A problem which has been on-going for years, one Lakeville resident forced the media to revisit the problem foreclosures have on local cities. According to this KARE-11 piece (sent in by reader Nils), following the recent storms which downed trees all over Dakota County back in mid-June, one foreclosed homeowner did not follow through on cleanup of their property putting neighboring property at risk for more damage.
From the article:
The house on 202nd Street West has been neglected for more than a month, since a June 19 storm damaged several trees in front of the house and destroyed part of a large silver maple in its back yard. The tree is spread across about half of the yard, Cynthia Doudrick said.
The rest of the tree is still standing on the edge of the property, threatening the Doudrick’s residence, should it fall.
After receiving what was later determined to be misinformation from a Lakeville city staffer to contact the County, the problem was eventually resolved. According to Lakeville’s Community and Economic Development Director, foreclosed property owners have 10 days to two weeks to resolve issues such as damaged fallen trees threatening to destroy others’ property.
With Lakeville noting that there are 300 foreclosures within the city on average each year, a statistic they usually ignore while touting the 400+ building permits as evidence of growth instead, one may wonder why the city isn’t doing more to effectively mitigate the issues residents are having with foreclosed homes.
One KARE-11 commenter notes that they live near four homes in foreclosure and that they have been in various states of disarray since the fall. The commenter suggested they suck it up and get some free firewood. Good advice it seems as a walk through nearby Dodd Trail Park in Lakeville which sports numerous uprooted/downed trees shows several neighbors lining the park with fresh firewood stacked neatly in their backyards. If you’re going to do it for a park, why not the house next door?
What do you think about Lakeville’s response to the foreclosure situation? Do you think cities should have more legal leeway to do what they need to do to keep other residents’ properties safe when foreclosed property owners do nothing? Do you think Lakeville, and other cities, are making excuses in not properly caring for bank-owned properties because they don’t want to deal with the hassle of billing for services rendered? Do you live next to a foreclosed home? If so what have you had to deal with as a result? Has it gotten worse or better for you in the 4+ years it’s been a serious problem? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.