A group of frustrated neighbors filed into the courtroom, anxiously awaiting the court’s decision in the Village of Palatine’s lawsuit against Warren Kostka Thursday morning.
Past their breaking points, several neighbors audibly scoffed at some of the statements made by the attorney representing Kostka during the hearing.
Kostka’s attorney told the judge it’s “a very serious possibility” that his client will demolish his home at 108 N. Forest Ave.
“It’s all a ploy,” said neighbor, Bob Boldog, “He’s not going to demolish anything.” Boldog was one of several neighbors to attend the hearing in Rolling Meadows.
To give Kostka time to determine if demolition would be cheaper than compliance, his attorney asked the judge for a two-month extension.
“It’s the same pony tricks,” said neighbor Brett Soukup, “We’ve already been through this.” Soukup said Kostka is just waiting to use the cold weather as an excuse to postpone work on his property.
Palatine attorney Patrick Brankin voiced similar concerns to Cook County Judge Margarita Kulys Hoffman at Thursday’s hearing. Brankin told the judge he did not want to have the two parties return to court in December and have Kostka say, ‘OK, judge we’re not going to demolish the house but it’s winter time so we can’t do any work.’
The judge granted a one-month extension and told Kostka he must present proposals and estimates for demolition or a timeline for the repair work at the next hearing in October.
In the meantime, Brankin said Kostka should have to get other violations, citing the driveway and the boards on the roof, into compliance.
The judge told Brankin she was not going to order Kostka to repair something if he was just going to tear it down but did order Kostka to clear his property of trash and debris.
“And he just has to clean up garbage,” Soukup said as he shook his head outside of the courtroom.
“I’m sick of this,” said Boldog, “It’s a joke.” Boldog said Kostka keeps giving the Village the run around and the court has yet to stop him.
“Obviously, I think we’re all just frustrated,” neighbor Pamela Panczyk said. “At this point, I think everyone realizes he’s taking advantage of the situation,” said Panczyk, “We need a judgment.”
Kostka is due back in court Oct. 24 for a status hearing.
Palatine is suing Kostka over several alleged property violations, in January, the village conducted a visual inspection of Kostka’s property at 108 N. Forest Ave. and discovered several ordinance violations consisting of:
- Changes to the property's grading that have been done in a manner as to create a nuisance that consist of deep trenches with unstable and hazardous side slopes; sand bags; various spoil piles of dirt, asphalt and concrete remaining on property; fabric fencing; exposed dirt areas with no permanent or temporary vegetative cover.
- Missing sections of siding, gutters and downspouts, handrails and guardrails.
- Broken pane of glass in the south elevation window.
- Driveway in disrepair.
- Wood boards lying on the roof.