A neighboring property owner has sued to overturn the special use permit the City of Evanston granted Connections for the Homeless to operate a shelter at the Margarita Inn.
Cameel Halim, who owns two properties on the 1500 block of Oak Avenue where the shelter is located, claims in his suit that the city, in approving the homeless shelter use, failed to follow standards set by the state supreme court for granting special use requests.
He argues that the City Council failed to consider the the existing uses and zoning of nearby properties, the extent to which the zoning change diminishes his property value and the suitability of the property for the permitted use.
He also claims that two council members should have recused themselves because of alleged conflicts of interest, and that, if they had done so, the special use ordinance would have lacked the five votes required for approval.
The suit has been scheduled for an initial hearing before Cook County Circuit Judge Thaddeus Wilson on Oct. 12.
Connections has operated the shelter, with a capacity of about 70 residents, at the former boutique hotel since March of 2020, initially under an emergency agreement with the city, but zoning approval to make the use permanent wasn’t granted until last month.