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Snow Problem: Elmhurst Man Charged in Connection With Neighbor Snow Squabble

Police say an Elmhurst man refused to remove the snow he shoveled onto a neighbor's property.

Credit: Joseph Hosey
Credit: Joseph Hosey
An Elmhurst man caught a disorderly conduct case for allegedly piling snow onto a neighbor's property.

Jimmy Koumoundouros, 52, of 466 E. Butterfield Road was charged about 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Koumoundouros "continues to shovel snow onto his neighbor's house," police said. "This causes concern for seepage into victim's basement."

Koumoundouros got a chance to slip the charge but didn't take it, police said.

"Offender was asked to removed the snow. He refused," police said. "Offender was cited for disorderly conduct (disturbing the property of another) and released on scene."

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5DecadesInElmhurs February 10, 2014 at 03:56 PM
Bound to happen..... There is almost no place left to put the snow. My property line is the edge of the driveway which goes to the back of the yard. The house is only eighteen inches off the driveway on that side. I've been shoveling that darn asphalt for fifty years and it is next to impossible to refrain from placing large amounts of snow of my neighbors property. However, the other side of the house has the reverse situation with that neighbor. They place their snow on my property. As my home is below grade, as compared to that neighbor, I could be a jerk and demand that they remove their snow from my property. But, what would stop my driveway neighbor from doing the same? What we do is to act as neighbors! we ALL have drainage problems, but we recognize that keeping the peace is more important than to complain. When the spring floods come (which they will in a huge way this year) I will get water from my uphill neighbors snow pile. How do I cope? I remind myself that the second greatest command is to, "Love thy neighbor as thyself." In this extreme winter I would hope that we would all abide by those words!
5DecadesInElmhurs February 10, 2014 at 04:02 PM
BTW-The City of Elmhurst has adopted a practice of reducing side yard easements. Previously a decent space interval was kept between Elmhurst homes. Now the homes are very tightly packed into the block which means that folks with rear garages have fewer options to place the snow. Fences are allowed to placed almost atop the property lines which further exacerbates snow removal. Our short sighted City Council has repeatedly show its shortsightedness by the frequent assent to builder zoning variances. Why is that? Maybe its because they self absorbed materialists who have never snow shoveled or run a lawn mower?
5DecadesInElmhurs February 10, 2014 at 04:06 PM
Also- At this time I would like to thank the City Council for the new garbage removal contract which entailed the new super large waste barrels. I really enjoy having to shovel a section of lawn on which to place these barrels. I have a grand time either digging, or moving the barrels, in order to use my one lane driveway. Oh, and its not just the one lane driveways, my two lane neighbors are now finding it necessary to dig a special spot for their barrels. Obviously, the above is sarcasm, but is it too much to ask that the town fathers anticipate the future and the consequences of their acts?
5DecadesInElmhurs February 10, 2014 at 04:09 PM
One last thing, the old hospital site will soon see fifty McTenements. I would hope that the zoning committee thinks about snow removal, and waste acess, when they approve the development. I am not hopeful that any of our Alderman will "get it," but if they fail, anmd their are problems up there, I propose that this new neighborhood be chritened "Morleyville."
Mark C February 10, 2014 at 04:22 PM
I agree 5DecadesINElmhurst. I recently moved in the area and I was surprised at how large the waste container is. Since we usually only have 1 bag a week, last week I put just the bag out in the morning. Unfortunately it was still there upon returning from work. Oh well I guess I have to drag out that huge can every time, for just 1 bag of garbage. However, seeing the large bill I receive every month makes it a bit more frustrating.
5DecadesInElmhurs February 10, 2014 at 04:23 PM
One more.... Does the City, now, have any guilt or shame as to selling off easements, or unbuildable parcels? Seems to me that some of those parcels would now be pretty handy for snow storage or future flood control. Just saying.....
Idont Givitout February 10, 2014 at 08:51 PM
This wouldn't be happening if the city weren't so greedy and changed ordinances the maintained 10' set backs to the property lines in favor of increased tax dollars from larger homes. It is EVERY Citizens right to clear their drives. The city should be held accountable for their mistakes and remove snow where it jeopardizes this.
Idont Givitout February 10, 2014 at 08:57 PM
