Options are limited in dealing with Arlington eyesore

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on April 3, 2013 at 11:25 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 4 at 4:32 PM

4902 Arborgate Drive

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ARLINGTON — No one calls 4902 Arborgate Drive in Arlington home. It’s abandoned and boarded up.

“What you see over there now is 100 percent better than it was,” said neighbor Paul Kunce.

For two years, he and others on Arborgate Drive lived next to neglect.

“The backyard was piled up with bags of garbage and cans and bottles,” Kunce said. “It was a mess.”

The City of Arlington has received more than 20 complaints about the property since 2007. Code officials have responded every time.

They found the garage door, the fence, and the windows all broken and battered. At one point, they also found a person they believed to be a squatter living inside the property.

“It would be nice if someone was accountable to take care of the property,” said Misty Gutierrez, Arlington’s code field manager,

According to the city, the owner — Gayla Benton — told them she walked away from the property. She’s still the registered owner and the citations against her keep adding up as the home falls into foreclosure.

“She had made some agreements in court to pay some of the citations,” Gutierrez said. “She had pleaded no contest and failed to pay those citations.”

Benton spent several days behind bars last month after a warrant for her arrest was issued. She turned herself in in early March and then was released.

News 8 went to Benton’s new address for comment, but she wasn’t home.

The city asked the lender, Chase Bank, to speed up the foreclosure process, hoping it would take care of the property, but delays remain.

The bank sent News 8 this statement:

"Chase does not own this property. As the mortgage servicer, we have limited rights to make repairs to a property prior to legally taking possession of it."

As code officials wait for a solution, they will keep an eye on the home on Arborgate Drive.

“We have to continue to monitor the property and continue to spend city resources,” Gutierrez said.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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