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Abandoned subdivision a burden on neighbors, DPW

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Posted: Jul 21, 2011 10:30 PM by Ashley Rodrigue
Updated: Jul 21, 2011 10:30 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: Magnolia Trace, subdivision, neighborhood, bankruptcy, DPW, O'Neal, grass, trash

BATON ROUGE- A belly-up development is over-grown and is now a dump-site in Baton Rouge.

Street lights are in place, sidewalks line the fronts of intended properties and even utilities are ready for hook up, but high grass and weeds have moved into the Magnolia Trace subdivision off O'Neal Lane, and trash, like couches, desks and mattresses are the only tenants.

People in neighboring subdivisions are sick of it.

"It's really kind of depressing," said Miriam Davis, "The weeds have just grown up and there's a lot of traffic back there now with people who don't belong there, they're dumping trash, they're mud riding through all hours of the day and night. We've had kids come on to our property."

Complaints like that made their way to the city months ago, but the Department of Public Works hit a brick wall when it learned the property is wrapped up in bankruptcy.

"It's a tangled web of banks and different owners so we've had a lot of trouble finding out who owns it so we can charge costs associated with cleaning the lot up to the owner," said Assistant Director of Public Works David Guillory.

Public Works says the trash part of the problem was taken care of Tuesday, but the grass part remains. The agency says there's about 50 acres of it, that's five feet and higher, and it's going to take thousands to clean up.

Guillory said, "This is definitely the largest site in recent years that we've had to actually go and clean up."

The work that has been done is a plus for Davis, and the occasional patrols are helpful too, but knowing the situation may get worse before it gets better is disappointing.

"You would think that whoever is in control of the property now would want to keep that piece of real estate marketable," she said, "And it's ridiculous."

DPW is headed to the Parish Attorney's Office tomorrow to see what legally can be done next.

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