Messy Vacant Lot Bringing Down Frankford Neighborhood

Messy Vacant Lot Bringing Down Frankford Neighborhood

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Overgrown weeds and grass.

Garbage and wild animals.

All from a single vacant lot, bringing down a neighborhood in Philadelphia's Frankford section.

It's been a problem for years.

An otherwise decent neighborhood-- relatively clean and well-maintained-- torn apart by a mess in their midst.

The sound of childrens' laughter, near a cooling mist from an open fire hydrant.

Summertime, and life is good near Foulkrod and Hawthorne in Frankford.

With one glaring exception.

"You know, in the winter it's fine, but in the summer it's overgrown again," said neighbor Ida Daniels.

She's talking about the vacant lot that scars the 1700 block of Foulkrod.

Weed-choked and trash-strewn, it is an ongoing headache for neighbors like Daniels.

"It's a dumping ground, and raccoons, especially the raccoons. We see the possums going in there-- they live in there!" Daniels remarked, "It makes our property look terrible."

Ida's husband Robert helped his cousin build an 8 foot privacy fence to hide the mess.

But the weeds top the fence.

Neighbors complain about the property owner but not much has changed.

"Nothing changes. I just talked to somebody from L&I the other day. They told me they're on him and they let him know, 'you've gotta get this done!' Come on, man!" said Robert Daniels of the lot's owner.

In fact, records show the city has cited the owner repeatedly for failing to maintain the lot.

In each case, once cited, he cleans up the mess.

Only to let it fall back into disrepair.

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