WBEZ | DuPage http://www.wbez.org/tags/dupage Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en DuPage amends rules on places of assembly http://www.wbez.org/story/dupage-amends-rules-places-assembly-93066 <p><p>DuPage County has new rules on where places of assembly, including places of worship, can set up. The county board Tuesday voted unanimously to allow those institutions into all zoning districts by right. That means they won’t have to go through a lengthy and costly process of seeking permission from the county to set up on land they purchase. Currently, churches, temples, mosques and other places of worship are not allowed by right in any zoning districts in DuPage County.</p><p>The new requirements include a greater minimum lot size and, for groups trying to set up in residential neighborhoods, access to an arterial road and public water and sewer lines. The amendment also prohibits groups from purchasing houses to use as worship spaces.</p><p>The measures come after more than a year of intense discussions with community and religious groups. Last year the county considered a blanket ban on allowing religious and other assembly uses into unincorporated residential neighborhoods. The sweeping approach prompted an outcry from community groups such as DuPage United, and concerns that it might violate federal and state laws that provide special protections for religious land uses.</p><p>County officials, community organizers and religious leaders agree that they were able to come together in a positive way, and do so with a positive approach.</p><p>“I think that it is going to open up a whole new avenue for places of assembly into DuPage County,” said DuPage County board member Tony Michelassi, “and I think that it reflects how DuPage is changing.”</p><p>But Amy Lawless of DuPage United still has reservations about the new rules. “We still recognize that it will prevent many, many congregations from even considering to build,” she said, “because it will be so costly in order to meet all of these restrictions.”</p><p>Lawless points out that Muslim congregations in particular may be effectively kept out of unincorporated residential districts because the groups often start out small, and coming up with the money required to meet the technical requirements may be impossible. The Muslim community is among the fastest growing population in west suburban DuPage County.</p></p> Tue, 11 Oct 2011 22:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/dupage-amends-rules-places-assembly-93066 Muslim group objects to DuPage zoning rules http://www.wbez.org/story/muslim-group-objects-dupage-zoning-rules-90626 <p><div style="background-color: transparent;"><p>A group of Muslim organizations in the Chicago area is calling on DuPage County's Board to review its zoning policies, saying they may violate a federal law that protects religious institutions. The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago is particularly concerned about the case of the Pin Oak Mosque, which was denied permission to build a dome in excess of the county’s 36-foot height restriction last week. The mosque’s leaders want to build the house of worship in unincorporated residential DuPage County, near west suburban Lombard.</p><p>Dr. Mohammed Zaher Sahloul, head of the CIOGC, said he’s troubled by this because this is the second mosque that has recently run into trouble with the county’s height variations. Another, the Muslim Educational and Cultural Center of America, was denied permission to build a minaret, though the rest of the project was approved. Speaking of the Pin Oak project, Sahloul said he hopes the recent dome denial won’t kill the rest of the project. “I hope it's only (a) technical issue that can be dealt with,” said Sahloul. “Hopefully the permit can happen, and it's not a pattern of rejection of houses of worship in DuPage County.”</p><p>Sahloul said domes and minarets are just as symbolically important to Muslim houses of worship as spires and bell towers are to churches. But some county board members say the burden lies with zoning applicants to prove that without an exemption to county rules, they would experience hardship. The application for the height exemption was separate from the county’s consideration of the rest of the mosque development. The county’s Zoning Board of Appeals is expected to vote on the rest of the proposal at its August 23rd meeting.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></div></p> Tue, 16 Aug 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/muslim-group-objects-dupage-zoning-rules-90626 DuPage abandons proposed ban on assembly groups http://www.wbez.org/story/amy-lawless/dupage-abandons-proposed-ban-assembly-groups <p><p>&nbsp;DuPage County has abandoned a bid to keep new places of assembly out of unincorporated residential neighborhoods.&nbsp;That's a major concession to those who feared new churches, mosques, and temples would be frozen out of the very communities they aim to serve. Instead, the county will look at specific measures to target the problems they've had with those gathering places, such as traffic congestion, water drainage and sewage capacity.</p> <div>The county has sought changes to its zoning ordinance because officials say some areas lack infrastructure to support heavily-used gathering places. But County Development Committee Chairman Tony Michelassi said it became clear that many DuPage religious organizations thought the proposed blanket ban was too severe. That&rsquo;s why the committee told county staff on Tuesday to return to the drawing board and come back with alternative options at the committee&rsquo;s March 1 meeting.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a sentiment among many [DuPage County] Board members that we&rsquo;re close to reaching a solution here that&rsquo;s equitable,&rdquo; said Michelassi.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The county's new approach is encouraging to the religious groups that make up the umbrella organization DuPage United. Amy Lawless, the group&rsquo;s Lead Organizer, said up until now, they felt completely cut off from the county&rsquo;s consideration of the matter. &ldquo;We went from no negotiation to some negotiation on restrictions so they don't lump everyone in one situation,&rdquo; said Lawless.&nbsp;</div></p> Thu, 24 Feb 2011 01:12:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/amy-lawless/dupage-abandons-proposed-ban-assembly-groups DuPage Board deals setback to mosque proposal http://www.wbez.org/story/dupage/dupage-board-deals-setback-mosque-proposal <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/forweb_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>In an unexpected turn of events, a group of Sunni Muslims failed to win approval for a worship center that they have sought to build on a 5-acre parcel of unincorporated DuPage County. Instead, the county board rejected the bid by the Muslim Educational Cultural Center of America, or MECCA, to construct a 79-foot minaret and a dome. The board also sent the group&rsquo;s petition to build the rest of the mosque back to the county&rsquo;s development committee.