From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:
The City of North Charleston is considering ways to make property owners responsible for the upkeep of sidewalks near their property. It's not a problem limited to North Charleston.
We decided to check out a similar problem in Dorchester County. The portion of land from the sidewalk to the back yards of homes in Forest Lawn, has grown up for years. And the sidewalks look like they have not been cleared of weeds in years.
We decided to find out who is responsible, and see what could be done to fix the problem.
Troy Pelloni's house in Forest Lawn is one of those that backs up to Ladson Road. "They only cut it like once a year, if that."
He says the problem is not just aesthetic. It also attracts rats and other animals. "We're not talking like 5-10, we're talking about 10-30 rats. And there has been a bunch of rats dead alongside the road." In fact, we easily found a dead rat on the side of the road near his house.
James Clark has lived in the back of the neighborhood for about 6 years. "It looks like crap. Just something that looks like crap." He says believe it or not, it actually looks better now than it has. "I've seen grass knee high, and weeds up over the fence."
Pelloni says they have tried for years to get it cleaned up good. "I figure it would probably take an act of congress to get something going on that."
We decided to contact The SC Department of Transportation. They are responsible for the property. They acknowledged that it has not been maintained properly. That's why they recently signed a contract to have it cut back four times per year. You can see that some of the brush has been cut back recently.
We also asked about the sidewalks that need to have the weeds removed. They told us they will put in an order to have that fixed as well. As far as the fences, they say property owners will need to do that, so that the D.O.T. workers do not damage the fences.
James says this is good news, but after years of overgrowth, he is still skeptical. "Well, actually, that will be good, if they do it. If they do it."
D.O.T. officials tell us they expect to have the sidewalks cleaned up within the next week or two.
Image courtesy of WCBD-TV.