Cathedral Campus Updates Halted Again
May 23, 2019
ROCKFORD—Even though preservation advocates had failed to gain landmark status for buildings owned by the Cathedral of St. Peter Parish and the Rockford Diocese their efforts to stop future plans for diocesan property continues. 
 
The Rockford City Council after many months of meetings, discussion and review ruled on May 6 to deny landmark status. 
 
Applications for demolition for the former Chancery and convent were filed May 7 so plans could move forward for prayer and meditation gardens and additional parking for the Cathedral parish. 
 
The necessary permits were issued late May 16, the same day some neighbors and a group  calling themselves “Save Piety Hill” filed a lawsuit against the City of Rockford. 
 
The lawsuit alleges that the City of Rockford violated its ordinances by voting against landmarking. The group is asking that the City treat the buildings as landmarked property and prevent all demolition.
 
On the morning of May 17 the City of Rockford issued a Stop Work Order requesting that the diocese provide proof its contractor had issued demolition notification to adjacent property owners. 
 
Also that morning, the court heard arguments from lawyers for the plantiff group on their motion for a Temporary Restraining Order to prevent the City of Rockford from issuing permits for demolition even though the permits had already been issued. 
 
At 10:30 a.m. May 17, Judge Lisa Fabiano ruled that the work stoppage order be extended until a preliminary hearing is held on whether to issue a preliminary injunction against demolition. That hearing was set for May 24 at 1 p.m. 
 
Even though the Diocese of Rockford is not a party to the lawsuit, in order to protect its rights, lawyers for the diocese were set to file a motion to intervene before the hearing on May 24.