Lawsuit could be next step in Fareway dispute

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Neighbors fighting against the site of a new Fareway grocery store in Rock Island say they could end up filing a lawsuit if the project gets the greenlight.

"There has been talk about legal action", said Stephen Klien, an Augustana College professor who lives in the neighborhood near Audubon School.

"The word is a lawsuit will be filed immediately if the city council votes for this.The thing I want to tell the city council is zoning laws exist for a reason", he said.

The proposed plan would raze the vacant school, and replace it with the grocery store. Fareway has a $475,000 option to buy the property.

Some neighbors say the project is too big for the space, and offers zero buffer between the store and the residential neighborhood behind it.

"The whole point behind zoning laws is backyards are important, front yards are important, neighborhood gathering spaces, are important", Klien said.

Fareway representatives, neighbors, and residents for and against the project are expected at a special public hearing on Monday night at City Hall.

The city's planning commission has already rejected zoning changes requested by Fareway, but the council could over-ride the recommendation.

A vote on the plan is expected in the next few weeks.

Get more of our coverage of proposals for the former Audobon School building - click here.