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Blighted Home Still Under Construction After Seven Years

Home subject of residency suit, being fined $100 a day.

Farmington officials are still struggling to get a local homeowner to finish work on a house that has been under construction for more than seven years.

The house, 23 Lakeview Drive in the East Farms area of Farmington, was also added to the town’s blight list and has been the subject of numerous complaints by irate neighbors.

The town has begun fining the owner of the house $100 a day for each day the house remains in violation.

Enrico Mangiafico bought the house in December of 2005, according to town records. The Mangiafico family, including Enrico’s wife and children, moved into the house in February 2006 but moved out and returned to New Britain just a few months later when additional construction on the house began, according to court records.

In June 2006, rain caused structural damage to the house, which made it uninhabitable, court documents said, and the house has remained vacant while the Mangiaficos remained in New Britain, according to the court documents.

In the meantime, construction on the house has been mostly at a stand still, with missing siding and Tyvek home wrap facing neighbors’ homes and construction equipment sitting in the yard.

The property was added to the town’s blighted building list – reserved for unoccupied properties – in fall of 2012 after neighbors submitted a petition. Since then the town has been attempting to leverage fines to get the owner to clean up the property, with almost no success.

In September, the town began ticketing the property $100 a day, 7 days a week and shortly thereafter the weeds were cut, according to the town manager’s report but progress stopped there. The owner requested the property be removed from the blight list but was refused.

In November, the owner requested a building permit to begin additional work on the property and according to statute, the town issued it. The owner, however, didn’t pick up the permit and missed more deadlines set by the town.

The Mangiaficos, meanwhile, faced the Farmington Board of Education in court after the board prohibited the family's children from attending Farmington schools. The board argued, and the court upheld, that the family did not meet the residency requirement since they lived in New Britain. Mangiafico, representing himself, claimed the family had substantial ties to Farmington, went to church in town and intended to return. He later claimed a natural disaster forced the family out and that the children were homeless.

Eventually, the town could lien the house as a result of the mounting fines.

The owner recently requested a public hearing on the fines and the property's status and an update will be provided at the March Town Council meeting.

Ray Elling February 25, 2013 at 04:36 PM
There is another eyesore like this on Talcott Notch Road -- been this way for a dozen or more years.
Kimberly Walsh February 25, 2013 at 05:01 PM
There's another on Coppermine Road, right before Great Oak Lane. No one has ever lived there and it's just a complete eyesore!
Paul Chotkowski February 25, 2013 at 05:21 PM
Ms. McCallum yet another reason why I like to read your posts, I frequently learn something new! I was previously unaware that the town had a “blighted property list”. Outstanding new learning. A cursory review of the town’s website failed to reveal the full list [probably my failure]. Could you please post a link to the full list? If such a public list is currently not available, would you please nudge, push, shove the PTB to add the list to the town’s website? In the future when you post a story about blight in our town, please consider including a link to the full list. IMHO providing full disclosure [address, owner, date placed on list, daily fines, total accrued fines, etc.] would be most helpful, more transparency is always better! Frankly my concern is that with the high probability of significant increases in Property Taxes our town may be seeing more additions to the list! Thanks for your consideration.
jenniferh653@gmail.com February 25, 2013 at 08:39 PM
This is NOT newsworthy. Please, Patch, write about something more significant. With this horrific economy, perhaps folks just are hurting in more ways than one. Let's be nice, folks.
Kristen P. February 25, 2013 at 10:52 PM
This IS news because folks ARE hurting, due to their property values plummeting from blighted properties. How do you expect people to sell their homes without owing money if blighted properties go unnoticed by the public. Perhaps people should not purchase homes and/or property they cannot afford or cannot afford to maintain.
Kristen P. February 25, 2013 at 10:57 PM
While it is a journalist's job to inform people of the news, I believe it is the public's responsibility to search out public information. I think adding a link to the website would be sufficient. It is not a journalist's job to invoke change like getting the town to add this information to the town site. Perhaps you should take it upon yourself and carry out your civic responsibilities to create change and transparency. Nothing gets done if you leave the dirty work up to one person.
Saul Freedman February 25, 2013 at 11:48 PM
Jenniferh653, how are you connected to the homeowners?
jenniferh653@gmail.com February 26, 2013 at 12:59 AM
I don't know them. Just that more important items can be written about - the economy, which is a disaster, which will apparently now affect potential jobs, the unemployment still existing, protecting our precious children...........much more important things to focus on than this. People have blinders on here....perhaps this story, and others like it, are related to the horrific economic times we are all enduring. What about that? Again, let's be nice, folks.
Dawn Nolan February 26, 2013 at 02:12 PM
Not saying that I would want that next to my house forever but...here's another point that I observed from reading the article...The kids aren't allowed to attend Farmington Public Schools, even though they own a house here, but open up your school's handbook and see how many kids go to our schools who DON'T live in Farmington. People can say "It's grant money from the Government..." but guess what my/your taxes pay for, "grant money for the government." Who do you think pays for it...We are on the verge of broke. We have one parent working, one staying home to raise the kids and we live here FOR THE SCHOOLS. What if I said, "I love Farmington Public Schools, but you know what, I like Avon's better, so can I bring them there and still live here...? I have the bank statement to prove that I need just as much help as anyone else that comes here from somewhere else. And believe me not all of them have financial woes...I say you want to go to schools here, you gotta live here...No more profiling, everyone should be equal. And if that family does not live here yet, until their house is done, then they too should have to wait until they do live here. That's the beauty of Farmington, you don't have to have a lot of money to live here...there are plenty of apartments, condos, and smaller priced houses.
Michelle K. February 27, 2013 at 03:52 AM
This family, since you say you don't know them, is not suffering from the "horrific economic times" others are enduring. Check out their clothes, their lifestyle and the vehicles they drive. It is not that people are not being nice, simply stating a fact. The family is impacting the town economically, both via property values and cost of a public school education. And think about the lesson they are teaching their children.
R. Shackleford March 06, 2013 at 01:42 AM
Deadlines should be met and the fines paid. This is a travesty that impacts all of us as Farmington residents.
Art Vandelay March 08, 2013 at 12:49 PM
The owner of this home is feeling no hardship, it's my understanding that he is employeed and enjoys much success as a latex salesman. Giddie up.

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