The Spring Lake Park City Council has passed a resolution ordering property owner Freddie Mac, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, 30 days to clean up the property at 300 Maple Street.
“It’s a proactive approach by the city to maintain property values,” Barry Brainard, the city’s code enforcement director, said in a phone interview about the abatement of a nuisance.
The city has received complaints about boxes, tires and lumber, and an accumulation of furniture, ladders, hoses, recreational equipment and other junk strewn on the Maple Street property.
The home on the property went into foreclosure earlier this spring and was declared abandoned and vacant April 24, according to Terry Randall, public works director.
“The residents received tickets to clean up the property,” Brainard said at a June 17 city council meeting.
The violations, tickets and cleanups, followed by more violations, have been ongoing for about four years, Brainard said in the phone interview.
The city issued Freddie Mac a violations notice June 18 with abatement to be completed by July 18.
Should Freddie Mac fail to abate the materials by that time, the city’s public works department plans to perform the cleanup.
Cost for the cleanup, plus administration fees, would be applied as a special assessment against the property.
Councilmember Bob Nelson expressed concern about the safety of the city’s public works employees should they need to clean it up. “I mean this is outrageous,” Nelson said.
Some of the materials looked “like chemicals or thinner,” he said.
Brainard said the city would evaluate each container to ensure they don’t contain any hazardous material.
Councilmember Larry Raymond said the abandoned home offered an “opportunity of transients moving in.” He asked city staff to check into it.
The city is cutting the grass in front of the house weekly.
Freddie Mac has contacted the city about the abatement notice. As of June 27, the property had not been cleaned up, Brainard said.
Spring Lake Park issues about three or four abatement notices a year, according to Brainard.
“It’s all in an effort to keep community values and property values maintained instead of a decline in property values,” Brainard said.
Freddie Mac “buys mortgages on the secondary market, pools them, and sells them as a mortgage-backed security to investors on the open market,” according to Wikipedia’s website.
Elyse Kaner is at [email protected]