Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

News

April 3, 2014

'Eyesore' raising ire

Neighbors frustrated by ongoing mess at Dufton Road home

Neighbors of a Dufton Road house say the town isn’t doing enough to clean up the rubbish outside the property.

Tents are pitched and all sorts of things are piled up outside 2 Dufton Road, which has been the focus of town action since 2008.

More recently, neighbors have complained to Town Manager Buzz Stapczynski about the blighted property, but have received limited response.

“It’s an eyesore,” said neighbor Candace Martin, who is also the chairwoman of the Board of Health. “People come by and say, ‘What’s up with the property at the bottom of the hill?’”

She added, “This is the entrance to our neighborhood. We’ve put up with this for six years.”

The property has been on the town’s radar since 2008, when Building Inspector Chris Clemente sent owners Joseph and Nancy Boyer a notice that they were violating the state building code by having a temporary tent or garage set up in the front yard.

Since then, the Boyers have received many more violation notices, including one for having multiple unregistered vehicles and trailers that can’t be towed parked on the property.

Then the town filed a cease-and-desist order on the owners prohibiting them from using the property to store such items as construction materials and discarded children’s play equipment, among other things.

In 2008, then-Building Inspector Kaija Gilmore took the Boyers to Land Court seeking a preliminary injunction in an effort to get them to remove the vehicles and trailers as well as the “junk, scrap, wooden railroad ties, building materials, appliances or any other material or tents prohibited by the zoning bylaw.”

In August 2009, the Boyers signed an agreement with the town to remove all of the material around the house.

Later that same year, Gilmore took the Boyers back to court for failing to comply with the earlier agreement. The Boyers then said that U.S. Bank had foreclosed on the property, at which point a Land Court judge ruled that since it was unclear who actually owned the property, he couldn’t force the Boyers — or the bank — to clean it up.

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