Joliet lawyer says partial NorthPoint annexation able to go

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Joliet lawyer says partial NorthPoint annexation ready to go

NorthPoint Development has submitted the necessary documentation to move ahead with annexation into Joliet, an attorney for the city said.

Assistant City Attorney Chris Regis said he received the documentation on land closings on July 17, although a spokesman for NorthPoint last week said no paperwork had been submitted and the city’s planning department had not received any copies as of Friday morning.

The timing matters because a pre-annexation agreement approved April 17 gave the developer 90 days to provide the city with evidence of land closings for the future Compass Global Logistics Hub.

“Their obligation was they had 90 days to close on most of the property listed in the agreement,” Regis said. “They have closed on most but not all of it.”

Regis said NorthPoint has met the requirements of the pre-annexation agreement, and an annexation proposal for a portion of the land will go to the City Council for a vote on Sept. 1.

The annexation into Joliet involves 1,260 acres. The entire Compass Global Logistics Hub is planned at 2,200 acres, extending into the village of Elwood and approaching the village of Manhattan. But NorthPoint needs the Joliet annexation to begin development.

On Friday morning, Joliet Director of Community Development Kendall Jackson said his department, which reviews annexation plans, has yet to receive the NorthPoint documentation.

“I don’t know if he (Regis) plans on giving them to us to look at,” Jackson said. “I’ll follow up with Chris.”

NorthPoint spokesman Scott Burnham said he had been told by Vice President of Development Patrick Robinson last week that no paperwork had been filed with Joliet. But after an article reporting on that appeared in The Herald-News, he was told otherwise, Burnham said Friday.

“Somebody talked with Patrick and said we submitted it,” Burnham said. “The city has had it.”

The NorthPoint project faces strong opposition, including the threat of litigation from opponents monitoring how the annexation process is being handled.

Regis said Thursday that the annexation proposal to go to the council on Sept. 1 will not involve all the land that NorthPoint has acquired, but it will be land contiguous to the city.

Regis said contiguity for the annexation is interrupted by a parcel owned by the federal government. Annexation of the land used by the Federal Aviation Administration will likely involve a court proceeding, but Regis said the FAA will not oppose the annexation.

“Their exact words to me were, ‘We don’t pay taxes, so we don’t care if it’s in the city or not,'” he said.