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Brandermill neighbors disgruntled by dilapidated homes sitting empty

Posted at 6:58 PM, Jul 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-16 08:19:10-04

CHESTERFIELD, Va. – Chesterfield residents are unhappy over neglected dilapidated homes sitting empty.

The home with broken windows, falling gutters, and a gaping hole that once gave easy access to animals is now covered by this blue tarp.  It’s called an eyesore by neighbors on Winterberry Ridge, who have dealt with for years.

“Doesn't look well cared for, doesn't make the neighborhood look as great as maybe the rest of us try to make it,” said Ellie Mast.

Neighbors said the previous owners snuck away in the middle of the night more than five years ago, all their belongings left behind. Since then they’ve watched the place crumble.

blight

The home with broken windows, falling gutters, and a gaping hole that once gave easy access to animals is now covered by this blue tarp.

“It looks like it’s about to fall apart, it's sad,” said neighbor Megan Downing.

John Bailey, with the Brandermill Community Association, said they've worked for years to get the owners to address these code violations. Now a bank owns it and sent a crew to clear it out.

Our cameras rolled when the work started on Wednesday.

Bailey said of their nearly 3800 homes, they now have seven other abandoned properties.

“That's not something truly unique to Brandermill, there are abandoned properties all over the place, and sometimes it’s because the market downturn in the late 2000s, and then life happens,” Bailey said.

Whether in Brandermill or other communities, the county tells us their inspectors get involved when the maintenance violations pose a safety threat.

The goal is compliance, so they reach out to the owner and give them a time to correct the problem.

“I feel really good. I think they're gonna stick with it,” said Bev Hickey. “Well this is just the first day but I’m sure they'll stick with it.”

That is a sentiment echoed by others who are eager to return their block to tip top shape.