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updated: 4/10/2012 11:26 PM

Palatine taking former councilman to court over violations

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  • Warren Kostka

    Warren Kostka


The longtime conflict between Palatine and former Councilman Warren Kostka over his property will soon move from village hall to a Cook County courtroom.

The village is taking legal action against Kostka and his wife, Gail, over a slew of violations -- which the couple claims are due to flooding the village caused -- at their property on the 100 block of North Forest Avenue.

"We've worked with him for quite some time to seek compliance for these violations, and we're left no choice but to pursue it in circuit court," Palatine Village Manager Reid Ottesen said Tuesday.

Palatine's complaint outlines 10 village ordinance violations on the property, including deep trenches with unstable and hazardous side slopes, sand bags, fabric fencing, a broken glass pane, a driveway in disrepair, piles of asphalt, garbage and refuse and missing siding, handrails and garage door paint.

The village inspected the property in response to neighbor complaints, according to the document.

The complaint also states that a sign posted on the property exceeds allowable square footage, referring to the banner hanging on Kostka's house that reads, "WANT WATER? Buy A Home In Palatine."

Kostka, who served on the village council from 1997 to 2005 and ran for mayor in 2009, said his flooding woes began when the village disconnected its combined sewer system a few years after he moved into his home in 1983. He said the storm sewer is inadequate and his property sits lower than nearby streets, leading water runoff to cause frequent and severe flooding.

Kostka said he dug trenches and put eight tons of sandbags on the property, saving him up to $80,000 in additional damage.

"They've destroyed my property and now they want me to fix it," Kostka said.

Numerous discussions about the village possibly buying Kostka's home have taken place, but they've always fallen apart. The council most recently voted against pursuing the purchase in January. Kostka regularly addresses officials at council meetings, and has accused the village of ruining his life.

Palatine's complaint claims fines of $500 per violation, per day. The village also seeks a court order requiring the Kostkas to correct the violations and pay reasonable attorney's fees and court costs.

A hearing is set for 9 a.m. Thursday, April 26, in courtroom 203 of the county courthouse in Rolling Meadows.

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