Ilana Gold, Jon Wardle
The city of Waterbury is cracking down on blighted properties in the city.
Waterbury wants to crack down on problem, blighted properties and the city has proposed putting new restrictions on the owners who might be making the neighborhoods a mess because of eyesores across the city
“It's very frustrating, believe me,” said Al Coppolla, who lives across the street from a North Main Street residence where most of the paint has peeled off.
“There is no excuse,” he said.
NBC Connecticut tried to ask the owner why it was in this condition, but he would not comment.
“Something has to change. You can’t leave a house like that,” Coppolla said.
To help urge owners of blighted property to change, the city has proposed a much stricter blight ordinance.
If at least one-third of a home’s paint is chipped or any of it was tagged with graffiti, the owner can be fined at least $250 if they don’t clean up in five days. Those are just some of the ideas in the proposed ordinance.
The property owners can also face criminal charges.
The same penalties will also apply to people who leave their trash cans out for days on end. It’s a constant problem in the Willow Plaza neighborhood, where dozens of rash bins line the sidewalks, packed to the brim for days before garbage pickup.
“It's pretty disgusting,” said John Rick.
On Monday night, dozens of residents showed up at city hall and showed support for the idea, although some said the measure goes way too far.
“If I come home to my house and someone tagged it, I’m going to get a ticket because someone spray-painted my house,” one woman said.
City officials said that if finances are an issue, they will be willing to work with homeowners for a solution.
The goal is to crackdown on those who have neglected their properties and fix up the neighborhoods.
“I think it would be best for Waterbury,” Coppolla said.
For now, these changes are just an idea. The Board of Aldermen just got received input from the public and will vote on this next month.