CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Residents in one southwest Charlotte neighborhood want the city to do something about an eyesore that’s been plaguing the area for more than a year.
“It’s just unsafe, unsightly and unhealthy and it’s very upsetting,” said homeowner Sara Brooks, who purchased the house which sits next to the land owned by the church a little over 18 months ago. “I have a 2-year-old nephew who’s not even allowed to go out and play in our yard because of our concerns for snakes and rodents.”
Brooks said the grass around the building that once housed the Metropolitan AME church on Nations Ford Road is several feet high and has become a breeding ground for rodents and snakes and other types of unwanted creatures.
“One would think that a church would make good neighbors,” she said as she peered over the grass in some places over five feet high. The church and another property are both in bad shape.
The church now bears a sign that says “Unsafe” on the front door.
“I just want the city to come in and raze the buildings,” Brooks added.
Neighbors also said that at one time the abandoned buildings were used by people for drugs and other illegal activities.
NewsChannel 36 tried to reach the owners of Adams AME church to discuss the problem, but all their contact information lead to a dead end.
The African Methodist Episcopal Church headquartered in Pennsylvania is the church’s governing body. Adams Metropolitan is under the second Episcopal District which covers Baltimore, Washington, Virginia, North Carolina and western North Carolina. While a representative did acknowledge that the Charlotte church is under their direction, they were not at liberty to discuss the matter of why the church let the property fall into disrepair and what they plan to do to remedy the situation.
“That’s up to the bishop to do,” said the AME church representative. “We discuss these things as a body in meetings and then the bishop can tell you what the outcome is.”
One other issue is why each time a complaint was made by any one of several residents about the high grass, Code Enforcement closed the case saying that the case was solved. The possible reason was that occasionally different residents would take turns mowing the grass in the front of the Church. This may have given the appearance that the property was being taken care of, but if a Code Enforcement agent had walked or driven to the back of the property they would have seen the problem grass.
Charlotte Code Enforcement Manager Ben Krise said the city”is aware of the problem and is investigating the matter.”
Code Enforcement plans to give NewsChannel 36 an update Thursday.