Four private properties on Kane County's demolition list

 
 
Updated 1/17/2019 4:10 PM
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  • Algonquin Trustee Laura Brehmer pushed Kane County officials to demolish a privately owned home near a local middle school that's been abandoned for years.

      Algonquin Trustee Laura Brehmer pushed Kane County officials to demolish a privately owned home near a local middle school that's been abandoned for years. James Fuller | Staff Photographer

A longtime hazard for Westfield Middle School students in Algonquin may face a bulldozer in coming weeks.

The property, on the 19N100 block of Sleepy Hollow Road in Dundee Township, is one of four on Kane County's list of blighted properties.

The program sees county officials seek permission through the courts to demolish abandoned or dangerous properties even while they are still privately owned. The county then places a lien on the property to recoup the cost of the demolition upon any future sale.

County development director Mark VanKerkhoff said the properties, which all are located in unincorporated areas, come to the county's attention through various complaints.

County board member Chris Kious delivered a petition signed by 48 neighbors to the Sleepy Hollow Road house citing "vulgar, hate-filled graffiti" on the outside of the home, broken windows and a history of police calls to the property in asking the county to intervene.

The property sits a half-mile south of Westfield Middle School, near the intersection with Longmeadow Parkway. All the surrounding property is within Algonquin village limits.

"I drive past this house on a daily basis," Algonquin Village Trustee Laura Bremer said. "It's been vacant for at least seven years. I've seen sheriff's police in the driveway. It's been in disrepair for years. Please follow the ordinance and take immediate action on this property."

Members of the county board's development committee agreed to do just that. The sheriff's office will receive direction to arrest anyone found trespassing on the property instead of issuing warnings.

A preliminary unanimous vote put the property among four set to begin the legal process. The other properties on the list are on the 6N900 block of Fox River Ave. in St. Charles Township; the 41W700 block of Russell Road in Plato Township and the 34W100 block of Fox River Drive in Dundee Township.

This is the sixth year of the demolition program and the county initiated 18 orders for demolition in that time. The county completed demolition on eight of those 18.

Banks with interests in the properties razed eight others. The remaining two saw owners energized by the legal action to perform their own improvements.

County officials used $200,000 of riverboat gambling proceeds to start the program. It then received a $250,000 state grant, allowing it to repay about half the riverboat funds used. County staff will apply for another state grant to keep the program moving forward.

The full county board must take a final vote to begin the legal procedures on all four properties.

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