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Neighborhood Watch Reports People For Long Grass

Karl Moore | May 18, 2005


Broken down cars. Three sheds in the front yard.

That may be the way some neighborhoods in Prince William County used to look. But that is changing.

Some areas, once considered rural, are bustling with new development.

And with those new homes comes new pressure to keep up with the Jones'.

9 News' Peggy Fox shows us how the county is helping out.

Peggy Fox's Report

Michelle Casciato landed what looks like the perfect job.

For $70,000 a year, she walks around neighborhoods in Prince William county, taking in the beauty and jotting down the ugly.

For one, you're not supposed to park cars, trucks, boats and trailer son your lawn.

Casciato is Prince William County's neighborhood coordinator. It's a new position to beef up the appearance of neighborhoods in a county that is fast becoming more affluent.

The neighborhood coordinator has no enforcement powers, but she does work with 14 code enforcement inspectors to whom she'll hand off the address of properties that are in violation.

When the grass is over a foot high, or she finds another violation, she doesn't knock on the door because that can spark a confrontation. But she does write down the address. The owner of this overgrown lawn, BJ Richardson, thinks it's too much like 'Big Brother'.

Other homeowners, on the other hand, are pleased with the attention and hope more problems can be addressed.

Casciato says through education and outreach, she's trying to make Prince William a nicer place to live.

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