When a real estate agent shows a prospective buyer a house or a business owner looks for a new location, the condition of neighboring properties clearly can have an influence on a potential sale. An unkempt property next door can sink the deal.
Greenwood is looking to do something about that situation. The city hopes to preserve property values by imposing new rules about what has to be done to maintain homes and businesses.
Property owners who fail to fix broken gutters or take care of their property could face new fines, and the city is expediting the process of how long it takes to get tall grass or weeds cut. Homeowners no longer would be able to keep junked cars that aren’t working on their property.
Greenwood City Council members said the new rules should improve the city’s appearance, protect property values and give the city more options for addressing eyesores. The city no longer will have to wait until properties are unsafe and instead could fine negligent property owners until they fix problems such as overgrown shrubs or tarps strung over holes in a roof.
Council members Ezra Hill and Linda Gibson asked that the city adopt the new rules to address dozens of complaints about issues such as high grass. Residents were upset, including a woman who had to wait two years and still take a loss to sell her home partly because of a neighbor who placed a wooden fence on top of a chain-link fence and worked on cars in his yard, Gibson said.
Other residents have complained about gutters hanging off the sides of homes and a tarp hung over a garage in place of a roof for more than a decade, she said. Greenwood has been largely powerless to address such concerns but will be able to do something with the new rules, she said.