Long Beach Targets Eyesore Property - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

07/09/03

Long Beach Targets Eyesore Property

The City of Long Beach is taking action against an eyesore property on Oakview Avenue. Neighbors have long complained about trash, a bad smell and rats.

The alderman for that neighborhood helped the homeowner clean up the place just a year ago. But  it's become a problem property once again.

Ward one alderman, Gary Ponthieux, called WLOX News about the eyesore. He's been battling this particular property since taking office two years ago.

The latest round involves what's inside the home.

The city-posted sign says this house on Oakview is unfit to live in. It doesn't look all that bad from the street. A broken down truck and some junk on the porch doesn't seem to justify city enforcement. But the real problem lies on the inside.

"The stench. The garbage. The trash. Everything was just piled up all over the floors. There was not even a place to walk," said Ponthieux.

That makes it a public health concern.

Vic Lasabbe is the city building official.

"The violation is simply that the building is unsafe for human occupancy. And it's a menace to the public health and safety," he said.

WLOX News talked with several neighbors who voiced concerns about rats and smells coming from the property.

"This neighborhood here, it's well kept. It's well manicured. And by no means should something like this exist," said Ponthieux.

"He has five days to completely secure the exterior of the building, to keep anyone from being able to get into the building. And then he has 20 days to file an application for an appeal of the decision by the building code official," said Lasabbe.

We were unable to reach the homeowner. Neighbors say he lives in the house, even though the water and electricity were turned off more than a year ago.

"I've asked this gentlemen over and over to kindly keep it up, to keep the outside appearance up as much as possible. But to no avail," said Ponthieux.

By Steve Phillips

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