due to neighborhoods in Mount Prospect not allowing the indoor pools to be built.