Palatine, Kostka Reach Agreement in Court
Former Palatine village councilman Warren Kostka has 30 days to clean up the exterior debris in his property.
The village of Palatine and former councilman Warren Kostka reached an agreement in Cook County court Wednesday regarding several alleged violations on his property at 108 N. Forest Avenue.
Within 30 days—or by July 19—Kostka has agreed to move his unassembled storage shed sitting in his front yard to a spot mandated by the village, and will also remove exterior debris in his front yard, such as garbage and loosened sod. The two parties will reappear before a judge July 24 to determine Kostka’s compliance.
Palatine is suing Kostka over several alleged property violations, and since the May 17 court hearing, he has addressed some non-structural issues on his property, such as filling the trenches, trimming the tall grass and weeds and removing the fabric fencing and the asphalt and concrete slabs. Rather than going to trial, both parties are attempting to resolve the case by working out a time frame for compliance, said Palatine's attorney Patrick Brankin, at the June 20 hearing.
Kostka said he's willing to start working with the village on his property's ordinance violations because Palatine recently agreed to install a storm sewer extension in his neighbor’s yard, and he found out Wednesday in court that the village would do the same for him.
“If they’re willing to work with me, I’m willing to work with them,” Kostka said.
However, Village Manager Reid Ottesen said that for the past decade, Palatine has tried to work with Kostka to get something installed that would capture rainwater into a hard pipe, rather than let it saturate the ground, but Kostka had never been cooperative. The installation of a storm sewer extension pipe has nothing to do with Kostka's code enforcement lawsuit, Ottesen said, since the village has a program in place to work with any homeowner facing this issue.
Ottesen, who was in attendance at the hearing, said he is pleased with the hearing’s outcome and in getting a formal commitment that Kostka's property violations will be addressed.
Kostka, who ran for mayor in 2009 and served on the village council from 1997 to 2000, 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. Kostka said that his cost — repairs, flood damage, etc. — was in excess of six figures and he wanted the village to purchase his property. But in January, the council considered and rejected it.