By Steven Hoffman

Staff Writer

From illegally parked cars to chickens running wild to large appliances being stored in yards, several residents who live in the Stenning Hills section of Kennett Square presented their concerns about the current condition of the neighborhood at the Kennett Square Borough Council meeting on Jan. 27.

Leslie Whiteside said that the Stenning Hills neighborhood has been neglected and ignored when it comes to enforcing the codes and ordinances that are on the books.

“There are so many ordinances and things that are being neglected in our neighborhood that it’s affecting our home values,” Whiteside said. “What’s going on now is unacceptable. I am selling my home and I am suffering because of {the conditions}.”

Whiteside said that many of the 200 or more homes in Stenning Hills are owned by second- or third-generations of families and are well-maintained, but other homeowners violate codes and show no concern for their neighbors. For example, some residents park cars on sidewalks or lawns.

“That happens all day, every day,” she said.

Leslie’s husband, Robert, said that there are too many cars being parked on the street, which makes it difficult for snowplows to get through.

He added that one home has chickens running around on the lawn. Another home has old washers, dryers, and refrigerators stored in the yard.

“It’s decreasing property values of homes. It’s tearing this neighborhood apart,” he said. 

Leslie Whiteside read a letter from a Stenning Hills couple who attempted to sell their home but potential buyers were turned off when they saw the condition of some of the homes in the neighborhood.

Robert Whiteside offered to walk around the neighborhood with borough officials to see some of the codes violations that neighbors see all the time. 

Leslie Whiteside commended Police Chief Edward Zunino, saying that any issues that involved police activity are quickly dealt with by the Kennett Square Police Department. 

Council president Leon Spencer and council member Dan Maffei, in particular, spoke up about the need for borough officials to promptly address these concerns.

“Blight is unacceptable,” said Spencer. “I ride through neighborhoods all the time. You pointed out some things here that are alarming and concerning. We need to be looking into it. The thought of chickens coming out of somebody’s house is alarming to me. The fact that you’ve said that this is going on…means that we have work to do.”