Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Opossums and Other Critters Find Home in Kensington Vacant Lot

In what Kensington residents say has been a nuisance, if not a danger, for years, a vacant lot has become a home to feral cats, rodents, and even an opossum, while the trash and other debris continue to pile up.
The lot is located on Ocean Parkway between Cortelyou Road and Ditmas Avenue, making life unpleasant for the neighbors that live close by. The residents have been complaining for years about the trash, dead trees coming dangerously close to power lines, and dropping branches which can become fire hazards if left un-tended.

The residents say the city has never taken responsibility for the mess in the lot, although they have passed the buck on to others.

Tim Fitzgerald lives directly behind the property in question.

“We [always] get the same answer: call this other agency or office or precinct,” said Fitzgerald, the owner of a condo on E. Seventh Street. “It’s a slap in the face.”

The city has, however taken action in the past. In 2008 the city fined the owner of the lot $150,000 for several violations, including not properly fencing in the area; dangerous construction conditions; illegal advertising on the plywood walls, and non-compliance with previous violations.

However, the health department insists there are no health hazards associated with the trash and debris on the property.

“How is this not a health hazard? There’s garbage everywhere,” exclaimed Michele Israel, who lives in an adjacent condo overlooking the lot.