Wilton board clamps down on property owner

Ann Bryant/Sun Journal

Duane Pollis has been given until Thursday to clean up his Adams Street yard in Wilton or face a daily fine and court action from the town.

WILTON — The Board of Selectmen unanimously decided Tuesday to take action against an Adams Street homeowner if his property was not cleaned up by Thursday.

After numerous complaints about the cluttered yard, some dating back to 2009, the board gave Duane Pollis until Thursday to clean up his yard or face a $100-a-day fine and court action. Pollis will also be expected to pay attorney costs for the town if it goes to court.

The fine, attorney fees and court action are spelled out in the town's building and property maintenance ordinance passed in June.

Town Manager Rhonda Irish wanted to discuss the issue with legal counsel before sending Pollis notice of the town's intent.

Several letters, including a certified one, have been sent to Pollis. One letter provided an extension until Sept. 30 for compliance with the ordinance, Irish said. 

Pollis has not contacted the town and has made no attempt to appeal to the board, which the ordinance allows.

"He's ignoring us, ignoring our letters and ignoring the board," Irish said. She suggested the board move toward court action.

Pollis was not present at Tuesday's meeting.

Some board members, including Terry Brann and Tom Saviello, thought the new ordinance should be followed.

"There's an ordinance in place," Saviello said. "We need to follow the ordinance."

The ordinance committee and town officials endorsed the law to get property owners to clean up trash and junk from their yards for health and safety reasons.

Prior to passage of the ordinance, the code enforcement officer talked to homeowners about property conditions and sometimes brought them before the board but there was no law giving officials authority to order cleanup.

Pollis has made attempts to clean up the property, according to Jamie Cunningham, who is helping him with the work in exchange for housing.

Cunningham was at the property Wednesday morning and said Pollis works long hours on construction projects. He brings home piles of used wood and materials from job sites to use on his home.

Cunningham pointed to areas where items had been near the property line but have recently been removed, he said.

Pollis is also dealing with the death of a loved one in June, Cunningham said.

Selectmen also discussed Pollis having chickens that stray around the neighborhood. The birds are now confined to a cage, Cunningham said, although one errant chicken soon strutted across the yard as he spoke Wednesday.

Pollis has been a good neighbor, according to Robert Jellison, who lives in the next house. Pollis usually mows and gardens but this summer he's been dealing a death, Jellison said.

abryant@sunjournal.com

Ann Bryant/Sun Journal

Duane Pollis has been given until Thursday to clean up his Adams Street yard in Wilton or face a daily fine and court action from the town.

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Comments

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Maybe a different approach.............

I'm sorry, but from what I've read in this story, there seems to be a much more sinister villian at work in this story. This guy sounds like he has all the indications of severe anxiety and depression. It would explain the fact that he is ignoring the requests for cleaning up the property. I'd be willing to bet he has never even opened any of the letters. It's so much easier for people with this condition, left untreated to ignore or hide from unpleasant tasks. I'll bet he is hard to get a hold of on the phone and doesn't answer his door all the time. The guy may really be in agony over this. With the recent death of a relative, it just compounds the problem. If you demand he do something, your wasting your time. If he does in fact suffer from these symptoms, it's a lot stronger than any threat to court would be.
I'm not saying the town can do anything to treat this illness if he has it. I just thought that maybe trying a different approach might get more results. Instead of conferring with a Legal adviser. maybe a doctors advice, or going through a relative would work better. I'm not saying this is the problem, but he shows all the signs. He may need help not threats....................

KATHY WILLIAMSON's picture

This seems fishy

"Sinister" is the word that came to my mind as well. Is this a homeowner who was previously able to keep his yard clean? And where is he? Has he been seen out and about? It looks like this boarder could be either exploiting a serious illness or he has done something to him.

KATHRYN PENDLETON's picture

Frank

Agreed!

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