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Rural OKC residents urge city leaders to do something about neighborhood eye sores

OKLAHOMA CITY – Northeast Oklahoma City residents are urging city leaders to do something about neighborhood eyesores.

Shirley Anderson is a next door neighbor to some of these homes.

She decided to drive around to see just how many there are and found as many as thirty homes left to rot with the grass growing over her head.

“It’s like a war zone out here. It just draws criminal activity,” says Anderson. “My neighbor told me there is one that she’s seen rats around.”

If that is not enough, the high grass and weeds that grow out of control are the perfect fuel for a fire.

Watching flames threaten homes for months, Anderson says she is afraid her home is next.

“With all these fires we’ve been having,” says Anderson. “It’s just really unsafe for us out here.”

She has made calls to code enforcement and city council members who all promise they will get right on it.

Since they are so far east of Oklahoma City, Anderson feels city officials may sometimes forget about them.

“I don’t think they don’t care,” says Anderson. “They’ve just got their hands full.”

City code enforcement’s Charles Locke says residents here are not forgotten.

Locke says, “The inspectors go out there a couple of times a week.”

There are several things slowing them down.

Homes that are zoned on agricultural land are actually exempt from enforcement.

Also they need an ordinance that would require the owners of these homes to pay to keep them vacant, that is if they can find the owner.

Until then he says keep the complaints coming and they’ll keep sending inspectors out.

Anderson says, “I have friends and relatives that come out here and they’re just flabbergasted, like `How in the world did this happen to this community?”

Locke says inspectors won’t go looking for code violations like high grass.

Residents have to alert them to the problem.