WILTON — The Board of Selectpersons declared the house at 30 Webb Ave. a dangerous building, after several neighbors complained about mold, vermin and overgrown vegetation at a public hearing Tuesday.

The board gave homeowner Shirley Thompson another chance to take action to demolish the building or the town will.

Under state law, the town can declare the building dangerous, pay upfront for demolition and charge the owner through a supplemental property tax, Town Manager Rhonda Irish said.

The board agreed to file paperwork to declare the home dangerous and asked the owner to start demolition within 30 days after receiving the order. Thompson was given up to 45 days to have the work completed. 

The abandoned home deteriorated after a tree went through it, Irish said. The town has tried to contact the homeowner, dating back to 2009, and has received complaints about it over the past few years.

Several owners of neighboring properties voiced concerns during the public hearing about the need for mold removal and perhaps asbestos remediation, both much more costly measures than demolition.

Next-door neighbors Paul and Valerie Soucy have trees to block their view of the property but said they cannot enjoy their deck in the summertime because of the stench of mold coming from the house.

Don Hamlin, a resident of Eastern Avenue, complained of the smell and possible health risks. He said he has stopped walking the street because of the smell. The odor can be smelled at homes on other nearby streets, he said.

“The town needs to take action,” he said.  

Neighbors also reported wildlife, including squirrels, going into the house through broken windows and cats hunting mice on the property.

They also voiced concerns about dead trees ready to fall on power lines and overgrown vegetation, including an Asian bittersweet, that has overtaken the property.

Thompson told the board a lot of what her neighbors said is true, but she has tried to keep the property up through the efforts of others. She has not been on the property for four years because of health reasons.

Thompson said she was told demolition and debris removal could cost up to $10,000, not including mold removal. There was a limit to what she could cover, she said.

The mortgage holder and insurer have indicated they will not do anything because the condition is a result of neglect, Irish said. The mortgage holder has paid taxes on the property.

“The neighbors have suffered enough,” Selectperson John Black said.

Board Chairwoman Tiffany Maiuri said the house poses a hazard to residents of the town.

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