Developer withdraws Calumet Country Club disconnect lawsuit after matter becomes moot

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Developer withdraws Calumet Country Club disconnect lawsuit after matter becomes moot

April 23, 2021 - 15:34

W&E Ventures formally withdrew the lawsuit seeking the disconnection of the Calumet Country Club property from the village of Homewood on Friday, ending one chapter of the effort to redevelop the land as a fulfillment center.

The motion to withdraw the suit was granted by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Maureen Ward Kirby, but the disconnection of the property was made official on April 13 when the Homewood Board of Trustees approved a disconnection ordinance.

Trustees were complying with the terms of a settlement agreement approved Jan. 26. The agreement stipulated that if Homewood failed to enact rezoning measures necessary to allow industrial use of the land, the village would have to voluntarily disconnect the property.

Trustees voted against the zoning changes on March 9.

During a status hearing Friday, attorney Patrick Keating, who represents five Homewood residents who joined the suit as defendants, attempted to object to the ruling granting the dismissal.

"In our view this dismissal is pursuant to a settlement that we believe they are not permitted to enter into," he said.

Kirby declared that any objection was moot since the petitioner had withdrawn the suit.

"I don't know how you have a right to object to a party's right to voluntarily dismiss their lawsuit," she said. "This is a disconnect case. You intervened in a disconnect case."

Homewood Village Attorney Chris Cummings declined to comment on the suit's withdrawal.

Developer Walt Brown Jr. welcomed the result and has vowed to continue developing the fulfillment center on the site.

"We are excited to have this behind us," he said in an email to the Chronicle. "The community needs jobs and development done right. No matter what we do, we will do it right and protect the neighbors."