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Proposed new law would notify neighbors common areas for sale

Filed in response to Nasty Joe's property cases

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) -- One lawmaker is introducing legislation to try to stop Nasty Joe's from buying more properties.

A proposed tax code amendment could warn homeowners before the area's most notorious property buyer snatches up a piece of land they didn't know could be sold.

As we've been reporting, in many cases, neighbors weren't even notified. That happened in the Timberline Valley South neighborhood in Champaign. After someone stopped paying the drainage taxes on two ponds, Nasty Joe's bought them in an auction.

State Senator Chapin Rose is introducing a bill that would require counties to notify neighbors before their drainage or retention ponds are sold.

"You don't treat people this way," says Rose, referring to Nasty Joe's, "That's just not how you respond to your fellow citizens. Never in a million years would I have thought it was even possible, let alone having to file a bill to respond to it."

But as we've told you, the ponds are not the only properties Nasty Joe's owns. There's the strip of land the size of a bowling lane in an Urbana woman's backyard that company representative Brian Nastruz wants thousands for, and the fence which the homeowners had no clue Nastruz bought until we told them.

We asked Rose if his proposed legislation could prevent situations like those. He says hearing about that was news to him.

"It's at the moment, confined to common areas owned by homeowners associations, but I think we could absolutely expand it through amendment to some of these other areas that you've now brought to my attention," says Rose, "This is the first time I've heard about some of the other uses of it, by this guy."

Another important note: this would only apply to properties that go to auction in the future. Rose is still looking into what he can do to help everyone currently tied up in a battle with Nasty Joe's.

Nastruz says he believes the person who originally paid the taxes on the ponds got plenty of notifications they would be headed to an auction, and that people shouldn't be allowed to keep properties they don't pay taxes on.

In lesser news, he says registering "Nasty Joe's" as a trademark, and is thinking about making T-shirts.

Also, if anyone has friends up in Manteno, they should tell the owners of a couple condominium buildings that Nasty Joe's bought their driveway. It's at the end of West Adams street. Unless he mailed them a letter, they probably have no idea.

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