Local News

Raleigh Residents Want Houses Declared As Public Nuisances

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RALEIGH, N.C. — People in the Cameron Park area of Raleigh complained to the City Council that two houses in their neighborhood are magnets for crime. Residents want the buildings declared a public nuisance.

Cameron Park, with its tree-lined streets and stately old homes, was founded in 1910, a time when police would not even make calls to the area because it was too far out of the city.

These days, Raleigh police cruisers are a common site and neighbors say it is all because of two houses at 201 and 202 Groveland Avenue.

Almost two dozen people live in what neighbors say are nothing more than rooming houses.

"(There are) excessive noises that go on well into the night, drunkenness. There's even been a shooting down there recently," homeowner Al Blalock said.

This is not the first time these two properties have been brought into question. In fact, 10 years ago, the neighborhood association sued owner Jerry Hailey, and they settled out of court. He told WRAL that everything he is doing there is perfectly legal.

"There have been times when it's felt intimidating after dark," homeowner Walter Clark said.

Wesley Harris lives at 201 Groveland and while he understands the concern, he said neighbors are pointing their fingers at the wrong people.

"I don't blame 'em, but it's not on us," Harris said. "It's the people who come from out of the neighborhood that cause the problems to people's property and things like that."

In the last five years, only two other houses in Raleigh have been declared a public nuisance. The city must now decide if it should crack down on 201 and 202 Groveland.

The city attorney is looking through records of police calls to those houses to determine if they should be declared a nuisance. The process could take several months.