Fort Lauderdale Couple Upset by City's Property Warning

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It wasn’t the notice as much as it was the timing that upset Nicolas Valdivieso and Jeff Gleavey.

"Driveways are not important right now," Gleavey said. "Right now we need to make sure we’re eating, we need to make sure our bills are paid."

They said Valdivieso, a flight attendant, wasn’t working at the moment, leaving them to figure out how to make ends meet.

So when an inspector from the city of Fort Lauderdale stopped by their home Sunday morning and dropped off a notice, they became very upset.

“It just seemed like the last thing we need right now,” Valdivieso said.

The warning gave them 60 days to replace or maintain their landscaping.

“It says that basically the landscaping is not maintained,” Gleavey said. "Which is not true.”

The notice also said they had to stop parking on their front lawn and resurface the gravel or paved driveway in a house that county records show has never had one.

“So they’re giving us 60 days to put in a driveway and he told us it has to be a hard surface,” Gleavey said.

The warning, they said, was an unnecessary added stress.

“This was just like the straw that broke the camel’s back for me,” Valdivieso said.

“For both,” Gleavey added. "When I see him hurt, I hurt.”

That same day, Jeff emailed several city leaders and NBC 6 Responds.

“The world is in this crisis and we just can’t seem to find enough heart to pause and slow down for a minute and just say, 'hey it’s not the right time for this, let’s put the city on hold for a second,'" Gleavey said.

A spokesperson for the City of Fort Lauderdale told NBC 6 Responds the citation was "…a result of a complaint being filed with the City’s Code Compliance Division" and not "…a proactive discovery made by an officer.”

The city also said during the crisis, inspectors were “…primarily focusing on life/health/safety issues,” which is why the city said “Since March 14, the total number of proactive cases has declined over 50%…"

As for Gleavey and Valdivieso, the city said as soon as a code compliance manager found out about the notice, she sent them an email asking them to disregard it and apologized “…for any additional distress the case may have caused.”

Fort Lauderdale wasn’t the only area to change the way it does code compliance because of the crisis.

In Miami-Dade, a spokesperson told NBC 6 they stopped issuing citations in mid-March, when the mayor declared a state of emergency. She said they were still accepting complaints and opening cases but were not issuing citations until at least May 15th.

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