Or Was the Cart Placed Before the Horse?
Perhaps my reading comprehension is terrible. My commentators won't be the first to make such a comment.
My reading of this story is that a Chicago Orthodox Yeshiva/Bais Yaakov:
- bought a building in an industrial area (date unknown) and applied for a special use permit (December 2007)
- spent upwards of $2,000,000 on architectural design fees and insurance while holding the property
- was turned down by the city in their request for a zoning variance, 8-1
- is suing the city for estimated losses of two million (see above)
- argues that the city of Evanston wrongfully focused on the loss of property tax
- claims that the city failed to distinguish between a "religious institution" and a private school, claiming they are the former, rather than the latter, as attendance is " practically mandatory in the exercise of their religious faith," and like the nearby church, they too should be granted a zoning variance.
- argues that city's action was arbitrary and unreasonable and violates the constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of speech and religion.
If my reading is correct, the commentary is clear. The eggs were counted before they hatched and/or the cart was put in front of the horse. I don't know much about obtaining properties and converting their use, but it seems to me that this was out of order. And to think that the school has expended $2 million. Oy!
Please tell me my reading comprehension is weak. Please tell me I should go back to middle school English. I do hope they win their case because otherwise I'm afraid that the ongoing battle will just result in throwing good money after bad, a scenario which I'm afraid isn't uncommon.