Freeville neighbors fed up with eye sore, look to the town for help


On Bone Plain Road In the village of Freeville one property stands out. Neighbors say the homeowner has been collecting just about anything and letting it pile up in and around the home for more than a decade.

"It's an eyesore definitely," said Brad Grey who lives right behind the home.

Grey has had to drive by the home everyday for years.

"It has to be removed, the burned out buildings, the abandoned cars..." he said.

Other neighbors have lobbied the town board to get something done, they've also contacted social services, but the homeowner repeatedly refuses help.

According to town documents, the home was deemed unlivable in 2010, and neighbors say it was around the same time the owner started living in a car in the driveway.

In fear of the homeowner's safety and the concern for the surrounding properties, neighbors want to the town step in.

"Its time for the town of Dryden to just stand up and do something about this," Grey said.

Ray Burger is the Planning Director for the Town of Dryden and says the town acts within the current codes and laws.

"A lot of attempts were made, but in the end it didn't result in addressing the real issues of health and safety," Burger said.

Burger says for many of the eye-sore related cases they address, a conversation from a code enforcement officer is all it takes to solve the issue.

"It's very unusual for the cases to linger and get to the extreme we see in a couple of these case," said Burger.

In Dryden an Unsafe Buildings Law been on the books since 1981. Burger said the law is in the process of being revised to give the town more power to act when structures are deemed dangerous.

The most recent code violation against the property on Bone Plain Road was issued in April. Burger thinks the town may be closer than ever to clearing what they call a dangerous, and now destroyed, property.

"I'm trying to protect both the homeowner, the occupant, and the whole neighborhood - the whole community," he said.

Although the homeowner is refusing help, neighbors aren't giving up.

"[The owner] definitely needs some type of help... we're sitting here having to look at it and deal with it also," Brad Grey said.

Burger said the town has allocated some money in the 2017 budget to deal with properties like the one on Bone Plain Road. He also mentioned the town would most likely file a lien on the property so taxpayers wouldn't be responsible for paying to clear it out.

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