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Property still in violation of village codes

Neighbors complain about water, threaten officials with legal action

June 21, 2007

A property on North Birch Hill Court continues to violate Fox Point village code and, neighbors say, to be the source of standing water that has found its way to adjacent lots.

Despite an impending $25,000 court-ordered fine, Chester Daxe, the owner of the vacant lot at 6586 N. Birch Hill Court has yet to take the necessary steps to resolve standing water issues, according to a letter sent to the village by property owners who call themselves "the Neighbors of the Chester Daxe Mess."

According to an e-mail sent June 12 by village Building Inspector Scott Miller to Village Manager Susan Robertson, stone retaining walls on the property are still in violation of a grading plan and a silt fence is still in violation of village code.

Miller also indicated that he had not received documentation showing that the matting material installed in a drainage swale complies with the grading plan.

Miller did write, however, that the site grading "meets the intent of the proposed grading plan," according to a report filed with the village from its surveyor, Ruekert & Mielke.

Village trustees and officials have met behind closed doors to discuss this issue on more than a dozen occasions during the past year.

"The board has considered the matter in closed session but has not taken any action," Robertson said. "Anything that has been talked about has been talked about in closed session so it would not be appropriate for me to provide any information."

Daxe had until April 30 to comply with a court-ordered agreement with the village.

The agreement stipulated he was required to hire an engineering firm to monitor and approve a site plan and to hire contractors to get the site in compliance with village code.

If Daxe did not comply, he would owe the village $25,000.

The group of neighbors gave the village a choice in the letter, either obey the court order and correct the ordinance violations or disobey the court order and "face a costly, embarrassing and very public legal fight with residents against their own village."

Attempts to reach Daxe were unsuccessful, and his lawyer Mark Pollack, former village president, said he thought his client did not wish to speak to the press.

Pollack said the standing water neighbors continue to complain about is not caused by work that was done at the property.

"It is caused by a depression, kind of a saucer that exists on that adjacent property," Pollack said. "Mr. Daxe's responsibility was to comply with the grading plan, which he has done."

Pollack added that his client is working to resolve the issues with the retaining walls and fence.

"I can't give a definite date. We are working on it," he said.

Brendan O'Brien can be reached at (262) 446-6602 or bobrien@cninow.com.

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