An anti-abortion organization that operates an ultrasound bus for pregnant women can continue providing services out of a mobile unit in Elgin now that it has reached a settlement with the north suburban city involving zoning regulations.
The Life Center Inc., a religious organization, filed a lawsuit against the city of Elgin after an ordinance was put in place in 2012 restricting how often the bus could make stops in the same spot.
The city had filed a motion to dismiss the Christian organization's lawsuit, but U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan sided with The Life Center this past August, stating that Elgin's "code is unduly burdensome to the right of a woman to choose life."
According to a news release issued Thursday by the city of Elgin, the municipality and The Life Center entered into a settlement agreement on January 16.
"The settlement includes the dismissal of the subject lawsuit, the city agreeing to provide for certain amendments to its temporary use regulations and the city paying attorneys’ fees and court costs," the statement reads. “The settlement agreement provides for an amicable resolution of the matter and allows the parties to avoid additional expenses relating to the litigation."
As part of the agreement, Elgin officials will move to tweak the city's zoning ordinance. The city will also waive the fees associated with permits for non-profits that work out of mobile units. The settlement, pegged at $280,000, helps to pay for some of the non-profit's legal expenses.
"We said early in the litigation they're a valued member of the Elgin community, and we were hoping to resolve it and we're pleased that we have now," Elgin city attorney William Cogley told the Chicago Tribune.