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Local

Legal protest could derail Batavia apartments at Campana

Maneuver could require two-thirds yes vote from council

A last-minute legal maneuver filed by a neighboring property owner in Geneva may put a roadblock in the way of the proposed Campana apartment project in Batavia.
A last-minute legal maneuver filed by a neighboring property owner in Geneva may put a roadblock in the way of the proposed Campana apartment project in Batavia.

BATAVIA – A last-minute legal maneuver by a Geneva property owner could prevent the Batavia City Council from approving the Campana building apartment plan.

A written protest filed Nov. 3 with the city of Batavia by a contiguous property owner may trigger a requirement that the zoning amendments for the Campana project be approved by a two-thirds majority of the 14 city aldermen.

That would require at least 10 council members voting in favor of the Campana proposal. With aldermen seemingly locked in a 9-5 split, what had appeared to be a solid majority for approval of the project may now be one vote short.

Robert Byrnes of Batavia Avenue Properties LLC, at 1950 and 2000 S. Batavia Ave. in Geneva, filed the protest with the Batavia Community Development Department.

Batavia Avenue Properties shares a property line along the north and northwest sides of the Campana site located at 901 N. Batavia Ave. in Batavia.

“The protester is the owner of more than 20 percent of frontage property as defined by the city’s ordinance and the Illinois Municipal Code, said ownership being sufficient to require a two-thirds vote of the City Council to approve the proposed amendments,” according to the filing.

Batavia City Administrator Laura Newman said the city’s special legal counsel for the Campana project, Mark Schuster, now is reviewing the written protest to determine whether it was properly filed.

The legal protest from Byrnes sets up a dramatic City Council meeting Nov. 6.

Evergreen Real Estate Group Director of Development David Block declined to comment on the written protest when contacted Nov. 5.

The real estate firm is proposing to put 80 apartments inside the 1936 factory building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The $30 million project would use historic preservation tax credits to renovate the building, and affordable housing tax credits to provide 64 income-restricted units, along with 16 market-rate apartments.

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