</p> <div>While the meeting did not go as MECCA leaders had expected, several residents of the area around the proposed site were relieved.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Really, we're not surprised that it went back to the board for further look-see,&rdquo; said Sam Cornett, whose house abuts the property. Referring to some of the board members, Cornett added, &ldquo;Now the people have looked at the property, which we invite anybody to come and look at.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Cornett and his wife invited board members to visit their house and look at the proposed site after the development committee&rsquo;s vote last week. They say that may have played some role in turning the tide against the mosque. Several board members that voted for the project last week voted against it Tuesday.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>MECCA president Dr. Abdulgany Hamadeh said he does not yet know whether the group will continue pushing forward with their proposal.</div></p> Tue, 08 Feb 2011 21:56:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/dupage/dupage-board-deals-setback-mosque-proposal Du Page mosque plan moves forward http://www.wbez.org/story/america/du-page-mosque-plan-moves-forward <p><p>Despite a blow last month in their bid for zoning to build a new mosque, a group of Muslims in DuPage County got a green-light today to finally bring their bid before the full county board. The County&rsquo;s Development Committee voted 5-1 to approve both the plan by The Muslim Educational Cultural Center of America, or MECCA, to build a religious place of worship on the five-acre, unincorporated plot, as well as the construction of a dome and minaret.</p> <div>MECCA leaders were baffled last month when some members of the Zoning Board of Appeals denied approval for the project on the grounds of &quot;religious oversaturation&quot; in that part of the county.&nbsp;But Mark Daniel, an attorney representing the group, said that argument didn't come up with the Development Committee. &ldquo;County board members that are on the committee really focused on the relevant issues of code compliance and is this a religious use that is going to cause harm that's specific to the property, and they believed that it was not,&rdquo; said Daniel.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The county board is expected to consider the proposal within the next two weeks.</div></p> Tue, 01 Feb 2011 23:39:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/america/du-page-mosque-plan-moves-forward Use of food stamps rising in Illinois http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago/use-food-stamps-rising-illinois <p><p>New statistics from the state's food stamp program show an increase in those receiving assistance in Illinois.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />The <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em> reported Saturday that numbers from the Illinois Department of Human Services show about 857,000 households enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in December. That's 12.7 percent more than a year earlier.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />The largest increases were in DuPage, Kendall, Kane and McHenry counties.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />Illinois SNAP program director Jan Freeman said there has been an increase nearly every month since the fall of 2008.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />Kate Maehr is chief executive of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. She said the non-profit had more people use pantries in November than any month in its 32-year history.</p></p> Sun, 16 Jan 2011 16:09:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago/use-food-stamps-rising-illinois Expected winners in uncontested Illinois races http://www.wbez.org/story/cook/expected-winners-uncontested-illinois-state-and-county-races <p><p>The Associated Press is listing the following candidates as expected winners in uncontested state and county races.</p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State Senate - District 1</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Tony Munoz (i), Dem</span></p> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State Senate - District 4</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Kimberly Lightford (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State Senate - District 13</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Kwame Raoul (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State Senate - District 16</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Jacqui Collins (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State Senate - District 37</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Dale Risinger (i), GOP</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State Senate - District 46</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">David Koehler (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 1</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Susana Mendoza (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 2</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Edward Acevedo (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 3</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Luis Arroyo (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 4</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Cynthia Soto (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 5</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Ken Dunkin (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 6</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Esther Golar (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 8</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">La Shawn Ford (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 9</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Arthur Turner (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 10</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Annazette Collins (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 13</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Gregory Harris (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 14</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Harry Osterman (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 15</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">John D'Amico (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 