An Auburndale house that has practically been engulfed by overgrown foliage has became a thorn in the side of neighbors on Utopia Parkway.
Built in 1925, the two-level residence at 32-51 Utopia Pkwy. was converted to two apartments about 20 years ago. Since then, the owner, Michael C. Lee, has received citations for the overgrown conditions and trash in the front yard as well as rats on the property.
Neighbors say they don’t think anyone lives there, but that the property is cleaned up once or twice a year, the owner is believed to pay the fines and nothing changes. Despite calls to area elected officials and 311, raccoons, opossums and rats are spotted regularly on the grounds, which quickly returns to the neglected condition.
According to Community Board 11 District Manager Susan Seinfeld, there have been numerous complaints about the Utopia house. In the past, the Health and Sanitation departments have been called in to eliminate the rats and clean the grounds.