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Abandoned Mobile lot causes headaches for neighbors

(WPMI) Abandoned Mobile lot causes headaches for neighbors
(WPMI) Abandoned Mobile lot causes headaches for neighbors

Residents on Moffett Court in Mobile say they're sick and tired of dealing with an abandoned lot. The critters it attracts are one thing, but they're also worried it's hurting their home values.

"It's been a mess," said Phyllis Seymour.

Seymour says rats and snakes have taken up residency on the overgrown lot that was abandoned after a tree fell on a home that was eventually demolished in 2017.

"I know that people can't hardly rent the house next door because of it," said Seymour.

Eddie Irby says he's called 311 multiple times over the last five years to report the problem to the city.

"You know, it's really getting frustrating," said Irby.

The city says it's done what it can to address their concerns by ordering the owners to cut the grass four times through its weed abatement program. One of the notices was posted on the property just this week. When they fail to cut it, the city does, then puts a lien on the property for the cost of the work. Irby says he'd like the city to intervene more so the residents could take control.

"We wanted to even buy the property, and basically as a group, basically make it a community park," said Irby.

A spokesperson for the city says it would take a large amount of liens placed on the property to get to a point where foreclosing on it would be an option, and it's never done that with a vacant lot. Ultimately, it's private property and the city is only legally allowed to intervene when the weeds start to impact the neighborhood. Tackling blight in the city has been a top priority for the Stimpson administration, and a spokesperson say the city's reduced the number of blighted properties by 53% in a five year period.