Crown Point suing Schererville over annexation

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Crown Point suing Schererville over annexation

Postby Big Dog » Sat Feb 26, 2005 4:04 pm

Attorney says town passed annexation ordinance without required permission

CROWN POINT | City officials are saying not so fast to a move by the Schererville Town Council to annex land west of Clark Street.

On Friday afternoon, Assistant City Attorney Pat Schuster filed a lawsuit in Lake Superior Court in Hammond asking for an injunction prohibiting Schererville from enforcing, acting on and recording the ordinance annexing 8.5 acres near 91st Avenue in unincorporated Lake County. The suit also asks for a mandatory injunction, requiring the town to repeal the annexation ordinance.

Crown Point officials recently learned the Schererville Town Council passed an ordinance in mid-January annexing the property. The city has a say in what happens to the land because of a state law that says in order for a town to annex land within three miles of a city, that town must get the consent of the city's legislative body.

City Attorney Rich Wolter said it's clear Schererville officials know about the law because they approached the Crown Point City Council on Sept. 7 for just that reason. After a town official presented the request for permission to annex, the City Council unanimously voted to deny it.

"Apparently they went ahead and didn't notify us they were going ahead," Wolter said.

Schererville officials could not immediately be reached for comment. While it's not clear why Schererville wants the property, the ordinance says the Town Council was advised of a petition of the Schererville Eagles for annexation of the land to the town. It also says three lots in the northeast corner will be zoned residential, while the larger fourth lot will be annexed with a zoning designation limited to the use of "clubs and lodges, private, fraternal or religious."

Schuster said he's hoping the court will consider the issue quickly and allow the city to resolve the situation in the next 30 to 45 days.

"We don't want anything to proceed," Schuster said with regard to plans Schererville officials might have for the land. "Then we'd have to undo the things they've done wrong."

nwi times newspaper
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Postby bull dog » Sat Mar 05, 2005 1:41 am

Crown Point vs. Schererville suit may be moot

Schererville's planned annexation of land south of Schererville and west of Crown Point may not be worth the aggravation.

The Schererville Town Council unanimously adopted an ordinance Jan. 19, approving a request from the Schererville Eagles fraternal organization to annex an 8.5-acre tract to build a lodge and three duplexes.

The approval created ill feeling between Crown Point and Schererville. Crown Point officials said Schererville did not have permission to annex land within 3 miles of its borders, and Crown Point in turn filed a lawsuit asking for a mandatory injunction and requiring the town to repeal the annexation ordinance.

Although Schererville Town Manager Bob Volkmann said he has still not seen the lawsuit filed last month, he believes the Eagles are about ready to back out of the deal.

"I believe the Eagles are planning to drop this whole thing," Volkmann said. "I don't believe they are interesting in pursuing this because they don't want to be bad neighbors. They don't intend to go where they aren't wanted. They don't want to cause any confrontation. If Crown Point is agreeable, it can just be residential, and they talked about selling the land."

Schererville is absolutely not interested in a court fight with Crown Point, Volkmann said.

The president of the Eagles couldn't be reached for comment. However, Volkmann, along with Town Council President Michael Troxell and Councilman Steve Kil, are all Eagles members.

Crown Point Mayor Dan Klein said Friday he would welcome a decision by the Eagles to drop the proposal.

"I am grateful they (the Eagles) are going to consider dropping it. That means we would drop the lawsuit. I can't tell them what to do on their own property, but I am glad to hear they are considering withdrawing the annexation proposal," Klein said.

Kil said the annexation law is "voluminous," but the town had been proceeding under a section that basically says if a town has a population of 30,000 or more, the requirements of consent are not applicable.

"Now that we know Crown Point is opposed to it, it's neither here nor there," Kil said. "We would still like to work this out. It's not worth a conflict between the communities. It would behoove all of us to sit down and talk about the concerns."

Still, Crown Point City Attorney Richard Wolter has said Schererville officials knew about potential problems because they approached the Crown Point City Council on Sept. 7.

After a Schererville town official presented the request for permission to annex, the City Council unanimously voted to deny it.

As Seen in the Times 3/5/05
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Why do they care??

Postby r81984 » Mon Mar 21, 2005 1:58 am

Why does anyone in crown point care about that land?? They are not using it and I have not seen them to try and use it, but I guess when someone comes along and actually wants to do something productive with the land then crown point wants to step in and stop them for absolutely no reason. Crown Point needs to grow up and mind their own business, just face it that Schererville found a good use for it first.
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