Chicago Residents Want City To Buy Their Homes, Claiming Living Near O’Hare Airport Is A Noisy Nightmare

A group of residents living near O’Hare International Airport are suing the city of Chicago, seeking to make the city buy their homes. They claim their houses have become unlivable after a spike in jet noise from O’Hare, after a new runway opened two years ago.

About 50 homeowners have joined the cause, saying that since the new runway opened, there’s been a major shift in flight patterns that has forced them to live with the drone of jets flying above their homes night and day.

“They now have a volume of eight or nine hundred planes literally coming over the treetops of their houses,” the homeowners’ attorney tells CBS Chicago. The noise from a “constant barrage” of jumbo jet airliners, cargo carriers and commercial aircraft has turned their lives into a nightmare, he added.

The area had few planes overhead before the new runway opened in October 2013, prompting new flight patterns at O’Hare that have sent hundreds of flights over their homes, which don’t lie within the existing O’Hare noise contour map. That guide hasn’t been revised since the first new runway opened at O’Hare in 2008. Those homeowners included within the contour map qualify for taxpayer funded soundproofing.

They can’t sell their homes because of the near constant jet noise, the group’s attorney says, so Chicago should buy them out.

“You’re saying the city essentially condemned your property without giving you compensation,” the lawyer said. “The city of Chicago has essentially wreaked havoc on their lives, and diminished the property value, and just made the area unlivable.”

The lawsuit seeks to force the city to buy their homes at fair market value — based on what they were worth before the new runway was installed — at a cost estimated at between $10 million to $15 million.

Bensenville Residents Sue City, Claim O’Hare Noise Makes Homes Unlivable [CBS Chicago]

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