Just two weeks after the city of Chicago gave the go ahead for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art to procure a 99 year lease on the Chicago Lakefront from the Chicago Park District, a federal court has indicated that it will not give a decision until February regarding a case brought by Friends of the Parks against the City.
In a hearing to determine whether the Friends of the Park would be allowed to pursue their lawsuit, Federal Judge John W. Darrah, has given the park watchdog group until December 3th to address the cities motion to dismiss the case. If Judge Darrah allows the lawsuit to go forward, it will only be the beginning of what may become a protracted legal battle over the MAD Designed museum. Until this decision, construction was planned to begin as early as spring of 2016.
Friends of the Parks claim the Chicago Park District does not have the right to lease lakefront land to the Lucas Museum based Illinois’ public trust doctrine. That doctrine states, though vaguely, that land along Lake Michigan must be protected for public use. This has often been interpreted that no private business, or in some cases any construction, should happen along the lakefront.