TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Residents at many Toledo homes say they can't relax on their own front porches because they live next to homes with grass as high as 5'.
Linda Denton lives in north Toledo and worries about the safety of her teenaged children because of the home next door on West Central Avenue.
"At night, a lot of people do come here... and a lot of them are under the influence," Denton said. "It might get a little violent, so I tell them to be careful, be aware."
There are similar properties at 425 White St. and 1029 Page, near Lagrange.
Homeowners say the properties are not just an eyesore but health hazards.
"I have had people come by and say, 'Hey lady, be careful when you walk by because we've seen a couple of dead rodents right there,'" said Denton.
Homeowner Joanie Rowe says it's a haven for mosquitos.
Mike Lee of Friend's Termite and Pest Control says the tall grass provides shade and shelter for mice, rats and stinging insects. "I wouldn't want my own children, I wouldn't even want one of my customers' children playing around an area like this."
Property owners are responsible for cutting the grass even if the home has been foreclosed. Once the bank takes possession of it, they are responsible. If either the owner or the bank fails to maintain a property, the burden falls on the city.
Because of heavy rainfall and fast-growing grass, City of Toledo Manager for Code Enforcement Bob Mossing says his work load is backed up. He says it could take two or three weeks for the city to respond after a complaint is called in.
Many neighbors across the city have stepped up to cut the grass themselves. The city can't pay volunteers for the work, but they encourage the help.
City Hall can be contacted at 419-936-2020.
Copyright 2010 WTOL. All rights reserved.