Residents fed up over blighted property in Clinton - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Residents fed up over blighted property in Clinton

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CLINTON, CT (WFSB) -

Neighbors in one Clinton neighborhood said they're fed up over a blighted property.

The town has tried to get the property cleaned up, and even though the bank that owns it has paid thousands in blight ordinance violation fees, the property is still an eyesore.

"It's been horrible," resident Hillary Crane said. "It's in really bad shape."

The lot on Beach Road has been a headache in the community for nearly five years. Neighbors said they've battled to get the property cleaned up and said when the homeowners left the property to move to Florida, things only got worse.

"Before, it was getting the homeowners to do something, now it's getting the bank to do something," Crane said.

And although the bank has done some maintenance and paid down some of the blight ordinance fees, they haven't completed the foreclosure.

A representative from JP Morgan Chase said, "Chase doesn't own the property, as the mortgage service they have limited rights to secure a vacant property. However, despite not owning the home, we are now doing what we can to maintain the property."

Neighbors said the town is doing what it can, but their patience is running thin, so they called Channel 3 Eyewitness News.

"We have filed complaints and the town has been on it, but you can't force someone to do something if they don't want to do it," Crane said.

Channel 3 Eyewitness News spoke with Tom Lane, the Zoning and Wetland Enforcement officer for Clinton. He said that the property has been in disrepair off and on since 2008. That is well before the bank took ownership of the property.

Lane said the bank has done some work, but more needs to be done.

"Before it was cleaned up by the bank, there were dirty diapers, there was trash," Crane said. "It was disgusting."

But even with the improved look to the lot, residents worry about what will happen if they try to sell their homes.

"I believe it has really decreased my property value," Crane said. "You have to drive by this house to get to my house."

The town is enforcing its blight ordinance, and so far the bank has settled up more than $22,000 in debt to the town. Since then, even more fees have been racking up with about $10,000 more that is owed.

That number grows more and more each day the home isn't in compliance with the ordinance.

But neighbors are still looking for action and said they've waited long enough.

"I wouldn't do that to another neighbor," Crane said. "I wouldn't leave my house in disrepair or have garbage strewn about the yard. I think it's just out of respect."

There's no word yet on if or when the bank will officially foreclose.

JP Morgan Chase said they will send someone out to take a look at the property and see what they can do to make it better for the neighborhood.

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