Complaints to the second power

  • Written by Bob Rakow

First it was power washing, now it’s power tools.
An angry Hickory Hills resident returned to the city council last Thursday asking aldermen once again to intervene in an escalating dispute he’s having with a neighbor.
Gil Marek, of the 9300 block of 79th Avenue, asked aldermen to take action to prevent the neighbor from repairing campers in his driveway, which is located directly across the street from Marek’s house.
Marek said his neighbor has worked on at least three campers in recent weeks, which includes the use of power tools well into the night.
“There was some use of a metal grinder,” Marek said. “It was very noisy. That’s going over the border. Every day there’s something.”
Marek said his neighbor routinely works on vehicles in the driveway from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
“It’s too much,” he said. “I understand a little bit of hobby work.”
He added that many of his neighbors are angry about the situation, but are afraid to call the police and complain to the city.
Marek stood before aldermen several months ago complaining about the vehicle power washing his neighbor was doing.
He said the oil, grease and dust from many of the older vehicles being washed were draining into the sewers and could be harmful to the city’s storm water system.
Marek said he initially contacted Hickory Hills Police when his neighbor began power washing a truck at 11 p.m. on a Sunday.
Police, however, said there was nothing they could do about the situation and did not talk to his neighbor.
Police Chief Alan Vodicka said there’s little his department can do as long as Marek’s neighbor is not violating an ordinance, such working too late or violating noise restrictions. He said it is unlikely police did not talk to the man.
Vodicka added that there is no evidence that man is running a business from his home, which is prohibited by the city.
Mayor Mike Howley said at last Thursday’s meeting that the city will send Marek’s neighbor a letter reminding him of the ordinances.
“That will at least put him on notice,” Howley said.
Marek told the council during his first appearance that he has no conflicts with his neighbor other than the complaints he’s lodged with the city.
He said Thursday that he’ll attend future council meetings until the problem is resolved.
“I will not stop,” he said. “Every meeting, I will be here.”