Medina Township officials petition to join case review

Marianne Gillespie

Company seeks reversal of decision about gravel pit

The fate of a potential gravel pit in Medina Township now depends upon legal maneuvering.

A few days before 2009 began, Mossville Land Investments LLC, comprised of Stan Maxheimer and Joe LaHood, filed a complaint under the administrative review law through its attorney, Janaki Nair of Elias Meginnes Riffle & Seghetti PC.

Medina Township officials, through their attorney John Redlingshafer of Heyl Royster Voelker & Allen PC, submitted a petition to intervene Jan. 28 in the matter.

The township asks to join as a party defendant.

“MLI asserts its complaint that it is only seeking a review of the decision of the Peoria County Board regarding the petitions, but it cannot deny that the board’s decision was based heavily on the recommendation of the Peoria County Zoning Board of Appeals,” the document stated.

The ZBA listened to more than six hours of evidence Oct. 9, both for and against the matter.

The Peoria County Board later denied MLI’s two requests Dec. 11 for special-use permits for a mining extraction facility at 14728 N. Old Galena Road.

Medina Township did not repeat its arguments at the board meeting out of courtesy, efficiency and avoiding repetition, according to the documents.

If Medina’s request is not granted, the documents stated that the township’s interests would not be “adequately represented.”

MLI names only the Peoria County board members, the Peoria County Department of Planning and Zoning and its director, Matt Wahl, as defendants in the case.

The company seeks a reversal of the vote to allow for the special-use permits to be issued.

In legal documents filed with the Peoria County Circuit Clerk’s office, MLI says that Peoria County should not have considered consistency with the community’s character regarding the immediate vicinity of the land.

Additionally, the documents cite case law for their reasoning. The documents also add that the weight of the evidence at the ZBA meeting supported MLI’s case.

MLI also contends that the special use is consistent with the Chillicothe Small Area Plan and Peoria County Land Use Plan.

MLI needed two permits due to one parcel of land zoned as agriculture and the other industrial.

The proposed 222-acre facility borders Rome West Road and the Mooney Cemetery.

Multiple governing bodies, as well as individuals, were against the proposal.

The Medina Township Planning Commission, as well as the township board, all rejected the plan.

Within the Peoria County channels, the planning and zoning department’s staff report recommended denial, as well as the Peoria County Zoning Board of Appeals and land use committee.

The review is set for 1:15 p.m. June 10 in Room 203 at the Peoria County Courthouse.