Baha'is claim the ownership of disputed land near Baha'i Temple of Chicago

There's some dispute about whether the expanding lakeshore in front of Wilmette's Baha'i Temple is owned by the Baha'is or the state. (Phil Velasquez, Chicago Tribune)
March 22, 2012 | By John P. Huston, Chicago Tribune reporter

No one disputes that a small stretch of beach along Lake Michigan in Wilmette has grown larger in the past 40 years.

Once just a sliver of sandy shore, it's now about 2 acres, thanks either to a natural accumulation of sand or perhaps some man-made help. Whatever the cause, the rare new chunk of real estate on the North Shore became controversial when a Wilmette Park District official said it would enhance the potential acquisition of the lease to an adjacent boat harbor by the district.

But officials with the Baha'i faith, whose temple rises in front of the beach property, insist the land isn't the Park District's to take — it's long been theirs, they say, and they have no desire to give it up.

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