WOBURN - The City Council will later this month convene a nuisance hearing regarding a Garfield Avenue home that has reportedly proven a trouble spot on several occasions over the past decade.
According to Ward 2 Alderman Richard Gately, whose district includes the South End neighborhood, a number of his constituents have lodged complaints about disturbances being caused by the current residents of 52 Garfield Ave., a two-family home situated by Green Street.
During a City Council meeting last month, Gately told his colleagues he should be ready to make his case for the nuisance declaration by the middle of October, when he reportedly plans to appraise his colleagues about recent police and fire department activity involving the .22-acre property.
"I'm looking for a nuisance claim, but I don't have all the information I need. I'm still looking for police reports and a fire department communication about the number of times they've had to go up there to put bonfires out," Gately explained.
"There's trouble down there. And this building has been on our radar before," added the Ward 2 alderman, who recalled similar issues with problem tenants in the two-family dwelling, which contains a net living area of 2,448 square feet.
According to information from the Woburn assessor's office, the Garfield Avenue house was built in 1920 and is currently valued at approximately $421,500. Though city records indicate the house is owned by Reading resident Charles F. Connors, it's unclear if that data is still valid.
A man with the same name and age reportedly passed away back in 2007. Records from the Town of Reading also indicate that a Charles F. Connors, a former Sunset Rock Lane resident, no longer owns that house in the neighboring community. The dwelling in Reading reportedly became an asset of a Saugus bank back in 2009, but it has since been purchased by another private citizen.
Based upon corporate filings with the state, Connors' daughter, Charlene Connors, was once a manager for development company that purchased the Sunset Rock Lane dwelling back in 2003.
That firm, Hartmann Development, was also managed by Wilmington area contractor Peter DeGennaro, who court documents describe as being the former boss and romantic partner of Connors' daughter.
Back in Aug. of 2010, DeGennaro was convicted of five counts of fraud after being accused of bilking a handful of Tewksbury and Wilmington residents out of more than $100,000. He and his female co-defendant, who were first indicted back in 2007, were accused of accepting payments for houses that were never built.
That timeline appears to line-up with Gately's recollection of previous troubles involving the Garfield Avenue house.
Specifically, at the recent council meeting, Gately explained that he and former Police Chief Robert Ferullo — who is now an alderman at-large — tried to convince tenants of the house to clean-up their act a number of years ago.
At the time, says Gately, he was informed that the home's owners were serving a prison sentence.
"Chief Ferullo and I went out there to try to reason with the people who live in this house. They're basically squatters," said the South End official. "The people who owned this house were incarcerated, so they allowed these people to take their house. This was eight or nine years ago."
According to news stories published in the Tewksbury Town Crier, a sister publication of The Daily Times Chronicle, DeGennaro was sentenced to serve a four-to-six year prison sentence back in 2010.