Builders Gone Wild !
A visual tour of code violations in Elmhurst Illinois
Last update: April 13, 2009
This purpose of this site is to archive violations of Municipal and Zoning Codes at the time they occurred, and to show the detrimental effects they have on the quality of life in residential Elmhurst. City government should be concerned for the safety and well being of its citizens, not special interests. The burden of code enforcement shouldn't fall on the shoulders of the populace.
There are many who see Elmhurst as just a financial opportunity. To those who would rather make their fortune by ignoring the current ordinances, whether a builder or an elected official, you are breaking the law and you have no place here. If all you see are dollar signs and potential windfall when eyeing a property, remember that this is a community, not a commodity.
The following pictures document various violations at the time they occurred over the last five years. Some have been corrected, some still exist. The earlier pictures are undated because I never thought to do it. I didn't think this would continue into a fifth year. I stopped posting on this site from December 25, 2007 until April of 2009, but my hope is the new administration will recognize how corruption starts, with baby steps.
The goal of this site is to return to a reasonable quality of life. As citizens, we have no power to control this other than our votes. The rest is up to the officials who can make a difference. To those elected officials, do you remember the oath you swore upon your installation? You promised to uphold the Constitution, the Laws of Illinois and the Ordinances of Elmhurst. My guess is the Police Department took a similar oath. So why would an officer drive by a violation and not enforce the law? Why must a citizen complain first? Why are we selective as to which ordinances we enforce?
It would be a wonderful thing if we could have some after-hour code enforcement, or even some during hours.
The blatant volume of illegally posted campaign signs is a slap in the face to the citizens of Elmhurst.
Oh, and Barack called... he wants his trademarked logo back.
The Code Violation Hall of Shame
307 W Crescent
Real estate sign larger than the six square feet allowed by code, closer than 6 feet to the lot line and within the 45 foot sight triangle of intersection. Located next door to the mayor's home.
July 23, 2009
Illegally posted real estate sign on public parkway, staircase built on public property. Building commissioner Bruce Dubiel was notified of this in January of 2009.
July 23, 2009
204 W St Charles Rd
Illegally posted real estate sign on parkway, Multiple election signs within the required 45 foot sight triangle, signs within 2 feet of each other. Who lives here? The former Mayor.
Thanks for the code enforcement, Tom.
April 4, 2009
Pile of stone and scrap wood blocking the public walk.
November 21, 2007
Contactor illegally cutting brick pavers without the required wet saw. Kids were walking home from Lincoln School breathing this dust.
November 16, 2007
How would you walk down this sidewalk?
Schmidt Quality Construction
November 9, 2007
551 S Kenilworth
Code of Conduct sign is NAILED to the parkway tree.
October 13, 2007
Berkley and McKinley.
Backhoe and dump truck parked on residential lot in violation of Niusance Ordinance 12.02(f) which states "To cause or permit the parking or storage of any commercial vehicle over one ton in capacity or construction equipment on residential premesis except when making a delivery or rendering a service at such premesis."
October 11, 2007
Spring Road and Prairie Path Lane.
Take a seat on the park bench next to this sign and watch what goes on at this intersection. Very little of the vehicle traffic comes to a full and complete stop. Cyclists and pedestrians rarely stop for the stop signs located on the Prairie Path. Runners are oblivious to anything around them as they run full speed into traffic. Cars are double parked along Spring Road waiting for valets.
Now add to that mix a sign that restricts the view from Spring Road to Prairie Path Lane and
scrolls, flashes and blinks
with blinding colors.
When ordinances were enacted prohibiting the placement and functions of this sign, I assume they were for the safety and well being of the citizens. Those safety issues seem to have been overlooked in this case.
Elmhurst Sign Ordinances
and amaze yourself. This sign appears to violate the following sections of the code:
for a four minute video of this intersection. 95 cars passed through in four minutes with only FOUR coming to a complete stop. Of those four, only one car stopped without being forced to by oncoming traffic.
October 14, 2007
St Charles and Berkley.
