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Local News

Downers Grove woman involved in neighbor dispute begins journey to code compliance

Violet Radwell cited for inoperable vehicle on property, barbed wire along fence line

Violet Radwell points toward her house while discussing property maintenance issues raised by the village of Downers Grove and her neighbor. She has begun taking steps to bring her property into compliance with village code.
Violet Radwell points toward her house while discussing property maintenance issues raised by the village of Downers Grove and her neighbor. She has begun taking steps to bring her property into compliance with village code.

DOWNERS GROVE – A Downers Grove woman who is embroiled in a dispute with a neighbor over the condition of her property is taking steps to rectify the problem.

Violet Radwell, who in May received citations from the village for having an inoperable vehicle on her property and barbed wire along her fence line, appeared July 10 in DuPage County Circuit Court and received a continuance until Aug. 7.

“She’s been making slow, steady progress,” village code enforcement officer Robert Sandmann said after the hearing. “We’re going to continue on that front.”

Specifically, Radwell, who lives in the 5400 block of Grand Avenue, recently had a large tree removed from her property. Removing the tree creates room to tow a broken-down box truck from the parcel.

“I had to hire three guys,” Radwell said. “[Removing the tree] was a big job.”

She added the box truck cannot be moved off her property until the ground around it is leveled.

The condition of Radwell’s property was brought to light a few months ago by her next-door neighbor Victoria Masciopinto.

Masciopinto wants to sell her home, but she says the condition of Radwell’s property has made that endeavor nearly impossible.

Masciopinto has lived in her five-bedroom home for 20 years. She wants to downsize, but potential buyers quickly lose interest in her home when they see the neighboring property, she said.

In addition to the box truck, a broken-down pickup truck and other tarp-covered vehicles are on Radwell’s property. A collection of tires, hubcaps, bumpers and lumber sit near the rear of the parcel.

Masciopinto has complained to the village for more than a year about the parcel, which she has described as an "eyesore."

She did not appear in court July 10 but expressed disappointment with the village’s approach to the problem in an email.

“Sandmann is there pacifying the severity of her infractions and essentially working to let the court go easy on behalf of Violet,” she wrote. "How long is she going to get to remove that truck? It's been there for years now with me complaining about it for the past year and a half.”

Sandmann spoke with Radwell during the July 10 hearing but did not address the court.

He previously informed Masciopinto via email he planned to check with Radwell on a weekly basis as she works to comply with village codes.

Radwell, who is 73 and lives alone, has said it will take time for her to meet all of the village’s expectations.

She said July 10 she has not spoken with Masciopinto since her neighbor appeared before the Village Council in May.

Masciopinto first placed her house on the market about one year ago. She previously told Suburban Life she worries she won’t sell her house this year, forcing her to wait another year before relisting it.

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