Highland Park family fights to return to home damaged by nearby construction

ByCate Cauguiran via WLS logo
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
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A Highland Park couple is fighting to get back in their home after damage from nearby construction caused it to be deemed uninhabitable.

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- A couple in north suburban Highland Park is fighting to get back in their home after they were forced to move out when nearby construction damaged their house, making it unsafe.

The Mordini family said they have not been able to get back in their home since the city deemed it unsafe after a wall failed during construction on a new development next door.

"I cannot sleep in my own bed with my wife, in my own house," said James Mordini.

Mordini stands at the intersection of Central and First streets with a sign reading, "My house is deemed uninhabitable because of the developer's collapsed wall!"

"For the last three weeks we can't sleep. We are all nervous, my wife is nervous. It just shattered our life," he said.

In October Mordini, his wife and their tenant were forced to leave their home after a flash flood caused a construction wall to partially collapse at a Fulton Developer's site next door to their home.

"As a matter of public safety we did ask the Mordinis, as well as their tenant, to vacated the premises when we saw and learned there was a partial structure failure," said Ghida Neukirch, Highland Park City Manager.

The family claims they have had problems getting help from the city and developer to make the fixes necessary for them to move back into their home.

"The developer does not want to pay our rental fees for where we are staying, so I have to pay out of my own pocket," Mordini said.

In a statement Fulton Developers told ABC7 Eyewitness News they have offered to pay for a geotechnical engineer to assess the Mordini's property and paid the family nearly $5,000 to cover housing expenses and fence rental fee. But the Mordini family said that doesn't come close to covering all the damages.

"Me and my wife are on a fixed income, and we just have to try and make the best of it," Mordini said.

The back and forth between the two private property owners comes as Fulton Developers is looking to get approval from the city for a new luxury development on Oakwood Avenue.

ABC7 asked the city what is being done to help them.

"We're expediting plan review, we are guiding both parties through the process of what needs to be done and to get them back in their home," Neukirch said.

Tuesday night there will be a meeting to discuss Fulton Developers' new condo project. The Mordini family said they'll be there to ask the commission to table that project until the issue with their home is resolved.