Neighborhood Nuisance: Abandoned lot on Putnam

Abandoned lot on Putnam
Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 6:09 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A Toledo woman says her property value is affected by a vacant lot next door, and she wants the city to clean it up. But the city says it’s not that simple.

“For the last three or four years, it’s been getting worse,” says lifelong Toledo resident Rochelle Harris. She is concerned about the vacant lot beside her house on Putnam. She says it attracts plenty of unwanted visitors.

“They use it as a dumping ground. There’s all kinds of animals, small creatures roaming around out here,” she says.

For years, she’s asked Toledo for help. A city spokesperson says that the lot has been abandoned for a decade. The owner owes $13,000 in back taxes. City workers have mowed the grass for at least five years - seventeen times in 2021. But Harris says that’s not the problem.

“People come and cut the front part of the lot, but they neglect the second part of the lot, that gets very wild,” she says.

She wants to see the trees taken out, but that a service the city doesn’t provide, and it’s unlikely that the city would take ownership of the lot. A city spokesperson says that a permanent solution would have to come from the community. A neighbor could apply for ownership through the Landbank’s website. The transfer would likely only cost a dollar. Once the application is accepted, the foreclosure process can begin. Until that happens, Harris says she’ll continue to do her part.

“It’s disheartening. Because we have always paid our property tax. I’ve always paid mine on time and everyone else should be held accountable for their property,” she says.

There are numerous vacant lots near the one on Putnam. A city spokesperson says that on that square block, there’s more grass than house.

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