Just wait now until a fire bursts out in these residences and due to the close proximity the neighbor ignites too. I do believe this was the original rational for the side setbacks as told to me by my father, originally moved here (Elmhurst) in the 1940's.Stop being greedy!!!!!! Same was true for height restrictions based on what the fire department could handle with equipment and water supply
Idont Givitout February 10, 2014 at 09:07 PM
@5decades....Back in my youth a neighbor sued their other neighbor for not following the fence code back then. Up to 4' was ok on the property line but over that 1 foot per foot over 4' was required. The second neighbor had an in-ground pool and not remaining space for the set back. They lost the suit and had to reduce the hieght......also on a second side note i am bothered by yours and others use of the term "McMansions" or in this case your "McTenements", McDonalds has nothing to do with people building larger homes which truly are far from being mansions. I personally would appreciate the discontinuation of this term although I do respect your (and others) choice to inaccurately use it! Thank you for your consideration.
Idont Givitout February 10, 2014 at 09:08 PM
I apologize in advance if I offended you
Justin Hunt February 11, 2014 at 02:07 AM
McMansion is in reference to the the 'super-size me' marketing upsell McDonalds used over a decade ago.
5DecadesInElmhurs February 11, 2014 at 10:22 AM
To: Idon't Give..... I'm very good with your response. Freedom of speech and expression is key to a free society. However, I'm going to continue using the above pejoratives to describe some area houses. Years ago, when the tear down craze began to show its ugly head, I used the term "mausoleum," to describe the new structures. I felt that the faux ornamentation, overly large garages, and massive size, looked cold & lifeless. But, that appellation never caught on.......
5DecadesInElmhurs February 11, 2014 at 10:24 AM
Justin - Also, like a certain type of fast food, these houses are not good for consumption.......
Sleeping Bear February 11, 2014 at 11:53 AM
I have to disagree. A blanket statement that these homes are not good shouldn't be made. I have been more than 5 decades in town as well and I don't recall this practice of allowing less side yard setbacks you allude the city is decreasing from the past? In the past (way back) there was no side yard setback dictated. Furthermore, the vast majority of these new homes don't have the 100 yard long driveways that the older homes did- this means less shoveling. You also blame the city for allowing people to put a fence on their property line as this "further exacerbates your snow removal" efforts. Get off it, maybe a code that requires everyone to kiss you tushy as you strut by? As a kid our driveway was over 6000 sq feet. THAT required a feat of snow removal. Newer homes have less snow sq footage to displace. If you want that mile long driveway to the rear, keep the damn snow on your own property. By the way, the older longer drives also have a much larger impervious area than the newer ones. Your mile long driveway therefore lets less water soak into the ground. What right do you have to dump snow on a neighbor?
Dante Laudati February 11, 2014 at 01:30 PM
My neighbor blows the snow from his drive ad it hits the side of my house. There are no windows on that side and the only one to use the walkway is the Comed meter person. I will clear the path after he's done blowing some of the snow back over and through the fence but it lands in the grass. I believe he is too uncaring to realize what he is doing.
Jim Court February 11, 2014 at 03:42 PM
There are many factors why someone would do this. Some are understandable, some are ignorant. The age and physical condition might not allow for alternatives. The parkway is technically the property of the city. Long driveways, unusually large amounts of snow with limited space to place it. Some people are so territorial that a little snow on their grass causes them to react strongly, perhaps overly so. I think the police should try to constructively resolve this as much as possible. Sending someone to Court may be good for police overtime but ends up alienating neighbors over trivial matters. This year has an unusually large amount of snow and flexibility is needed. Neighbors should learn to look out for each other, not fight over trivial issues. We do not need the trailer court fussin and feudin mentality in our fine community. I like most aspect of the McMansion's as they are called and I am glad for the revenue stream that they produce and the stature they bring to the community. Elmhurst has so many positives. I only want to see it continue to evolve and become the best community possible.
ME February 11, 2014 at 08:33 PM
