Taking Action

Henrico County threatening further action if apartment management refuses to comply with codes

Taking Action

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Henrico county officials say they will “pursue all remedies available under state law” if management of the London Towne Apartment complex doesn’t comply with county codes by the end of the business day Monday.

We first reported ongoing trash problems at the London Towne apartment complex about a month ago. Since then, the county confirmed that they issued a notice of violation against the apartment management, General Services Corporation, “after receiving complaints from tenants and neighboring communities.”

At the time, General Services Corporation acknowledged that they received 8News’ request for comment but didn’t send a statement or agree to an interview.

The county’s notice of violation expired on May 1 but the problems still persist.

Concerns about tall piles of trash scattered around the complex first began in March, when the areas dumpsters were removed and replaced with a single compactor.

Several tenants have reached out to 8News for help, calling the situation a smelly, potentially dangerous health hazard and eyesore. “All I can tell you is that when my lease is up at the end of July, I am out of there,” said Patty Alewine on Monday. “They keep making promises that something’s gonna get done and nothing does.”

Resident Ralph Daniel spoke out about the issue last month, calling the piles of trash “jaw-dropping”. For about three weeks, Daniel’s apartment window showed he’s not shy about being fed up. A banner that states “fix the trash issue” could be seen from his upstairs window.

Photo: Patty Alewine

The notice of violation was issued at the beginning of April and told the management company that all trash must be removed and properly stored, while asking for a long term plan to “make sure this doesn’t happen again.” It also states that “further action will be determined by the conditions of the property and response of the management company.”

“And here it is, May, and we still have trash everywhere,” Alewine said. “It’s a health hazard too. You pair that with being still in the middle of a pandemic, and it’s not a very good recipe.”

On Monday, after the violation officially expired, 8News asked Henrico county what their next steps are.

The county’s Department of Community Revitalization Director, Eric Leabough, said if the management company doesn’t comply with county codes by the end of the business day Monday, the county “will pursue all remedies available under state law.”

We’re also learning that before this problem arose, London Towne was already in hot water with the county after allegedly placing dumpsters in unapproved areas.

“Staff in the Henrico County Department of Community Revitalization initially opened a code violation case at London Towne Apartments for improperly placed and inadequately screened dumpsters. Dumpsters were not located in approved enclosures and had been placed in areas inconsistent with the property’s approved Plan of Development,” said Leabough in a statement Monday.

It’s not yet clear when the county opened that first code violation case and how it impacted the problem now seen at London Towne.

Residents Alewine and Daniel both acknowledged that the problem, in part, is due to residents not properly using the compactor. “No one knows how to use it. People are still dropping their trash at the sites where the dumpsters used to be,” Alewine said.

In a statement to 8News Monday, General Services Corporation (GSC), did not acknowledge the county’s latest action, but said management has “worked diligently to solve resident concerns.” They also said compactors are beneficial to communities and gave an explanation as to why.

Read their full statement here:

“Since the introduction of the compactor for London Towne residents, management has worked diligently to resolve resident concerns.  We understand that adjusting to a compactor is a change and we are working with residents to make the transition. Management is assisting residents with additional resources to ensure that waste, which is left in the courtyards, is removed promptly. 

Compactors benefit many communities, including London Towne by reducing odors and visual impact of dumpsters near front doors, providing fewer locations around the community where household waste is stored and reduce intrusion of large and loud trash hauling vehicles near apartment homes.

We would like to thank the residents who have made the adjustment. We respectfully ask that all residents cooperate with management in disposing of trash properly to ensure this is a successful transition for all.”

Read the full statement from Henrico county’s Department of Community Revitalization Director, Eric Leabough, here:

“Staff in the Henrico County Department of Community Revitalization initially opened a code violation case at London Towne Apartments for improperly placed and inadequately screened dumpsters. Dumpsters were not located in approved enclosures and had been placed in areas inconsistent with the property’s approved Plan of Development.

While the county was able to close the code case related to the dumpsters, the county opened a new code case related to trash accumulating across the property after receiving complaints from tenants and neighboring communities. Today the code case remains open as the Notice of Violation expired on Saturday, May 1. Staff is notifying the management company that if it is not in compliance by the close of business today, the county will pursue all remedies available under state law.”

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News for updates.

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