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Neighbors: Vacant home hazardous for community

Posted at 7:12 PM, Apr 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-14 12:35:33-04
A Cape Coral man turns to Four in Your Corner after flooding the city with complaints about an abandoned home he says is potential safety hazard.
 
Edson Griggs says the home in question, which sits on SW 43rd Terrace, is an eyesore for the entire community.  "The driveway is mildewed to death," Griggs said. "the backyard is a disaster. It's a great place for a flash fire."
 
While the yard hasn't gone up in flames just yet, Griggs says the home is hurting property values.
 
"I invested a lot of money on my home, it's my investment," Griggs said. "Out my back door I have a devalued investment."
 
Griggs says other neighbors are also bothered by an old Volkswagen van sitting in the driveway for nearly a decade.
 
"The van is the heart of the problem of this issue," Griggs said. Griggs met with the owner and city councilman Richard Leon in 2014 to reach a resolution. "She agreed to move this vehicle and clean up the yard within the next two weeks."
 
Two weeks turned into two years and nothing has been done. Gibbs says he's reached out to the City Manager, code enforcement, and has made ordinance proposals to the city. 
 
"I've even sent the council a copy of a resolution for public nuisances and obviously they weren't interested in doing anything."
 
FOX 4 took his concerns straight to councilman Richard Leon, who has been in communication with Gibbs the past couple of years. 
 
"Unfortunately, we can only regulate so much and the van that's in place is under the proper regulations," Leon said. 
 
Leon adds the city can only keep pressuring the homeowners, but it's up to the homeowner to make any changes.
 
"Like any other property owner, they have a right thing to do things on their property," Leon said.
 
FOX 4 has tried reaching out to the owner of the home but has not been able to reach her. 
 
Councilman Leon says the city has been working on a land use rewrite, meaning new ordinances are in the works, some will be adjusted, while others will be deleted. He says nothing is in the works to address this issue.