West Davidson residents want cleaner neighborhood
by Staff Writer
The lawns and landscaping around Davidson’s Main Street and historic downtown are impeccably maintained, but turn down Griffith Street and into west Davidson where residents say there is a growing problem – or put more aptly – an overgrown one.
A tree that fell months ago lay with its roots in the air along Mock Circle; land behind Reeve’s Temple AME Zion Church is overgrown with weeds and brush; The Davidson College-owned house at 218 Depot St. is also overgrown, residents said.
Residents say these are just a few of the concerns they have about the overgrown properties in west Davidson, and many want the town to clean up the mess.
Davidson Project and Public Works Manager Doug Wright says he needs to be more proactive about conducting periodic inspections of west Davidson to find properties that need to be cleaned up before residents have to complain. But his staff is listening to residents, he said.
The complaints voiced at an Aug. 30 informal chat with town leaders had some effect. One overgrown property on Mock Circle has been mowed.
A Davidson municipal code, similar to codes in many towns, requires that grass be mowed below 10 inches, Wright said.
In accordance with the code, the town contacts property owners via certified mail, gives them 10 days to respond, then cuts the grass and bills the property owner.
“There are some properties on the west Side with nebulous legal ownership,” Wright said.
In those cases, certified mail bounces back to the town. The process is slowed and confused when the town cannot find the owner of a property that is violating town code. Wright says his department is in the process of revising the ordinance to help them deal with repeat offenders.
Residents are worried the overgrowth and standing water near their homes and businesses will become homes for snakes, rats and mosquitoes.
The town ordinance, however, does not require property owners to clear wooded lots.
“Some residents would like the wooded lots cleared,” Wright said. “But that is not what the ordinance is intended for. We can’t maneuver mowers around wooded lots.”
Residents also want Davidson to clean up the town-owned properties around the standing water, connected to Roosevelt Wilson Park, and explore the possibility of an apparatus to keep water moving, like an aeration hose or bubbler.
Want to get involved?
Residents can file a complaint at the town’s website – www.ci.davidson.nc.us -- by clicking on the ‘Complaint? Submit it here’ link, calling the public works department, visiting town hall or raising concerns at town chats.
To see a map of Davidson-owned properties visit www.huntersvilleherald.com.