Blighted Detroit backyard bedevils neighbor

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Overgrown branches, out-of-control weeds and massive rats. A Detroit resident is fed up after a nearby property becomes a serious eyesore.

Venus Glenn says she went through foreclosure years ago, but then made a purchase on a house on Somerset Avenue for $9,000 and invested her 401k.

But now she is dealing with a nuisance behind her backyard with a house that is an eyesore.

The east side resident says the lack of landscaping and care for the property has brought all sorts of problems.

"This house right here. it needs to be maintained," Glenn said. "Those weeds need to be cut. They need to put something back here to trap these rats. They need to put something back here to kill rats."

Glenn says she has been reaching out to the city and county, but little has been done.

"All they've done, is every now and then, they'll send someone back here to cut the grass," she said.

The two empty lots surrounding the house, that's because the city tore down two homes owned by the land bank.

District 4 Manager Odell Tate says the city has helped maintain this one that is boarded up.

"I have had a private landscaper come and cut the yard back here for her," Tate said.

FOX 2: "But look at it now, would you say this is being properly maintained right now?"

"No it's not being properly maintained right now but it's not the city's property," Tate said.

This property was owned by a private entity but in the past 60 days it fell under Wayne County. The company that owned it before is now nowhere to be found.

"The owners of the property, Artesian LLC they are the ones that should have been accountable for this property," Tate said.

FOX 2: "Where are they?"

"No one knows," Tate said. "They have kind of dropped off the map."

FOX 2: "What can be done to prevent this from happening again?"

"We have a very diligent land bank attorney program where we go after," he said.

Tate says he doesn't know the status of going after the company that had been responsible for the property but says it will go up for auction in September.

"Get in the communities, write the ordinances, write the tickets, seek out who is responsible, get the revenue," Glenn said. "Build up the balances in the city."
 

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