A circuit court judge has delayed the resumption of an Evanston Land Use Commission hearing on the Connections for the Homeless special use permit to continue operating the Margarita Inn as a homeless shelter until April 26.

Alan Didesch, an attorney for neighboring property owner Cameel Halim, says Judge Neil Cohen Thursday granted his client extra time to prepare for the LUC hearing, which the city had proposed holding next Wednesday.

Didesch says that at the Thursday hearing before Judge Cohen an attorney for Connections sought to intervene in the case and to have the court injunction calling for a continuation of the hearing dismissed as moot.

But Didesch says that after Cohen said it might take as long as six months to reach a decision on the request to dismiss the injunction and that during that time the injunction likely would remain in effect, Connections withdrew its request.

The Land Use Commission had voted 5-3 on Nov. 30 to recommend that the City Council approve the special use permit for the homeless shelter, after the city’s legal staff told the commissioners they were not obliged under their rules to grant Halim’s request for a continuance.

But Judge Cohen, Didesch said, ruled that the right to a continuance was guaranteed not only by the city’s zoning code, but also by procedural due process protections of the state and federal constitutions.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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