Saturday, October 13, 2018 || By Local News Curator || @maywoodnews
Featured image: An aerial view of 2850 Indian Joe Drive, the site where developers have been trying to build a strip club for more than a decade. | Google Earth
More than four months after the village of Broadview won a court battle against a group of investors who have been trying to build a strip club in the village, those investors have rekindled the fight.
On Oct. 4, attorneys for the investors, known collectively as Chicago Joe’s Tea Room LLC, filed a motion in federal court, “asking U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee for leave to amend their original lawsuit, to ask the judge to strike down a 2007 Illinois law the Chicago Joe’s group contends violates its First Amendment rights,” according to a report by the Cook County Record.
On June 29, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Judge Lee’s decision to dismiss a request for injunctive relief brought by Chicago Joe’s and Pervis Conway against the village.
Conway is the owner of 2850 Indian Joe Drive, a nearly 18,000-square-foot building in an industrial area of Broadview that overlooks the Eisenhower Expressway. The building was once owned by a telecommunications firm, Construction-CAD Solutions.
In 2006, Conway contracted to sell the land to David Donahue, who then assigned the land contract to Joseph Inovskis, court records show. Inovskis is listed as the sole manager of Chicago Joe’s Team Room LLC.
The next year, Inovkis applied for a special-use permit required to operate Chicago Joe’s as a strip club that would sell alcohol in the former industrial building. After the request was met by a public outcry from residents and community leaders, the Broadview officials refused to grant the special use permit.
Chicago Joe’s Tea Room LLC and Conway both filed a lawsuit that year, alleging that Broadview “violated the First Amendment” by not allowing the plaintiffs to use the “property in the manner” they wanted.
A lower court, referencing the village’s ordinances that were in place at the time, initially ruled in favor of Chicago Joe’s, but village officials appealed that decision and implemented tougher zoning laws related to adult businesses, including an amendment to the village’s adult-use setback ordinance — which appeared “aimed solely at Chicago Joe’s,” according to a judge in a lower court.
In March 2016, “based on strengthened village ordinances, a new state statute and the efforts of Fornaro Law,” the court ruled in favor of the village, prohibiting Chicago Joes from operating a strip club where it wanted in the village, representatives with Fornaro Law, the village’s lawyers in the case, noted in a statement at the time.
Since then, the plaintiff’s case had been “solely about monetary damages.” The plaintiffs’ injunction sought compensation for attorney fees and a reported $20 million in damages.
In their June 29 decision to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims, the three-panel Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals described the developers’ attempt to build the strip club as a “tangled record of transactions that seem designed to conceal the real parties in interest and their substantive deals.”
In their June 29 opinion, the federal appellate judges wrote that Broadview’s case was bolstered when, in August 2007, the Illinois legislature passed a law that prohibited any new adult entertainment facilities from locating, constructing or operating “within one mile of the property boundaries of any school, day care center, cemetery, public park, forest preserve, public housing, or place of religious worship located in” suburban Cook County.
In their Oct. 4 motion, the plaintiffs claimed that the Illinois law “is unconstitutional, as they argue the state directly targeted the law at disfavored speech, and not at any deleterious ‘secondary effects’ caused by the prohibited land uses,” according to the Cook County Record.
The plaintiffs also claimed that the law blocks “all adult use” in Broadview and is not equally enforced by the state, since three new adult use businesses “that violate the setback requirements” have been allowed to operate since the law was enacted.
To read the full Cook County Record article, click here. VFP
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