Judge suspends demolition of church properties in Rockford

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) A judge has stepped in and suspended efforts to demolish a 90-year-old building and vacant convent that belong to the Catholic Church in Rockford.

Judge Lisa Fabiano heard arguments Friday and set a May 24 hearing on a preliminary injunction. No work can be performed.

The diocese wants to demolish the chancery and convent to make room for parking, a prayer space and a community garden. The Rockford Register Star says demolition permits were issued Thursday night.

Demolition opponents sued after the Rockford City Council failed to come up with enough votes to grant landmark status to the Cathedral of St. Peter properties. The proposal won a majority of votes but not a required 10-vote super-majority.

A group calling itself "Save Piety Hill" says the council can't ignore the recommendation of a local historic preservation commission.

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Information from: Rockford Register Star, http://www.rrstar.com

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