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Brandermill neighbors fed up about unsightly home

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CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WTVR)—For nearly ten years neighbors on Fox Chase Road in Brandermill have watched a home sit vacant. They say through the years there hasn’t been much upkeep of the property.

Now, they want help because their efforts to reach out to their community association, according to them haven’t panned out.

Chris Crenshaw says he’s emailed the Brandermill Community Association, made personal visits to the office and called to inquire about what can be done. He says they were never given any information about how the association is handling the situation.

“I can’t count the times on both hands the number of times I’ve physically gone to them, emailed them, called,” said Crenshaw.

Other neighbors echoed those same sentiments. We contacted the BCA and the community manager, Jane Pritz, told CBS 6 it was a legal matter and they would not comment on it.

Neighbors’ latest concern is about some fallen trees that are uprooted and sitting on the property.  The situation worsened with Hurricane Irene, and even touched one of the neighbor’s homes, said Crenshaw.  “They had to spend their own money to cut the tree back to the property line.”

Other neighbors tell us they have safety concerns about the home. They say on more than one occasion neighborhood kids have been seen going in and out of the home.

“Last summer when the police came out here because someone had broken in, they said there were dead animals on the inside, said it was unsafe and the floors were weak,” said Crenshaw.” “They said there was mold on the walls.”

A county property inspector confirms the home is unsecured.  That’s a violation of county code and Karen Crenshaw-Pearce said they’re working with the responsible party to remedy the situation.  In the meantime, a bright yellow danger sign is posted on the front and back doors. The sign warns that the home is unfit for human habitation.

Crenshaw-Pearce says in March the county issued Bank of America a violation notice, giving the bank thirty days to fix the problem. The bank asked for more time and was granted an extension, she tells CBS 6 News.

The county says the bank is responsible for the property. “We are in talks with Bank of America to get it secured. They have been amenable to it so far, but there’s a process of approval and it’s a long process” said Crenshaw-Pearce.

Now county officials expect the bank to take action in the next few days. “If they don’t come out here and secure the structure, we will,” explained the property inspector.

She says that could mean boarding up the windows on the first floor of the home.

Neighbors like Eric Bartoli say they just want this situation fixed. “I’m just hoping that something is done soon.”
“It’s a nice neighborhood. That’s why we moved here,” she said.

We contacted Bank of America about the property. On Wednesday evening spokesperson Jumana Bauwens sent us a response.

“We are currently the servicer on the mortgage for the property and not the property owners.  We are in the process of getting the appropriate legal permission to move forward with entering the property for the purpose of conducting maintenance and inspecting for structural damage.”

If you live in the county and have similar concerns about an unsightly or blighted property, you can call the building inspections citizen concern line at 748-1779.