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‘It’s all weeds:’ Homeowners upset for-sale lots in neighborhood aren’t being mowed

MILWAUKEE -- A couple moved to a new subdivision hoping for friendly neighbors. They have new neighbors alright; they're just not humans -- they're rodents. The new homeowners say the city is to blame.

Latosha McKinney moved to the Josie Heights subdivision near 13th and Lloyd two years ago.

"I love the area but the promises the city made, null and void," McKinney said.

The move has not been what she expected.

Latosha McKinney

"I mean it's all weeds. It looks horrible," McKinney said.

McKinney and her husband bought the house, they say, with the expectation others would soon follow. Of the 36 lots in Josie Heights, 33 remain empty.

"This is great compared to what it normally looks like. The grass comes up to my knee, past my knee," said McKinney.

The homeowners say in the last year, the city -- who owns the unsold lots -- has only come one time to cut the grass. That's attracted new neighbors which McKinney's security cameras show tend to be seen late at night.

"I have videos of generation of raccoons. Not families. Because it is more than five. So that's a generation passing through us," McKinney said.

Frustrated, McKinney says calls to City Hall have only added to her anxiety.

"I called neighborhood services, 'Oh it's forestry. Oh you got to talk to this person.' I have so many names of people I have talked to," said McKinney.

McKinney made one more phone call to FOX6 News. Within hours, we had a response.

Jeff Fleming, a spokesperson with the Department of City Development says, "between two different city departments and an outside contractor there's been some confusion about who is going to take care of this... Bottom line is the grass will be cut tomorrow."


City officials say they believe the confusion has been worked out after discussions within the last few days.

McKinney: "I'm so glad."

FOX6's Ben Handelman: "Is there some relief?"

McKinney: "We'll see tomorrow."