Bonnie Spangler, from the 3400 block of Prestwick Ln., addressed the Northbrook Board of Trustees at Village Hall during their regular meeting Tuesday night, raising questions about the village's policy toward home contractors.
"I'm here to help my friends and neighbors in Northbrook from suffering through what I have endured over the past several years by having the misfortune of living between construction on both sides of my house," Spangler said.
To the west of Spangler's home, she said a ranch-style house was demolished and replaced by a mansion. To the east, a "super size" colonial is being constructed. Spranger presented an open letter with the following concerns:
- What is the definition of remodeling in Northbrook and should it be changed? Is the village losing revenue by being too lax?
- The importance of a contractor to erect a solid fence around a construction site for safety and liability issues.
- Lost income for the village from tax breaks for remodeling.
- Should the placement of vents be regulated? Is it fair for contractors to put vents facing neighbor's houses, which emit noxious gasses and allergens?
- Regulating building heights with only nine yard side-yards that alter the look of neighborhoods by having houses closer together.
- Hiring a mediator who can deal with the issues that arise between contractors and neighbors. This would free up police to handle more important issues.
- Respect for neighbors contractors.
- Consideration for beautiful, mature trees.
Spangler's friend and neighbor, Pauline Shoback, also addressed the Board to reiterate concerns.
"I have not directly experienced any of the issues with the construction, but I have been around to see the debris and the mess that was left," Shoback said. "...with contractors treating people like they don't count, that's been her experience."
Trustee James Karagianis, who served as President pro tempore at Tuesday's meeting in the absence of Village President Sandy Frum, said the Village Manager would review Spangler's questions and suggestions.
"I think you do raise some interesting points," he said. "It's always somebody else's problem, and when it becomes yours it's different, and we do recognize that."
If you've experienced problems with neighbor's contractors, share your story in the comments below or on Facebook. Do you think the village should revise its policy on contractor rights and responsibilities?