Gripe Vine Readers:
This columnist has received many complaints over the years and a number of them just this year already, of blight conditions in West Haven. These gripes most often are of overgrown grass, abandoned automobiles, household and commercial refuse left on the curb, including bathroom fixtures. The local public works have cooperated and backed up my requests for cleanups from residents.
West Haven’s Mayor Nancy R. Rossi has issued a statement on blight regulations. I will paraphrase and inform my readers of just what is expected of property owners in West Haven. If you need more information, you can call the Building Department at (203) 937-3590 for additional details. But, for those of my readers and all West Haven property owners, here’s the mayor’s blight regulations:
Under Chapter 129 of the West Haven Code, those who violate the ‘Blight Prevention’ Ordinance, are subject to fines.
In 2012 the ordinance was adopted by the City Council, allowing the city has more control when targeting properties in disrepair. It defines property owners as “any person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge or possession of any private property in the City of West Haven to maintain such premises.”
I would like to include here that defining blight in Gripe Vine covers a number of issues, including those described in the opening paragraph of this column. But to clarify blights, the city’s ordinance says, “.it prohibits motor vehicles, overgrown grass and weeds, as well as other negative elements that cause the “serious depreciation of property values” or hinder the enjoyment of properties elsewhere.
Now, here’s what I think you might want to remember the ordinance includes grass, weeds or similar vegetation, excluding flowers, fruits and vegetables, may not “reach and remain at a height of eight inches or greater for a period of 10 days or longer.” This ordinance also includes graffiti and unkempt swimming pools. There is a violation of a $100 fine per offense per day. The first offense a violation warning is issued, the second offense results in a citation. If the fine is unpaid, according to the city’s regulations, a lien can be put on property for any unpaid fine imposed by the city from the date it was levied, which can result in a foreclosure. Complaints are kept confidential.
So, readers, those of you who complain to Gripe Vine, I follow through with your district councilman or councilwoman.
I have been writing this column for over 16 years. I have been an improvement in West Haven’s appearances. There were evacuated, stone-covered property entrances, piles of discarded furniture on curbs, overflowing trash cans curbside and abandoned autos.
In all truthfulness, there has been quite an improvement in West Haven’s appearance. Great job to property owners who have complied with city regulations! To those who write me with complaints of broken fences, litter filled yards, broken car parts on display; don’t stop now!
Call the city’s phone number in today’s column and if you don’t see any improvement or receive little cooperation, WRITE TO GRIPEVINE! Gripevine4wh@aol.com or mail your gripe to Gripe Vine 666 Savin Avenue c/o West Haven Voice. Please be sure to include your name, address and phone number (kept strictly confidential with me only). You can also use our online form.