The Malone attorney characterized the only public testimony submitted to the Plan Commission according to the official Minutes of the 22 July 2021 Plan Commission Hearing:
“Mr. Wogain returned and addressed Dr. Nelson’s electronic message, whose contention was that the use of the funeral home was not a lawful pre-existing, non-conforming use, wherein Mr. Wogain explained it was incorrect and the business was functioning for the past 50 years and the applicant has received various building permits and approvals from the City. Mr. Wogain referenced a settlement agreement entered into by Dennis Malone, the City of Geneva, and Dr. Nelson who agreed that the use was permitted at such location and it was a non-conforming use. Regarding Mr. Nelson’s concerns about the ability to grant the approvals that were being requested, Mr. Wogain stated the items were well within the authority to do so by the applicant.”
For the record, Dr. Nelson never agreed that the use was permitted. The settlement agreement referenced is included in the written submission, which was either never read or was completely ignored by the minions of the same 20-year mayoral administration that made all the prior and current “errors.”
Below is the entire written submission contained in the “electronic message.” It is long and detailed, but it provides proof that an unlawful expansion was made to the Funeral Home in 2002 under the guise of a “remodel” building permit. This expansion made the Funeral Home a zoning zombie. It was no longer a permitted pre-existing non-conforming use as of 2002. This is because the expansion of such use required a Special Use Permit, not a “remodel” permit. The Planning and Zoning Commission improperly failed to reveal this fact. In fact, the Commission went further than concealment, it knowingly misrepresented the factual history. The “electronic message” included a reference to the recording of the 2012 testimony of the former Director of Development Richard Untch that described and admitted the “error” in no uncertain terms. Mr. DeGroot was present during that testimony, as he was then Untch’s assistant.
Like Mayor Burns’ unauthorized “papering over” of the fraudulent Plat of Planned Unit Development for Emma’s Landing, Mr. DeGroot, the entire Plan Commission, the Mayor, and the entire City Council knowingly “papered over” the City’s prior zoning “error.” In so doing, they conspired to defraud the adjacent property owner of the residential lot to the south (the only plat not in Zone B3E) of his property rights.