Rosecrance site approved; lawsuit filed

Rosecrance site approved; lawsuit filed

By Shellie Berg

By Shellie Berg

Staff Reporter

Residents near the proposed Rosecrance site at 8301 Rote Road have filed a lawsuit as anticipated Feb. 13 after the City Council approved the drug/alcohol treatment facility Feb. 12.

Twelve adjacent property owners filed the lawsuit against the Zoning Board of Appeals, Mayor Charles Box, the City Council and Eskell Carlson, who owns the proposed site property.

On Thursday, Thomas Luchetti, who represents the defendants, attempted to get a temporary restraining order to prevent Rosecrance from breaking ground.

However, both parties then agreed that no building permit will be issued until a preliminary injunction hearing set for March 20 before Judge Michael Morrison occurs.

Luchetti said numerous reasons exist for the lawsuit. “The use is not allowed by the City of Rockford ordinances,” he said. “It will affect the property value of the clients. It will have a substantial impact on their safety.”

Rosecrance President/CEO Phil Eaton declined to comment on the lawsuit, saying, “I feel that we did everything properly, given the statutes the city is governed by,” Eaton remarked. “We dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s.”

He noted the City Council weighed the evaluations of the Code & Regulation Committee and Zoning Board of Appeals, both of which approved zoning and passed their findings on to City Council. Rosecrance filed for a special-use permit to alter the zoning.

Eaton observed that the homes near the current Harrison and Alpine centers haven’t decreased in values. “The homes have been selling at market rate,” he stated. “Our clients and services are not a threat. That’s clearly a demonstrated fact.”

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