Taking Action for residents who say their backyards falling apart

LINCOLN PARK, Mich. (WXYZ) - It’s a problem Keith Rowley tells us he’s been trying to resolve for twenty three years now, a retaining wall that’s falling and slowly wreaking havoc on his backyard.

Rowley tells us he's already lost one garage as a result.

After living for two decades with no garage, Rowley says he finally has another one in the works. But without a secure retaining wall...He’s now learning it’s a project that’ll put him in debt.

But on top of the costs, there's also a sewer issue to content with. Weeds growing out of the wall, now blocking up a shared sewer.

And it’s not just Rowley riled up over the issue. Just a couple of doors down, Richard and Barbara Fortin tell us their backyard is also losing its foundation.

They show our Channel 7 cameras a clothing line leaning in and a brick-like patio, now losing its structure.

And when they call the city for help, they say they are told someone will come take care of it, yet nothing happens.

Technically the retaining wall is the responsibility of the property in which it sits on.

But if the homeowner fails to pay, then it falls on the city to take action.

That took us to Lincoln Park city hall. We couldn’t reach anyone in person, but after a phone conversation, the city tells Channel 7 they are stepping up the pressure.

“The owner...was sent a ten day notice regarding the outstanding violations... If the owner fails...to bring the property into compliance, the owner will be given a citation that will require a hearing in...municipal court,” said Matt Coppler of the building department.

In addition to that 10 day notice, the city says the Department of Public Services has been to the property to check on the blocked sewer issue. They’re also working to get cleared.
 

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