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Article updated: 10/25/2012 12:33 PM

Former Palatine councilman ordered to clean up property

By Eric Peterson

Former Palatine village councilman Warren Kostka received a court order Wednesday to remove a tarp and boards from his house within 30 days and to fully comply with all village codes within 60 days.

Though village officials and neighbors have been fighting Kostka over the state of delayed renovations to his house on the 100 block of Forest Avenue since March, Palatine Attorney Patrick Brankin said there's every reason to believe the issue can and will be resolved by year's end.

"We're pleased with the judge's ruling and we look forward to the property being brought into compliance," Brankin said.

Neither Kostka nor his attorney could be reached for comment after Wednesday's hearing at the Cook County courthouse in Rolling Meadows.

But Kostka previously has claimed that the cost of repairing the property would equal that of building a new house. He blames the problems -- which include missing siding and a driveway in disrepair -- to flooding that began 25 years ago when Palatine's stormwater and sewer systems were separated.

In the meantime, neighbors have called the house, with its blue tarp covering and boarded-up windows, an eyesore that's hurting their property values. At a court hearing last month, some expressed concern that the house's appearance wouldn't be straightened up before the onset of winter.

At that time, Cook County Judge Margarita Kulys Hoffman told Kostka that he would need to come up with proposals, cost estimates and a timeline for the necessary improvements.

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