Constuction trailer illegally parked on the lawn, obstructing the view of oncoming traffic. It's against code to park a trailer in your yard unless it's on a paved area such as a driveway. Rehabbing a house doesn't give you the freedom to ignore existing codes. When the building department was called, they had him move this trailer to the side yard, still illegally parked on the lawn. This condition existed for SIX days. Thousands of cars pass this location every day. If we had active code enforcement, would anyone in authority have noticed this?
This is a high profile intersection a block from both York High School and the railroad tracks.
October 3rd to October 9th, 2007
During the storm on the afternoon of August 23, 2007, a tree fell on the car of the building inspector. While we hope he's okay, this is a good lesson as to why you don't ignore ordinances such as parking backward on the wrong side of the street even if it's "only for a minute".
This time there was a life threatening situation and a severely damaged car.
For those who find this particular photo offensive and insensitive, it's EXACTLY the reason for the site. It was only a matter of time before someone got hurt. Bear that in mind while looking at some of the following pictures and imagine the possibility of injury or death that residents are exposed to on a regular basis.
511 S Kenilworth
Everyone's gone for the day and the truck is left illegally parked on the parkway and sidewalk. Your option here is either walk on the street or in the mud. This is the corner of Kenilworth and Vallette. Does anyone ever patrol for this kind of violation? This was reported to the Elmhurst Police on August 17th, and no one ever came out to correct it. This vehicle sat for another four days in this position.
August 17-20, 2007
On a day that reached 92 degrees, it was nice to take a leisurely stroll after dark when the temperature dropped a bit. Imagine the surprise of almost slamming headfirst into this pile of lumber directly in the path of the public walk. This is five feet in the air and three feet into the path of the walk. Picture this without the aid of the camera flash.
This material was delivered after normal working hours. If there were ANY patrols of the area after hours, wouldn't someone have noticed this? It wouldn't be so frustrating if this hadn't happened within the last month within a few blocks. This tells me that no qualified authority is patrolling the area.
August 6, 2007.
Pile of lumber encroaching into the sidewalk. It was nice of the builder to illegally block the sidewalk with a sawhorse so no one would walk into his after-hours illegally delivered material.
This particular situation was corrected by a call to the Fire Chief, but should it have to come to that? Police don't know what to do with this situation. We need someone in authority proactively patrolling after hours to make sure this doesn't occur. The protection for the precious parkway tree is also doing a bangup job.
July 2, 2007
Workers still banging away at 8:30 pm on June 28, 2007. Police were notified. Why must we continue to be subjected to this?
City Worker? Contractor? It's hard to tell, but how many times must this happen? If the guy cutting the street wants to die of silica dust, that's great, but the city should be interested in the well being of the helpless neighbors breathing this stuff.
July 10, 2007
Excavation for footing has collapsed within 8 inches of the public walk. One misstep and you're 8 feet in a hole. Turn to your left and you can use the porta potty conveniently located on the public parkway. Notice the family walking by with their little girl on her bike with training wheels. How safe is this?
These violations existed over the weekend of March 11-12 2007.
203 S West Ave.
How is it possible that a foundation was allowed to be poured in a residential neighborhood 2 feet 10 inches from the lot line? The setback requirement in this zoning district is 5 feet. Didn't the inspector notice the proximity to the neighbor's fence?
Contractor illegally cutting paver bricks without the required wet saw. The dust from this mess was drifting across the street and over the Prairie Path. Silica dust, anyone?
This was reported to the building department, and three hours later...
...this is what was left. Lets count the violations, shall we? Bricks on the street, pile of gravel on the street, bricks on the parkway, porta potty on the parkway, pile of dirt on the parkway, contractor's sign on the parkway, realtors sign on the parkway.
If a car was coming around the corner, do you think he would see the man on the bike through these 7 visual obstructions?
This was reported to the building department and the police on April 10, 2007. Most of the violations were corrected the next day, but the pile of dirt on the parkway was there until April 19th.