HYDE PARK — Angry neighbors, city lawyers and the University of Chicago will take their fight over a 13-story retail and residential project on 53rd Street back to court.
Lead plaintiff Michael Scott said Wednesday that neighbors would appeal a January Cook County Circuit Court ruling clearing the way for the project Mesa Development is building for the University of Chicago.
“This is the wrong building in the wrong place,” Scott said. “We need a plan for a smaller development on the site, one that makes sense both for the university and the neighborhood.”
Four Hyde Parkers who live close to the proposed development argued in court that the city acted in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner in rezoning 1330 E. 53rd St. for a 135-foot-tall tower on a block of mostly two- and three-story buildings.
Judge Kathleen Pantle dismissed the lawsuit, which was attempting to restore the property's original zoning, saying in her opinion that Scott and the others failed to properly notify surrounding neighbors that they planned to sue.
“The company we hired to send notices notified 125 property owners and inadvertently missed seven,” Scott said.
The city and the university have until Aug. 21 to respond to the appeal.
“We expect to be part of the appeal,” said John Holden, a spokesman for the city’s Law Department.
A representative from the University of Chicago did not respond to a request for comment.
James Hanson, principal of Mesa Development, did not return several calls for comment.
According to city records, the developers have permits to start the foundation of the project, but have not yet gotten the OK to start work on the building itself.
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