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Judge may decide land dispute between county, Dominican U.

Friday, April 08, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times
by STEVE PATTERSON

A judge is likely to decide who controls a small piece of land near Dominican University, as school officials are being met with vigorous opposition to their plan to build a road on land most thought was owned by the Cook County Forest Preserve District.

Dominican's attorneys say they've found evidence the land isn't district property and rescinded their request that the district allow them to build a road through the property near Thatcher Road.

Forest Preserve Commissioner Peter Silvestri said the district won't easily give up the fight to hold onto land that the district, school and Village of River Forest thought was the district's, as he has "every intent" of maintaining "our property rights."

The 3.8 acres include a patch Dominican would like to build an access road on, leading to a new parking garage, but nearby environmental supporters say such a move would destroy rare plants.

The district has cared for the land for decades, though university attorney Mike Igoe indicated in a letter to the district that the school actually has legal title to it.

Forest Preserve Commissioner Larry Suffredin suggested an independent arbitrator be called in to settle the fight.

Wildlife safety concerns

Also Thursday, petitions were presented for and against resuming controlled burns near Morton Grove and Miami Woods preserves in the northwest suburbs.

Though Commissioner Mike Quigley said closely monitored burns by district staff won't result in "Bambi and Thumper fleeing for their lives," Edgewood resident Jacquie Line BoLand called for the district to continue a years-long moratorium on burns there, to protect wildlife and residents.

The board also approved a $3.8 million pact with McDonough and Ardmore Associates to manage $50 million in construction projects, despite protests from Commissioner Liz Gorman, who called the 7 percent fee too high.

 

 



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