Village Board of Trustees Authorizes Settlement Discussion

Tonight the Village of Brookfield Village Board of Trustees authorized a new settlement discussion and directed the Village Attorney to enter into discussions with Riverside Brookfield High School to resolve the pending litigation brought on by the High School.

A statement by President Ketchmark follows:

President Ketchmark: As a result of discussions just concluded among the board of trustees in closed session, the Village of Brookfield is once again directing the Village Attorney to reach out to President Welch and the District 208 school board to resolve the ongoing litigation regarding the Village board of trustees’ zoning decision concerning the construction of a new parking lot.

As this matter goes on, the divide caused within our community is evident – much of it fueled by misinformation or partial information. And while the school board or Village board of trustees cannot simply pick a new option without allowing public comment through the legal zoning process, working towards a framework that works the best for all affected parties is the realistic approach. When this issue is ultimately resolved, the high school will remain where it’s at, the Village of Brookfield will still be present and the neighborhoods surrounding the school that are most affected will live with the results.

We are directing the Attorney to offer on behalf of the Village of Brookfield is to permit not to exceed 153 parking spots including the Rockefeller lot and the proposed new lot. This option would include support for the zoning variation allowing the tennis courts to be rebuilt with the non-conforming fence, as well as for the special use permit to allow for the additional parking. Because the school district’s latest proposal contains an increased front yard setback that complies with the Village of Brookfield’s zoning code, no approval would be needed for the front yard setback. The Village would support a streamlined zoning process for the special use permit.

As part of the Village’s settlement proposal, the Village would be willing to offer to grant the school district a 20-year lease extension for the use of Rockefeller Avenue, a public street, for dedicated student school parking at an annual cost of $1 per year. This lease renewal in itself offers the school district a savings of more than a quarter million dollars over the course of the lease term.

The Village’s settlement offer is open for acceptance by the school district until November 25th, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. Unfortunately, after that time, the legal process, started by the school district, will play itself out. While the litigation was filed by the school district, the Village is confident that based upon the law and the facts of the case, the Village will prevail. Should the Village prevail, no additional parking at the high school will be the result.

Because the addition of 45, 60 or 90 parking spots will not solve the traffic issues around the high school during special events and other peak times, the Village remains willing to help work together with the Brookfield Zoo and Cook County to come to a resolution that better deals with the overall parking and traffic issues.