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County’s denial of campground spurs a lawsuit

Owners ask court to allow use

Published: Friday, July 5, 2013 8:56 a.m. CST

Grundy County is being sued after county board members voted against allowing a controversial campground in Goose Lake Township.

The case was filed in Grundy County Circuit Court last week by KRR Investments and First Midwest Bank.

At its June 11 meeting, the Grundy County Board voted down a proposal on the board’s agenda that consisted of a map amendment to rezone the property from industrial to agricultural, and a petition allowing the property owner, John Russ Jr., to use the property for a 29-lot campground.

The board voted 12-6 against the map amendment, making the petition for the campground irrelevant. Many people from the public expressed safety concerns for the popular boating area, while Coal City School District Unit 1 and the Grundy Economic Development Council expressed concerns the area is an industrial corridor meant to bring in tax dollars to the county.

Russ said then he was not sure what his next step was, but that the issue was not over.

The case file states First Midwest Bank was the record owner of 11.8 acres in Goose Lake Township at a trust. KRR Investments was authorized by the bank to request the map amendment and special use permit for the seasonal campground.

The parties want the court to allow for the use of the property as a campground and to stop the county from prohibiting or interfering with the use.

Grundy has yet to file a response in the circuit court.

“We are doing our research and will give it our full attention,” said Perry Rudman, assistant Grundy County state’s attorney.

THE ARGUMENTS

The bank and investors argue in the case file that the county’s comprehensive plan states adequate space should be provided for public and private recreation areas and in order to do this a “tremendous increase in the amount of campsites and other recreational facilities will be needed.”

About 87 percent of the land the parties are proposing for a campground is located in a floodplain and floodway, therefore is not good for industrial use, according to the case file. It further states a campground can be a special use in agricultural zoning, hence their zoning change request.

KRR Investments states they followed the requirements for applying for a zoning change, and argue a campground is the best use for the property.

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