Detroit man says city fixed vacant house driveway but not his after damaging it

Image 1 of 2

A Detroit man is claiming some concrete evidence just doesn't add up.

He wants to know why the city would invest in driveway improvements for abandoned homes - but not ones like his - that are occupied.

"I'm going to have to pay money to get an approach like this one," said Peter Ashmore. "I mow the lawn on this property, and that property and the abandoned lot next to me and the lot behind me and the lot around the corner."

Peter Ashmore couldn't figure out why the city of Detroit built a new driveway approach for an abandoned house on his street, but not his.

The work was done as contractors built new sidewalks on Taylor off of Dexter on Detroit's west side.

"They were coming through and demoing everything and putting in the frames to pour new stuff and I noticed my approach wasn't torn out," he said.

But the approaches for other homes including the abandoned houses, were. He tracked down the contractors and their supervisor.

"I just asked him how come mine is not getting done," Ashmore said. "(He said) you don't meet the criteria. I said what's the criteria? And he didn't really have an answer for me."

"We've been trying to call the city to get an answer to get some kind of response to why we didn't get our poured and haven't heard anything back, haven’t got a return phone call."

Peter says his approach is in bad shape because the city damaged it when contractors repaved Taylor Street last September.

Now a spokeswoman for the city says the approach was already cracked in 2013. But the homeowner says there's a big difference between that and the condition it is in now.

"And so when we complained about that we didn't get any response from the city either," Ashmore said. "And so we just kind of thought that's how we're going to get dealt on that one."

The city says there are other occupied homes on Taylor just like Ashmore’s that did not have their approaches rebuilt. It all hinged on if the new sidewalks and approaches were level.
If not, they built new approaches. Peter's, the city says, were fine. On top of that, it's not as if his approach is so bad he cannot get into the driveway.

So it goes, Peter says.  But at least he has a new sidewalk.

"We're really excited about it because my kids can finally have a place to ride their bikes and play and everything," he said. "That's what kids, that's one of the thing you expect your kids to do in a neighborhood like ours."

The city said work was done on some abandoned properties to make them more viable for potential buyers.

The homeowner is now in contact with the city, initially neither gave any ground but hopefully can come to some understanding.