Man reports blighted Detroit Land Bank home next door, city blames him

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When Toussant McCastle moved to his house on Longview on the east side of Detroit, he knew there would be challenges living among blighted vacant properties. 
"There was a car that was dumped in the backyard and set a fire," he said.

The city of Detroit has done as much as boarding the home up and helping mow the front. But it is the backyard that gives McCastle reoccurring issues - like dead trees with falling limbs. 

"In the middle of night I'll hear a thud and I'm afraid it's damaged my vehicle," McCastle said. "It's ridiculous."

And illegal dumping.

"A bed liner for a pick up truck, there is an orange construction barrel."

All of  which prompted him to report the issue to the city - but he didn't expect his attempt at vigilance to backfire. 

McCastle says when the city came out and did an assessment they did find a violation right away. his own garbage can was found just off his property by a few feet. up against the house in question and the city wrote him a warning, saying if you don't take care of this problem it could cost you $1,500.

The city of Detroit has an ordinance that you cannot store a garbage can on anyone else's property period. FOX 2 also received this statement:  

"Although the resident was issued a warning notice for having stored a second Courville garbage container in front of the vacant property that was not approved by DPW, this can be corrected by contacting the department of public works and purchasing a certified container."  

"I figured that's an honest mistake," he said. "It's not left in the front of the house. But they gave me this."

The city left a door hanger that in addition to pointing out the garbage can violation, adding that he was the one responsible for the blight.

"And they claimed that I was storing and illegally dumping," McCastle said. "And I'm the one who called in the complaint."

The property itself is owned by the Detroit Land Bank. In response to how they plan to handle the blight, the city responded with this statement:

"The Land Bank will assess the condition of the property on Longview and determine the most efficient option to address the blight. We thank the neighbor for reporting the concerns. Others can report concerns call 313-974-6869 to report issues in their neighborhoods."