Arlington Property Owners Face Thousands in Fines

Inez Drive homeowners say they're being unfairly targeted

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Property owners along Inez Drive in Arlington say they are being unfairly targeted by code compliance officers.

    Junked vehicles parked in yards, illegal sewage connections, unlicensed businesses and clutter; these are just some of the violations the city of Arlington says were on Inez Drive, a short private street near the intersection of Pioneer Parkway and Bowen Road.

    "What appears that has happened on Inez Drive is years and years of accumulation of items," said Mike Bass, Assistant Director of Code Compliance Services for Arlington.

    Robert Welch owns a home on Inez Drive. In fact, his family has owned the property since the 1920s. Today the dozen or so homes are all owned by family members.

    Cited with running illegal businesses -- a wrecker service and a daycare center --  Welch said that his street is being unfairly targeted and that the city issued him a business permit for the wrecker service.

    “We have documents from the city stating that we have a home-based business permit,” said Welch.
     
    "His business license is for operating an office setting only," Bass said.

    Bass added that Welch had numerous illegally stored vehicles stored on the property, including junked vehicles.

    "I owned all the vehicles that were on the road at the time," said Welch.

    There was also the alleged illegal daycare.

    "We established that day that there was a daycare business occurring, we were able to confirm that through some ads we found," said Bass.

    "They say my mother was running an illegal daycare business, she watches my grandkids, so if that's an illegal daycare center, I don't know what else they would want," said Welch.

    Bass said Welch needs to provide proof that those are his grandchildren.

    Among other violations, homeowners were also cited for illegal sewage connections.

    Welch said that the Inez Drive homes have been legally connected to the city’s sewage system since the street was annexed into the city in the 1960s.

    Welch said he thinks he's being targeted because the city wants to redevelop the land.

    "They want to, more or less, chase us out of the property," he said. "We're not bothering nobody. This is a little piece of the country right in the middle of the city."

    Bass dismissed Welch's claim. "We approach Inez Drive the same way as every other property in violation in the city," said Bass.

    Welch and his family are facing more than $4,000 in fines.