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Neighborhood suffering from unattended properties

Photo by Shawn Byrne.

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The neighborhood surrounding Christianson Avenue, Edie Drive and Mary Lynn Lane are dealing with properties like this.

KINGMAN – There’s not one. There’s not two. There are three combined properties on Christianson Lane, Edie Drive and Mary Lynn Lane that have the neighborhood figuratively held hostage.

The residents have to endure these unsightly properties with piles of trash, discarded furniture and the dwellings’ broken out windows.

“It’s a real eyesore,” said Douglas Beville, 85, who lives directly behind the worst of the three lots. “I have to watch for snakes and pests coming from there.”

The property Beville has to look at as soon as he steps out his door has found its way into the court system, and though relief is promised, it has taken its sweet time coming.

The blight was first reported in November 2015, and the case is scheduled to have a Sept. 5 hearing. Getting a case into court can be viewed as a victory in itself, but the Christianson Lane property is nearing 24 months without resolution. That does seem to be somewhat longer than what Mohave County Environmental Health Division writes on its website. EHD states that “the process may take several months to get the nuisance abated.”

“A year ago it was supposed to be in front of the judge,” Beville said. “Two dumpsters full of trash did get removed.”

But there is a lot more scattered around the property for several more dumpsters. The case was scheduled for a hearing Aug. 10 against the Estate of Cheryl Ann Purdy. However, Mohave County asked the Show Cause Hearing be moved to Sept. 5.

When the case began, Purdy was the defendant being sued by the county, but she unfortunately died.

“We have to attain personal service of the estate’s heir, Brandon Purdy,” said Deputy Mohave County Attorney Robert Taylor. “He lives in Mesa, so we are having Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office arranging the personal service. Once we get that, we can move forward on the case. This is the reason it has been delayed.”

There are legal steps that must be taken before EHD can come on a property to clean it up. Once a complaint is found to be valid, the property is issued a Notice of Violation to the “owner who is responsible for maintaining their premises in clean and sanitary condition,” according to EHD. The owner is given 15 days to abate the nuisance, but if nothing is done a Compliance Order is then issued to the owner.

Should that not prevail the owner to clean up the property, EHD will take the owner to court and can seek up to $10,750 in civil penalties and obtain a court order to clean the property and put a lien on it.

Dick Penwarden takes walks in the area and cannot believe how long it has taken for relief to come to his neighbors.

“This is a gross injustice to the people in the area of Christianson Avenue,” he said. “They must endure this trash. They have had four continuances, I believe.”