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Development Opponents Say City Tricked Them To Drop Legal Challenge

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Opponents of a development in the Uptown neighborhood that is displacing the homeless are accusing the city of tricking them into dropping their opposition.

WBBM's Nancy Harty reports.

Homeless people were removed last fall from the pedestrian mall near the former Stuart School, which is being turned into luxury condos. Andy Thayer, an organizer with the Uptown Tent City, claimed the city law department enticed them to a drop a challenge to the buildings' permit at the mall.

After they dropped their challenge, Thayer said Chicago granted a more encompassing permit, allowing the condo developer to occupy the space the homeless people were kicked out of. He claims the new permit is not needed for the project and wants to sue the city saying it granted the permit under false pretenses.

"It is frankly just a campaign of harassment to force out poor people, out of our ward," he said.

A spokesman for the city's law department is looking into the matter.

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