Ironton resident Carolyn Reeves describes the hillside slip woes she is enduring in her backyard. She wants the adjourning property owner and the City of Ironton to alleviate the problem.

Archived Story

Property complaints get aired

Published 9:24am Monday, August 27, 2012

People with complaints about their neighbor’s property got council’s attention Thursday.

Everett Reeves, of 109 Woodlawn Drive, told council his rear yard is being slowly ruined by a landslide caused by a neighbor’s faulty gutter system. The property in question is on Carl Drive on a hillside above his house.

Reeves said he and his wife, Carolyn, discovered the problem in the spring and have called city offices for assistance but have not received the help they need. Reeves said he spoke to city code enforcement officer John Willis about his problem.

“He said she was in violation with her downspouts and agreed to give her a call. She never called him back and June 28 he sent her a letter.” Reeves said. A month later Reeves said Willis told him the property owner agreed to make the repairs but the repairs have not yet been made.

Reeves said part of his problem with rain water runoff and the landslide is also caused by water running off the hill above Carl Drive and down the hill to his house. He said there was once a ditch along Carl Drive that collected the water but over time it has been clogged and now doesn’t work.

“This is serious,” Reeves said. “It’s been neglected for years. This is hurting people’s property.”

Reeves said some of his neighbors have been forced, at their own expense and on their own property, to create drainage ditches to handle the water when it rains.

Reeves wants the city to repair the ditch along Carl Drive and require the Carl Drive property owner to fix her gutter problems.

“Have you filed any civil suit against this person?” Councilman Aaron Bollinger asked. “This sounds like a civil issue.”

“But we still have a code violation,” Reeves countered.

Mayor Rich Blankenship told Reeves to call his office and arrange a time to meet with city officials.

Also Thursday, Yvonne DeKay Sinnott, who owns Yvonne DeKay School of Dance at 612 S. Third St., complained that property owners near her dance studio do not cut grass and control weeds and allow junk cars to collect on their properties.

“We need to fine businesses for not keeping their property clean,” Sinnott said.

“People used to take pride in their property,” council member Kevin Waldo agreed.

Councilwoman Beth Rist noted one piece of property in question is owned by the state.

“Can we just ask the state to get out there and clean things up?” Council Chairman Mike Lutz asked Blankenship.

Lutz asked Finance Director Kristen Martin to include the weeds complaint on the agenda for finance committee discussion. The finance committee will meet in special session at 5 p.m. Thursday in council chambers at the city center.

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  • TrailerGuyBob

    There is no reason the city shouldn’t suck this up and do the right thing. Which by the way council members, the right thing would not be to do the work and then add it to the water bill or somehow transfer responsibility to the Port Authority in an attempt to skirt responsibility. There codes, the job of government is to enforce them and treat all citizens equal.. Repair the ditch, enforce the code!

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  • citizenkane

    Ozzy is right!!!!! The City does not keep their own property up to code. What business would want to come to a town with such low self esteem? Citizens must walk out in the street to pass city owned sidewalks because of weed, tree and vine growth. Storms Creek area is deplorable. Litter never picked up on city property. Municipal property sits and rusts. There are old tires, rusty 55 gallon drums and general eyesores all around the city garage. How about Memorial Hall? It is falling in, just look thru the windows.

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  • Poor Richard

    Water does flow downhill and regardless of whether there are gutters or not the same amount of rainwater will fall. Gutters only funnel or direct rainwater to a specific area.

    A landslide is defined as the downward sliding of a relatively dry mass of earth and rock. I suspect this is not a ‘slide’ but simply erosion, at least, that is what it appears to be in the photo. Quite different meanings folks.

    Did anyone speak directly to the property owner with the gutter problem before running to city council? Is the property owner an elderly person that is not able to fix the problem? Does the property owner even have the funds to fix the problem? If not, they likely cannot pay ‘fines’ either.

    Who is responsible for the drainage system in the neighborhood? How is stormwater handled on other properties in the neighborhood? I suspect the person, agency, city or other responsible for the stormwater drainage system is the one that needs to work on a solution. Doesn’t the EPA have new STORMWATER REGULATIONS????

    Is it possible for everyone to work together for a solution rather than pointing fingers and talking about lawsuits? Gee, that is not a solution.

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  • bo

    What about buiding permits. City wants everyone that is making repairs or doing new construction to pay for a building permit. The permit states that the work must comply with the provisions of the city code. The city does not enforce the city codes….so what is the point…other than the city is just wanting the building permit fees.

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  • bo

    The city of Ironton has adopted the 2006 international property maintenance code. It is available on the internet.
    These codes were adopted BY THE CITY to govern the minimum conditions and the responsibilities of any person owning property within the city limits.
    The code clearly states the duties and the powers of the city code officer.
    It also states that any person failing to comply with a notice of code violation can be penalized for noncompliance.
    Violations are considered unlawful acts and can be deemed a misdemeanor or a civil offense and it is the city’s responsibility to proceed at law to restrain,correct,or abate a violation. NOT A CIVIL SUIT BY THE COMPLAINING PARTY, BUT THE CITY’S RESPONSIBILITY. Any cost occured by the city shall be charge against the property as a lien.
    I have lived in various cities, and in each city the code enforcement agency has the power to levy fines and penalties on a violator each day that the violation continues,(after notice has been given). This can amount to a very large sum of money if the violation isn’t corrected in a timely manner.
    In one city, there was a $500.00 fine if the city had to cut the grass on a person’s home or empty lot.
    If Ironton would follow proper procedures, people would not let their properties go into disrepair nor would people have to raise cain to get something done. Looking around this city, if the city would levy fines and follow thru on complains, the city would have a heap of money. How many violations have been written? How many have been followed thru? HOW MANY HAVE RECEIVED FINES? Why are we paying administrative fees, municipal safety fees, storm fees on our water bills and payroll taxes; when all we are told is to take care of the problem ourselves at our expense in a law suit? READ THE CODE

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  • Ozzy

    Why do we pay a code enforcement officer when councils solutions is for the citizen to file a suit to do the job our tax dollars are paying for?

    How can the City say anything about anyones grass/weeds when they do not cut the weeds on city property? I am all for keeping the city clean but anyone that would get a fine for grass/weeds needs to drive through town and photograph all the city property that never gets cut and explain to the judge they will pay the fine when the city pays theirs.

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