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Article updated: 12/6/2012 3:52 PM

Palatine officials happy with progress at Kostka property

By Kimberly Pohl

The years-long property dispute between a controversial former Palatine council member and the village appears headed to a resolution that doesn't include fines or a demolition order.

Warren Kostka abided by Cook County Judge Margarita Kulys Hoffman's instructions to remove a tarp and boards from his house on the 100 block of North Forest Avenue, code violations village officials considered dangerous life-safety issues.

"Those were the major ones," Village Manager Reid Ottesen said after a brief hearing Thursday morning at the courthouse in Rolling Meadows. "From our standpoint, he's in compliance with the current court order."

Kostka has until the end of the year to address the more minor violations that remain, including cleaning up debris on the property, patching up parts of broken driveway and repairing missing siding. He's due back in court Jan. 11.

The normally outspoken Kostka didn't attend Thursday's status hearing and couldn't be reached for comment. His attorney, Robert Egan, also didn't return messages.

Kostka, who served on the village council from 1997 to 2005 and ran for mayor in 2009, blames his property woes on frequent severe flooding. He claims Palatine caused the flooding when it disconnected its stormwater and sewer systems 25 years ago.

More than half of his home is now affected by differential settlement, he said. An engineering report he commissioned attributed disrepair problems, including a sagging roof, to the foundation settlement.

In October, he got a quote from a Palatine construction company stating it would cost nearly $165,000 to remove and replace the damaged section of his house.

Neighbors upset with the state of the property, which at times also has included trenches, sandbags and a banner reading "WANT WATER? Buy A Home In Palatine," have complained to the village and attended court proceedings. Their complaints partly prompted the village's legal action against Kostka and his wife back in March.

"This has been going on for several years," Ottesen said. "I'll be happy to have this matter behind us."

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