Home improvement project continued until next month

  • Cliff McIlvaine, a St. Charles homeowner under fire for a long-running construction project, talks outside his home in May 2013.

    Cliff McIlvaine, a St. Charles homeowner under fire for a long-running construction project, talks outside his home in May 2013. Harry Hitzeman | Staff Photographer

Updated 2/6/2014 5:10 PM

A Kane County judge said Thursday he wants more information before possibly allowing the city of St. Charles to again take over the home addition project of Cliff McIlvaine.

Judge David Akemann wants attorneys from both sides to agree on a list of items for McIlvaine to complete or remove and will rule on the issue in mid-March.


"We are happy the judge has required (the city) to be more clear on what is expected of Mr. McIlvaine," said McIlvaine's defense attorney, Philip Piscopo.

St. Charles officials sued McIlvaine in fall 2010, saying he had not let city inspectors at his home in the 600 block of Prairie Street since he was first issued a permit in 1975.

McIlvaine and city officials eventually inked a "consent decree," with McIlvaine agreeing to complete the project by September 2012.

But McIlvaine missed numerous deadlines and was jailed for two weeks for contempt of court in summer 2012 for refusing to connect to the city water supply.

In May 2013, Akemann ruled the city could take over certain aspects of the project, such as installing a conventional, asphalt shingle roof, burying an exposed power line and erecting an exterior staircase on the west side of the home.

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Still, McIlvaine's project languished, and the city moved to once again take over the project and clean up the site -- at McIlvaine's expense.

Akemann on Thursday rejected Piscopo's move to dismiss the contempt charges, but agreed more detail was needed for the city to define exactly what rubbish and construction debris it wants removed and what portions of the consent decree and city codes mandate the work be completed.

"I can make the call on whether he is specifically required to do that," said Akemann, who will decide on the list March 18.

St. Charles City Attorney Phil Luetkehans said the city doesn't want to throw McIlvaine in jail or take away his property.

"It's pretty clear. We just want him to comply with the consent decree. That's all we ask," Luetkehans said. "I want this project done and that's what the city wants."

In the meantime, Piscopo said McIlvaine is "willing to talk to the city to reach an amicable solution."

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