16</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Lou Lang (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 18</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Robyn Gabel (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 20</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Michael McAuliffe (i), GOP</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 21</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Michael Zalewski (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 23</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Daniel Burke (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 24</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Lisa Hernandez (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 25</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Barbara Flynn Currie (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 27</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Monique Davis (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 28</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Robert Rita (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 30</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Will Davis (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 31</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Mary Flowers (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 32</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Andre Thapedi (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 33</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Marlow Colvin (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 34</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Connie Howard (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 38</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Al Riley (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 40</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Deborah Mell (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 52</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Mark Beaubien (i), GOP</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 60</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Rita Mayfield (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 70</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Robert Pritchard (i), GOP</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 73</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">David Leitch (i), GOP</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 76</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Frank Mautino (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 77</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Skip Saviano (i), GOP</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 78</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Camille Lilly (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 80</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Anthony DeLuca (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 83</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Linda Chapa LaVia (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 88</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Dan Brady (i), GOP</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 93</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Jil Tracy (i), GOP</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 97</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Jim Watson (i), GOP</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 100</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Rich Brauer (i), GOP</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 106</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Keith Sommer (i), GOP</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 108</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">David Reis (i), GOP</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 111</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Daniel Beiser (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 114</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Eddie Lee Jackson (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 117</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">John Bradley (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^State House - District 118</span>: <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Brandon Phelps (i), Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^Appeals Court - 1-McNulty</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">James Epstein, Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^Appeals Court - 1-O'Malley</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Aurelia Pucinski, Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^Appeals Court - 1-South</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Mary Katherine Rochford, Dem</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^Appeals Court - 2-Callum</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Ann Jorgensen, GOP</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^Appeals Court - 2-Gilleran-Johnson</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Mary Schostok, GOP</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^Appeals Court - 4-Cook</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Thomas Appleton, GOP</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^County Clerk - DuPage County</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Gary King (i), GOP</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^Sheriff - DuPage County</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">John Zaruba (i), GOP</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^County Treasurer - DuPage County</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Gwen Henry (i), GOP</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^County Treasurer - Lake County</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Robert Skidmore (i), GOP</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^County Treasurer - McHenry County</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">William LeFew (i), GOP</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^County Clerk - Will County</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Nancy Schultz Voots (i), GOP</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^County Clerk - Kendall County</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Debbie Gillette (i), GOP</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^County Treasurer - Kendall County</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Jill Ferko (i), GOP</span></div></p> Wed, 03 Nov 2010 00:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/cook/expected-winners-uncontested-illinois-state-and-county-races