Sixth Avenue draws concern

Published 11:56 am Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Questions about activity at Sixth Avenue, including instances of crowing chickens and alleged instances of public urination, were addressed during the Kenbridge Town Council meeting May 15.

Sheryl Alfei, who lives on the street, brought up the concerns to members of the council during a public comment period and during a public hearing about the town’s property reassessment.

“I can’t understand the increase in value,” Alfei said about the town property.

Alfei cited abandoned vehicles at properties, and instances of public urination and residents asleep on porches.

Town Mayor Emory Hodges said the town has been keeping tabs on blighted properties, and said recently hiring a public maintenance code official has allowed them to make sure properties are not violating town codes.

“I can tell you it is a high priority for us, housing and the types of things you’re talking about,” Hodges said.

Alfei expressed frustration about the process, saying that while understanding taking action on properties can take time, she has had concerns for years.

“I’ve talked to you guys about this before, and you’ve told me the same thing,” Alfei said. “But I see nothing being done.”

Hodges said if the residents own or rent the home, they have the right to do what they want on the property.

“It’s a very difficult situation,” Hodges said. “If I wanted to sit on my porch all night, there’s no law against that. I’m not disturbing anybody. I’m sitting on my back porch … I can’t really file a complaint against my neighbor because they’re on the porch too much … People have a right when they rent or when they own the house they have a right to do certain things.”

Alfei noted instances of public urination in the area.

Hodges encouraged Alfei to contact the police if it occurs again.

Chief of Police and Town Council Member Raymond Hite said she could also contact the area magistrate. He said the department has seen a decrease in employment over several years, meaning they can only drive through so many areas at one time.

Town Council member Mike Bender told Alfei they would look into the situation.

Alfei asked about issues with crowing roosters and hens, and loose dogs in the area.

Hodges said there could be up to four hens at a residence, though said roosters were not permitted in the town.

He encouraged Alfei to contact Lunenburg Animal Control about the dogs.