Landmark Decision Now Set for May 6
May 2, 2019
ROCKFORD—The Rockford City Council Codes and Regulations Committee, April 29,  affirmed their unanimous decision to recommend denial of applications to landmark three buildings on the Cathedral of St. Peter campus.
This decision comes after the Rockford City Council tabled a vote on the applications and sent the matter back to the Codes and Regulations committee for further review.
 How You Can Help the Bishop
Due to problems at the printer, the final paragraph of Bishop David Malloy’s open letter asking “the people of all 11 counties of this diocese to join me in asking the Rockford City Council to deny the petition for landmark status, thereby allowing the Church to continue to use its land and buildings to further the faith now and in the generations to come ... ,” was printed incompletely.
You still have time to heed the bishop’s request:
“I invite you all to contact the members of the City Council before May 6 at
I also invite as many as are able to attend the next meeting of the full Rockford City Council set for May 6 at 5:30 p.m., at City Hall, 425 E. State St.
in Rockford.”
The Cathedral parish and the Rockford Diocese oppose the applications.
The decision on whether or not to landmark the former convent, the Cathedral of St. Peter School and the former chancery building was sent back to the committee by the council on April 15. 
Alderman Frank Beach asked the council to lay the vote over to the May 6 meeting to allow the committee to recommend a compromise or give time for the diocese to consider plans for redevelopment. 
The council is required to vote by a 2/3 majority when historic landmark designation is sought without consent of the landowner. According to City Council rules, the matter must be decided by May 6 or the petition dies.
Lawyers for the Diocese of Rockford and representatives of the Friends of Ziock, a local group of citizens who filed the landmark applications, met with the committee to see if a compromise could be suggested. 
The diocese agreed to the meeting to reaffirm its position that no part of the cathedral campus is for sale or lease, therefore redevelopment for commercial or residential use for non-religious purposes is not possible.
The Diocese of Rockford has continually maintained it is not just one neighborhood and one city but 11 counties in  northern Illinois. 
The Friends of Ziock believe the buildings and property should be landmarked for preservation in order to gain tax incentives for secular and commercial enterprises. 
The diocese reminded members of the committee and the Friends of Ziock that this kind of development does not serve the mission of the Church and that it is the constitutional right of the Church to use its property and buildings to exercise the faith and to make decisions on its use.
Petitions to landmark the former the buildings were filed in December 2018 after the diocese and the Cathedral Parish announced in November 2018 a plan to raze the former convent and chancery to make way for additional cathedral parking and green space that will include a prayer and meditation gardens dedicated to the Virgin Mary under her titles of the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe. 
The Diocese of Rockford, as well as Rockford architect, Dan Roszkowski, maintain the buildings do not qualify for landmark status because none of the buildings meet the primary criteria for historic designation which states that a “structure or site must retain the integrity and spirit of the original design.” 
The former chancery and convent have been vacant for about 10 years.