Blight not a new issue in Urbana

I respectfully submit this letter as a responsible owner and resident in the 400 block of Dodson Drive South in Urbana for more than 20 years.

I define blight as neglected, rundown, damaged, abandoned, vacant and infested conditions. Blight is a major health and safety issue. Blight is ugly.

I urge readers to visit the 400 and 500 blocks of Dodson Drive South during the daylight hours so they can see evidence of blight around yards.

The April 28 article “More than four years later, blight remains” is not new. It’s only one instance of neighborhood blight.

Blight alarms sounded in a Nov. 12, 2017, N-G cover story headlined “No man’s land: The fight over blight.”

Proactive, longtime, property-tax paying residents sounded the alarm. Some owners who don’t live in the neighborhood are silent and not held accountable. They don’t visit their blight.

We identified blighted areas for the N-G staff. We cited burned-out, vacant, abandoned, deteriorating, dilapidated properties; inoperable vehicles and appliances; debris and garbage; rodent infestation; and overgrown landscapes.

Residents have gone to Champaign County Board meetings, contacted planning and zoning, reviewed covenants and restrictions, organized and attended informational meetings. Still, the blight remains.

Planning and zoning officials have shunned me since March 2022 regarding a vacant property that threatens my health and safety due to a deteriorating garage. The house has been vacant for four to five years and is uninhabitable.

There is much more blight to eliminate.