23 Aug 2014
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Blighted Home Still Under Construction After Seven Years

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

Blighted Home Still Under Construction After Seven Years

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.

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