By EMILY K. COLEMAN - ecoleman@shawmedia.com

Fox Lake, condos making peace

FOX LAKE – A legal dispute between Fox Lake and one of its condominium associations is near an end.

The Fox Lake Village Board approved general terms of a settlement between the village and the Vacation Village Condominium Association at its meeting Tuesday evening.

The final version likely will be ready for the village president’s signature by the end of the week, Village Administrator Nancy Schuerr said. The terms won’t be public until then, she said.

The village and association have been bickering over trash collection fees for about four years. When the association wouldn’t pay higher rates out by the village, Fox Lake took it to court.

The association owes the village more than $100,000, according to the civil complaint filed in March 2011.

The figure has grown to $160,000 as the two went back and forth, suing and countersuing, and the association not paying for trash collection, according to documents filed by village attorneys in July.

The association offered to pay a reduced fee it negotiated previously, but the village wouldn’t accept it, according to papers filed by association attorneys.

The association, at 6800 State Park Road, markets itself as a year-round retreat for outdoor and fishing enthusiasts.

It claims the village treated it unfairly because it wouldn’t allow the association to contract for trash collection, according to court documents.

Under village ordinances, condominiums must use the collection service provided by the village. That’s in contrast to apartment complexes of more than three units, which must arrange for their own collection.

That difference violates the association’s right to equal protection, its attorneys argued in a counterclaim. A judge rejected that argument.

The association also claimed the village’s decision not to let it negotiate its own trash collection was in retaliation for the association refusing to allow an adjacent developer to connect to its sewer and water systems.

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