CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - A dispute between neighbors in Glen Ellyn has led to come colorful retaliation, and has got one neighborhood buzzing.
It started when complaints were filed against Julie Dombroski, who was cited by Glen Ellyn Police for having too many dogs at her house on Longfellow Avenue. Then, the DuPage County Health Department got complaints about excessive amounts of dog poop in the back yard.
The next thing neighbors knew, the side of Dombroski’s house was painted like fruit stripe gum, in what many believe was a form of retaliation against her neighbors, the Amabiles who live next door.
“As retaliatory measures go, I would say painting your house an obnoxious color is better than taking it out on a person physically, shooting at them, stabbing them, because I'm seeing a lot more of that lately,” said Bob Borzotta, author of the book “Neighbors from Hell.”
A former newspaper reporter, Borzotta has become an expert on neighborhood dispute resolution.
“When there is an issue that needs to be dealt with, I prefer that people sit down one on one and address it with each other in an adult manner,” Borzotta said.
Years ago he said the majority of neighbor complaints had to do with noise, apartment or condo neighbors playing music too loud or having loud parties. Now, it tends to be invasion of privacy complaints stemming from security cameras.
One neighboring condo association board member told FOX 32 News that he has found common courtesy is key to resolving problems.
“Basically what we've done with the association is talk to the neighbors, talk to the people and try to resolve it that way. If there's a certain amount of belligerence, there are mechanisms to fine people,” said Tom DeWalle with the Baker Hill Condominium Association.
If associations can't resolve the problem, the police or municipalities often have to be called in which is what happened in the painted house case.
“I used to tell people don't move if you don't have to. I considered it the M word, but let's face it, protracted problems can go on for years and it's really a very upsetting anxiety ridden kind of thing to have a war with someone nearby,” Borzotta said.
But the bottom line, according to neighbors, is it is a shame this situation had to escalate to this point, even though in the grand scheme of things it’s not that big of a deal.