Environmental organizations Openlands and the Sierra Club, along with individual members of the Just Say No to NorthPoint group, filed a motion seeking to join a lawsuit against the City of Joliet, which if granted would make it the third complaint filed regarding NorthPoint intermodal facility, otherwise known as Compass Business Park in Joliet, Illinois. Plaintiffs will be joining the lawsuit filed by the Village of Elwood against the City of Joliet earlier this year. The Openlands/Sierra Club, complaint alleges that the City of Joliet executed an unlawful agreement with East Gate that contracted away annexation and rezoning of over 1,200 acres of land for NorthPoint. The City of Joliet violated its own ordinances, pre-determining zoning and depriving organizations and individuals of the right to be considered during the process.
Within the complaint, the groups cite significant environmental impacts to Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, as well as to individual properties in the shadow of the project. Members of the Just Say No to NorthPoint group have been fighting the project since it was first introduced in 2017. Recently, a group of residents created Stop NorthPoint, LLC and filed their own lawsuit against NorthPoint. The Stop NorthPoint group is unaffiliated with Just Say No to NorthPoint, though they are united in the goal of stopping Compass Business Park from moving forward. Openlands and Sierra Club have long been advocates for strong regional and local planning. They work with business, civic, and community groups to ensure industry and transportation solutions where they complement rather than subvert the globally significant natural resources in this area, such as Midewin and the prime farmland that would be paved over if NorthPoint were built.
This is a developing story. Stay tuned to WJOL for the latest details.