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Homeowners irked over city’s handling of vacant properties

RICHMOND, Va. – Several homeowners expressed frustration that the city isn’t managing the code violations at vacant properties and called the situation a double standard.

Louise Johnson and her husband Lawrence said they desperately wish they didn`t have to go another day looking at these overgrown properties on either side of their home on Ridgemont Road.

“It's not healthy,” Johnson said. “And then they're saying the snakes are going to be terrible this season and then the mosquitoes are everywhere and we do have children in the neighborhood, so naturally I’m concerned.”

Johnson is frustrated that conditions have stayed the same, despite the code violation citations posted at each overgrown property.

“It’s a bad eyesore for the neighborhood,” she added.

Other city residents said they have a similar situation.

Overgrown brush around city home.

Kathleen Pope said the house across from her on W. 49th Street is a mess.

“It’s discouraging when we have to live across the street and have to look at that every day,” she said.

In Church Hill, a city resident said they are experiencing critters because of the vacant home.

“I’ve got all kinds of stuff coming from the vacant homes into my home, mice and rats,” said Robin Logan.

She feels trapped on N. 21st Street,  sandwiched between two boarded up, condemned homes. One has multiple violation notices posted that date back four years.

Three property owners want change.

“I’ve got kids,” she said. “I’m not comfortable on my front porch and I can`t cook out in my back yard, due to the limbs and falling branches from the trees overlapping in my yard.”

The three ladies all have the same probem and questions: How can the city help and when?

Code enforcement officials said that once a house is cited, the property owner is given time to respond. If they don’t the city can fix the problem and send the property owner a bill.

City officials are looking into the situation now. CBS 6 Problem Solvers will update when there is a resolution.

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