LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — Mark Parrilla says he tried to make a difference in his Lake Worth Beach neighborhood 10 years ago. He started the Genesis Neighborhood Association. "And became involved civically going to commission meetings and finding out I was so excited."
Even though he no longer lives in Lake Worth Beach, he frequently visits his mother and feels the area between "A" and "D" Streets look run down. He says there's everything from cars without tags to the trash along the side streets. He takes pictures of what he sees.
"I've seen this olive, beige 18-wheeler cab sitting on that house's lawn. "For me, I believe it's the diesel fuel can create an environmental hazard." He says some neighbors call him.
The city says they try to work with property owners, but some are renting their home.
Mark Stivers, the Deputy Director of Community Sustainability for the city said, "When we have a high level of rentals and a high number of people that really aren't invested in their properties, it's harder to keep and maintain an entire neighborhood, keeping it cleaned up all of the time."
The city says it's a constant process.
"We work on a few houses and then go to the next block and the houses that we worked on before start falling into disrepair again. Take pride in your property, own it. Whether you rent or live there."
As for Parrilla, he says he wants the neighborhood to look as good as surrounding communities.
" Try and reach out a little further to educate them and maybe even get a harmony into what we desire as an ideal city," he said.
“In this general area in the past 12 months (Between A and D Street from 6th and 12th) the city has opened up 396 code cases. Of those, 100 were on D street. In this area, the top issues are abandoned or inoperable vehicles, overgrown lots, trash and debris, shopping carts, and the lack of a current business license (we require a business license for rental properties),” the City of Lake Worth Beach told WPTV.
The city also asks anyone who has questions about how to maintain their property to call the city.