I don't think this is a 'trivial' issue about someone blowing snow onto a neighbor's yard. It implies that they're blowing directly on the house. I actually have this same issue going on, where our neighbor goes across the driveway versus down and blows it 10' high onto the north side of my house. Not even a back an forth to utilize his own yard. With this report, I now have a precedence for future action. This person probably did as we did and asked them to stop doing it, and they continued. It's not a just a little neighborly issue...when the spring comes it doesn't slow melt - IT RAINS - then we get the 4-6' of piled up snow right at our foundation that seeps into the basement. We already spent a fortune in remediation to keep water from being an issue. We shouldn't have to worry about it because the neighbor is being rude. It's just a little more time consuming, and 'neighborly' to blow it onto his own property and/or down the driveway and then over (even onto our front yard or back yard). Just NOT directly onto my house, upper floor windows, all over my garage, over my privacy fence onto my deck and directly onto my foundation. That's just NASTY or DUMB...we assumed dumb and asked to stop. If you had this going on and worried about the upcoming thaw, you wouldn't be thinking 'just be nice neighbors'. And "no" neither of our houses are 'McMansions'
Idont Givitout February 11, 2014 at 08:55 PM
Sounds like someone has a very good blower!
Jorge Zapata February 11, 2014 at 10:16 PM
The thaw next week (and rain on top of it) is going to just be a damn mess. Does anyone remember if our last April's flood w/ 6 or 7 inches of rain also had a thaw prior to it? I thought it was just a wet month w/ one terrible night of rain, but would love a reminder as to how it went down (nervous as heck about basement flooding). Thx!
Idont Givitout February 11, 2014 at 11:03 PM
My shop vac is ready to go!
5DecadesInElmhurs February 12, 2014 at 01:39 PM
Sleeping Bear - The side yard setbacks do go "way back." You'll notice that home in the "Emery Subdivision," 100-200 blocks of South Kenilworth & Arlington, are nicely spaced out. As mentioned above, fire was a large reason as to why the town fathers, in the 1880's mandated certain distances between the homes. And yes, the City has decreased side setbacks from something like five feet per home to three (keeping in mind that this is measured from the outermost projection of the structure such as the eaves). On top of that, the City has increasingly granted variances for those poor builders who want to maximize house square footage. [another issue is the subdivision of the 100' lots into 50'. It used to be that the City considered 55' the minimum, but holding to that code means the poor builders cannot squeeze in an extra profit center, er, house.] The fence situation that I mentioned does seriously impact my neighbors snow shoveling. When he bought the place there was no fence. After ten years, a new neighbor, erected a seven foot stockade which butts up against the driveway. His house butts up against the driveway on the other side. This means that along the driveway, where the house and fence are located, all that snow has to be carried from there, to the front or back yards. How can you not see that this requires some extra work when the snow comes? The point was that the new fence changed the snow removal, created extra work, which does "exacerbate" snow removal. What is false about that statement? Where did I ask for a change of code? As for my "tushy," I shovel two "mile long" driveways by hand. I have never asked anyone to help me, and I do the neighbors as this Senior Citizen does not have the money, or muscle, to do much of anything else. I feel that criticism of past City Zoning should be discussed in the context of how some things were never thought through. I can very much repect your point of keeping the snow on ones own property, but didn't the City set up its own Citizens for failure when the approved these long driveways along the property lines? Looking back, what was the zoning logic? Either the City figured that tossing snow along the driveway was something that all the neighbors could deal with, or the City completely lacked imagination regarding snow removal. Let me also put it this way regarding a fence. I can legally enclose my side yard, with a stockade fence, that would be atop the property line along my neighbors driveway. That senior would then have an area 35' feet deep, and 80" wide where the snow would have to be picked up and moved a minimum of fifteen feet to the front or rear of that house. I would be well within my rights to build such a fence, but I will not as that would a dick move. And, ironically, I think about that when I shovel his drive and place that snow pile on my own property. You see, acting within ones rights, is not necessarily the same as doing what is right.
Idont Givitout February 12, 2014 at 03:41 PM
Etiquette, a lost art form in today's society! few of us have it and even fewer knows what it means! (I applaud you 5).
WLA February 12, 2014 at 05:17 PM
Weather like this requires a bit more neighborliness on all of our part, whether its being patient behind a driver you think is going too slow, tolerating your neighbor's early morning snow blowing. Once the weather warms up we can be jerks to each other again.

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