City officials: Residents received weed ordinance violation by mistake

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – People in a Fort Wayne neighborhood are upset after a project to repair neighborhood curbs and sidewalks left a big mess in their lawns. Now, they received letters which state they are in violation of the city’s weed ordinance. City officials said it’s all a big misunderstanding.

Nearly a month after the city began its project to improve the neighborhood’s curbs and sidewalks in the Lincoln Park neighborhood residents are still dealing with the aftermath. Several blocks on Saint Mary’s Avenue have piles of dirt and debris. There are also ditches between the curb and the sidewalk that are about a foot deep in some cases.

Several residents received a letter on May 25 from the city which said they were in violation of the city’s weed ordinance. The letter asks them to mow their property within the next seven days; otherwise the city will do it and leave residents with the bill.

“This is something that they did to our property and I was told they were going to come back and fix it by pulling the dirt off and spreading grass seed,” said Julie Andrzejewski.

Andrzejewski said with all the leftover dirt and debris it’s nearly impossible to clear out the weeds.

“As you can tell the weeds are getting higher,” she said. “But how can you weed eat? There are big chunks of cement in here. I chipped my glasses trying to weed eat out here.”

Andrzejewski said she’s made several calls to the city’s 311 line about the issue. She was told the mess would be cleaned this up in a week: eight days later it is still not done.

Mary Tyndall, of the City’s Community Development told NewsChannel 15 those residents likely received the wrong letter. Tyndall said the goal is to work with property owners not against them and she said she is sure residents will not be fined and will not be issued a citation as a result of the city’s work on the curbs

Residents who received the letter are encouraged to call 311. According to city officials the neighborhood is expected to be cleaned up by the end of this week.

Andrzejewski said she hopes the city will find a better way to handle it the next time.

“Maybe they should do a certain neighborhood first, clean it up. Then move to the next neighborhood then clean it up,” she said. “So we don’t have all these neighborhoods in the same situation with all these gaps and hazards.”

 

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