Developer Seeking Injunction to Build Housing

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Byline: Melissa Silverberg msilverberg@dailyherald.com

The developer behind a proposed Wheeling apartment building for people with mental and physical disabilities are asking a federal court to allow it to proceed immediately, despite the projects rejection by village officials.

A hearing is set for this morning on the Daveri Development Groups motion for a preliminary injunction that would require the village to approve the site plan for the PhilHaven housing development.

"Unless injunctive relief is granted and Wheeling timely issues the necessary approval, plaintiffs are at risk that Daveri will be unable to acquire the property upon which PhilHaven is to be constructed and to keep the funding necessary for the project, which will result in the deprivation of housing desperately needed by the mentally and physically disabled persons in the Wheeling area," the motion reads.

In order to grant a preliminary injunction, a court must rule that Daveri would have a strong chance of succeeding if the litigation went to trial and not acting right away would cause the developer irreparable harm.

Judge John Z. Lee is scheduled take up the case at 10 a.m., though it is not certain that he will rule immediately.

According to the motion, filed in U.S. District Court, Daveri needs to send a project assessment to the Illinois Housing Development Authority by Dec. 7 and complete its application by March 15, 2013.

Other plaintiffs in the case include the North/Northwest Suburban Task Force for Individuals with Mental Disabilities and a pair of would-be PhilHaven residents.

Daveri sued Wheeling in September, claiming the village violated the federal Fair Housing and Americans with Disabilities acts by denying the PhilHaven project.

"The Wheeling board did not approve the PhilHaven project because, if it is built, it will afford housing to disabled persons," the suit claims. …