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Suit against North Hudson is dismissed, filed too late

Nearly 11 months after a group of North Hudson homeowners filed suit to reverse a zoning ordinance change by the Village Board, the action has been dismissed.

Judge Edward F. Vlack granted the village's motion to quash a writ of certiorari aimed at rescinding the board's decision to rezone a parcel of land to accommodate a new grocery store.

The judge also ruled in favor of the village's argument that even if the writ was the proper means to recall the decision, it was filed too late.

The 21 citizens filed a petition for the writ with the court on May 9 asking for the ordinance to be overturned and adjudicated null and void.

The village countered that the action was an inadequate remedy in this case and that the motion was filed after the deadline for such action.

On March 10, Judge Vlack noted in his opinion that statute requires a party seeking review by certiorari to file within 20 days of receipt of the final determination. Appellants filed writ of certiorari on May 9, 2007, some 63 days after the ordinance was enacted by the village on March 6, 2007.

The judge granted the village's motion to quash the writ.

"The underlying issue for appellants has always remained the same, to reverse and remand the zoning decision of March 6, 2007. Although appellants claim they raise new issues, what they offer are new arguments on the same issue. They do not make a new or modified demand," Vlack said.

The judge ruled that a clear policy behind the requirement is to avoid re-litigating the same underlying issue every time a party thinks of a new idea or finds new evidence.

"As appellants did not raise a new issue, which would have restarted the clock for statute of limitations purposes, and they did not file within limitation period, their petition for writ of certiorari must be dismissed," he said. "This order constitutes a final order for purpose of appeal."