Neighbors happy to see Chugiak 'problem property' cleaned up
Ashley Schultze has lived along Chugiak's Sunnyside Drive since 2006.
"I like it out there. It's kind of peaceful, quiet," Schultze said. "I felt the prices at the time were affordable, I felt you got good land for your money."
However, problem neighbors across the street were not a part of the bargain.
"They've been nothing but an eyesore," he said. "Traffic coming and going, we've had fires over here, loud profanity, you name it."
The Municipality of Anchorage said it had received complaints about the lot, located on both Sunnyside and Rambler Drive, from residents for decades. City officials even described it as a "problem property" and recently took possession of it.
Crews cleared some of the property Thursday, demolishing at least one structure. The city's lead land enforcement officer said his department received complaints of junked cars, debris and squatters on the property. Plus, it had been in and out of compliance several times during the last few years. It simply became a liability and had to go.
Much to the relief of neighbors, including Schultze.
"Just getting rid of the stragglers over there, the crime, the drug scene. It's a huge relief," Schultze said.
It also brings comfort to 10-year-old Makayla Schultze, who used to be nervous when she visited a friend.
"We always walk to each other's house and have sleepovers, and I always got scared," she said, "but now, I'm really glad they're leaving, so now I don't need to be worried anymore."
City crews are expected to return next month to finish clearing the property.
According to public records, Ellis Yates owned the land. He died several years ago, leaving it to his estate, Yates' son said.
Yates' daughter, Opal, is listed as the current owner. KTVA's attempts to reach her were unsuccessful.
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