DETROIT (WXYZ) — An illegal dump, a missing land owner, more than 10 grand in unpaid fines and Detroit families concerned for their children’s safety.
Detroit’s city attorney says because the owner of the property, Tomasz Rzedzian, gave permission to others to dump, it isn’t considered “illegal dumping” in the eyes of the law, it’s a city ordinance violation.
The city has issued multiple citations to Rzedzian over the last couple of years. He’s racked up more than $10,000 in unpaid fines. A final fair warning Letter has now been issued giving Rzedzian until April 16 at 1 p.m. to respond before the city takes him to court.
Meanwhile, families who have to live next to 10200 Oakland on the city’s north end are fed up.
“My kids can’t even go in our backyard because of the dump and the smell and how bad it is back there,” says Erika Brown, a resident of the area.
It’s about the length of a city block with trash piled up to 10-feet high in some spots, next to a bus stop, across the street from William Loving Jr. Elementary School.
“There’s critters (and) rats,” Brown said.
And on warm sunny days,.
“It smells so bad, you want incense, candles, you pour bleach along the fence, oh yeah,” Brown said.
“There could be a dead body over there!” says Margaret Harris, “Mike Duggan, we know you don’t want this in your neighborhood, so what is the problem?”
The problem is that the city has ticketed property owner Tomasz Rzedzian many times. He now owes more than $10,000 in fines. 7 Action News went to the address he listed in Warren and the woman who lived there says he hasn’t lived there in a long time and does not run a business out of there.
So what now?
“We’re getting tougher and tougher as it looks like these folks are less likely to comply,” says Detroit Corporation Counsel Lawrence Garcia.
Garcia says he is preparing to go to court to get permission from a judge to enter the property and clean it up. They will then bill Rzedzian for the cost.
“If they don’t pay we will ask for the title to the property as a way to off set the cost incurred by the city,” Garcia said.
He has also reached out to the state of Michigan. An MDEQ inspector is coming to the property Wednesday with DPD and depending on what that inspector determines, there could be additional legal action taken.