Richmond man says dilapidated home has sat vacant for 20 years

Richmond man says dilapidated home has sat vacant for 20 years
Source: NBC12
Source: NBC12
Source: NBC12
Source: NBC12

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A Richmond man calls 12 On Your Side, fed up with a dilapidated property in his neighborhood that he says has been abandoned for 20 years.

Dave Munn says the home in south Westover Hills is not only a blight, but he's worried about the health and safety risks it poses to his family.

Munn's neighbors say the house on Wainright Drive has sat unoccupied since the early 1990s. More than 20 years later, windows and doors are broken, there's a hole in the roof and the grass has become somewhat of a jungle.

"The grass started growing, and it kept growing, and it kept growing and nobody cut it, so we called the city," said Munn.

It's not just the lack of curb appeal Munn is upset about. His neighbors say at one point, a squatter was inside the home. Now a family of raccoons has taken up residence there.

"These are not normal raccoons. These are Richmond city big, fat, angry-looking guys," said Munn.

The property backs up onto Munn's yard, where his children play.

"What animals are living in here, with what diseases that could come home and bring them back to my kids who are right there," he said.

Munn says calls to code enforcement, animal control, the health department and even a personal plea with his city councilman have yielded little results. He's frustrated the house has sat in this state for so many years.

There is a notice on the door dated from June telling the home owner the weeds and grass are in violation of city code.

Councilman Mike Jones, who represents the 9th district where the home is located, says he's just as frustrated as Munn. Jones wants to see the city do more to hold property owners accountable. He says he himself has called code enforcement on similar properties.

Both men want pressure put on whoever owns this house to clean it up.

"Someone needs to take care of this property, because in all these houses are families that want to live in their neighborhood, but they don't want to live with this," said Munn.

The city's code enforcement said they would send an inspector out to the house Friday to take a look.

Head of code enforcement, John Walsh, confirmed the home was inspected in June. He said at the time, there were no significant violations.

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