Town takes aim at land that ‘looks like a junkyard’

Officials tell owner to clean up property in response to complaint
By 
KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press staff

Town of Port Washington officials agreed last week to send a letter to a town landowner seeking to get him to clean up his property — a parcel that Town Chairman Mike Didier said “looks like a junkyard.”

Town officials received complaints about the property from a neighboring property owner, and last month deferred action so supervisors could check out the condition of the land at 4192 Hwy. LL owned by Nick Tholl.

Tholl’s property is surrounded on three sides by land owned by George Robers, who lodged the complaints, Didier said June 6.

What’s unusual about the land, Supr. Greg Welton said, is “there’s only one person who can see it.”

Didier said Tholl’s land is “a cool piece of property” except for the fact that it’s littered with debris.

It’s hard to explain what is there, he said, adding, “What’s not there?”

The property, he said, has a dumpster that neighbors said has been there since last February.

The house on the property burned decades ago, but the chimney and fireplace still stand, Didier said, and there’s a trailer on the parcel. While officials would normally recommend that property owners talk to each other rather than filing a complaint, Didier noted that these two have long-standing issues.

“They don’t like each other,” he said. Town resident John Taucher asked whether the property violates town ordinances and, if it does, how the town would enforce the matter.

Didier said the property does violate the town ordinances against public nuisances, specifically the litter, trash and rubbish on the land.

If the property were zoned for agricultural use, it would be different, Didier said.

“There are agricultural parcels that look just as bad,” he noted, but because of the zoning, it’s not an issue.

Didier said that sending a letter asking Tholl to clean up the property is the first step.

“We’ll start with that,” he said.

If nothing happens, he said, officials will discuss the matter with the town attorney and consider their options, which include filing a lawsuit.

“It could be a long, drawn-out affair,” Taucher said.

The complaint against the Tholl property isn’t the only one the town has received recently, Clerk Heather Krueger said. Residents of the senior living apartments on South  Spring have called recently to complain about the condition of the trailer park next door.

“I don’t think anything’s changed about the trailer park,” Krueger said, except that people now live next door.

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