Kostka Clash Frustrates Neighbors; Court Hearing Extended
The next status hearing is set for May 17.
A handful of Warren Kostka’s neighbors that attended the April 26 court hearing to testify on behalf of Palatine didn’t get the chance to voice their frustrations over the state of Kosta’s deteriorating property.
The two parties appeared briefly in Cook County Court Thursday, when Kostka’s attorney, Richard Belmonte, who appeared in lieu of Robert Egan, asked for an extension to answer the complaint filed by the village. Belmonte has until May 10 to answer the complaint, after which the next status hearing is set for May 17.
“I came because I wanted to show my support for the village of Palatine,” said Pamela Panczyk, who lives two doors down from Kostka.
Panczyk said she took time away from work this morning to attend the hearing because she believes Kostka’s property is a hazard to public safety.
“In the winter his yard floods and ice freezes over the sidewalk making it dangerous to walk on,” she said.
Palatine is taking Kostka, a former village council memeber, to court over several alleged violations on his property at 108 N. Forest Avenue. In addition to a fine of $500 per day per violation, the village is seeking an injunction to force Kostka to correct the violations and to also pay the cost of the village’s attorney’s fees.
Kostka has said that a federally mandated project to separate Palatine's sanitary sewer and storm water system in the 1980s resulted in flood damage to his home. In January, the council considered and rejected authorizing village staff to negotiate a purchase of Kostka's home.
Kostka ran for mayor in 2009 and served on the Village Council from 1997 to 2000.
Gary Bogenberger, who lives 75 yards away from Kostka’s house, also attended the hearing. He said he’s been trying to sell his house, and while he’s had 60 showings, two dozen of those have expressed concern about the state of Kostka’s property.
Another neighbor, Bob Boldog, who’s lived next door to Kostka for nine years, said he started filing complaints six months ago when his kids said they were unable to play basketball in the driveway because garbage piles on Kostka’s lawn smelled so bad.