New Hanover Co. leaders force property owners to clear ditches

Reported by Tim Pulliam - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - People who live in one part of New Hanover County are being forced to clean out the ditches on their property or they could face a costly penalty.

County leaders want property owners to remove things like debris and trees, which could cause flooding in area neighborhoods.

The county recently sent a letter to residents who need to remove debris, giving property owners 60 days to do so.

A $500 fine will be issued to people who are caught dumping items into their ditches.

One property owner who has to remove trees that have been in his ditch for years says it should be the developers responsibility to move them.

"You can't ask a homeowner to come in here and cut down trees that have been growing for 50 years," said property owner James Giuffre.  "I've already spent $500, the neighbor on this one spent, we have $1,000 between these. We're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars to clear this"

The county says if property owners don't clear their debris, they will do it, but will put a lien on their property for the cost of clearing the land.

Property owners can appeal the process and ask certain items not be removed from their ditches by contacting the county manager's office.

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