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WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: News - Top Stories - Fighting Back: Cleaning Up Miami Township
Thursday, March 28 2013, 06:46 AM EDT
Fighting Back: Cleaning Up Miami Township
MIAMI TOWNSHIP -- Broken down cars, debris littering yards, and rundown houses are all a growing problem in Miami Township, and it's affecting home property values. Fighting Back Reporter Liza Danver investigates what the township is doing to cleanup the annoying eyesores, and why some people aren't following the rules.

Tom Scott is the Miami Township Zoning Inspector. Wednesday afternoon, we were there as he tacked a notice up to the door of a Lamme Road home, ordering the owner to appear before the Board of Trustees again. Scott says the owner has neglected to clean up debris in the yard and fix problems left over from a water pipe breaking after receiving repeat warnings.

"Unfortunately there are neighbors who live across the street. Every time they go get the mail, it's a thorn. That's their view. That's what they see," Scott said.

Scott says the trustees' hearing is always a last resort. He first tries to help owners get up to code. He's been working with residents in a neighborhood off Farmington Road for some time.

"It's a work in progress. These things have gone on for a long time. They've gotten comfortable in how they've done things," Scott said.

But some owners, like the guy who lives at a home on Lois Circle, can be stubborn. His property has also been a problem for years. He's gotten several warnings, but still plenty of cars and debris remain in the front yard. Scott says if he doesn't clean it up soon, he's going to bring in a tow truck and haul the junk cars away.

"Some people look at it as, 'Hey I can test the system, or it's my hobby, it's what I do. I create problems for other people by neglecting my property'," said Scott.

If the township has to clean up a property, the owner is billed, but only if someone is still around. There are more than a dozen homes in the township that have been abandoned for years. The township has to shell out thousands of dollars just to maintain the lawns, while waiting for the homes to, hopefully, sell once in foreclosure.

"It actually takes my property value down," said Jenny Laschitz, who lives across the street from another nuisance property.

Hers is a common complaint by neighbors of most nuisance properties.

"It bothers me. It reflects on me. When I have friends over they say, 'Oh my gosh, people actually live there?'" she said.

The problem property Laschitz lives near was deemed a nuisance several weeks ago.

ABC 22/FOX 45 Reporter Liza Danver asked the nuisance property resident, Tessa White, why it hadn't been clean up yet.

"Because we work third shift and we didn't make it home for trash day," White responded.

But there is a bright spot. White says she is willing to work with the zoning inspector, and clean her property up.

"It's been a long process but we've been working on it," she said.

If you have a complaint about a property in Miami Township, Montgomery County, call the zoning inspector at (937) 433-3426. You can remain anonymous.



Earlier coverage:

MIAMI TOWNSHIP -- Broken down cars, debris littering yards and rundown houses, are a growing problem in Miami Township, and it's affecting the value of your family's property.  The zoning inspector is issuing violations, but there is only so much he can do with limited money, time and resources.

Fighting back for you, we investigate what the township is doing to cleanup the area and why it can be difficult to get some people to follow the rules.   That's tonight on FOX 45 at 10 and ABC22 at 11.
Fighting Back: Cleaning Up Miami Township

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