Verona residents upset company bought home to house employees
Neighbors claim, at times, 12 employees have lived at the home at once. But a city ordinance states only four unrelated people are allowed to live in a dwelling.
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Residents in a Verona subdivision are calling on city leaders to step up after they claim one homeowner is breaking a city ordinance by housing too many door-to-door salespeople in one home. Neighbors say this has been going on for eight months without much intervention.
Neighbors feel their concerns aren’t being heard, but city leaders and police say they’ve never dealt with something like this, and that it’s a tough case to crack.
The Cathedral Point subdivision is a spot Ryan Jacobson chose carefully when building his home.
“It’s been a great place to raise a family,” Jacobson said. That is, until he says Will Creech bought a house nearby. Creech is the owner of Everlight Solar, a company that installs solar panels on homes.
“The person that bought it, bought it in their name, but bought it for a business. And that business is housing a bunch of door to door sales people in the house,” explains Jacobson.
What worries Jacobson and other neighbors isn’t who owns it or who lives there, but how many. He’s keeping track, counting almost every car since May of 2021 when Creech bought the two-story home.
“Twenty-one different vehicles that had been staying at the residence at different times,” Jacobson claims, as he reviews his log of vehicles.
Other neighbors like Jim Hanson see it too. And it’s causing concern.
“They had 10 cars overnight in the past. I know if they’re there, it’s going to effect property values,” Hanson said.
“The concern one, is the image of the neighborhood and the frustration of them parking all over the neighborhood and then coming and going at all times of the day,” says Jacobson.
There’s a city ordinance in Verona for residentially zoned land. It states only four unrelated people can live in one place at a time. Jacobson says that rule is being broken.
“When it first started, it was anywhere from eight to twelve people staying there,” says Jacobson.
Verona police detectives are investigating the neighbors’ complaints. They say proving how many people live in one house can be tricky and takes time. But the city did issue Creech a warning and a citation back in May and July.
That citation says in part, “the city has obtained evidence more than four people leaving the house in the morning on multiple occasions.”
“It helped for a period of time, but now it’s really picked up again,” says Jacobson.
NBC15 Investigates conducted 16 hours of surveillance over one week’s time to see what a day was like outside Creech’s house. The traffic flow seemed relatively normal; four different vehicles total coming and going from the home, and a fifth, a red truck, that often parked down the street.
But neighbors say it’s more common to see more cars. Ring camera footage on one particular day in November shows a red truck coming and going seven times in less than three hours time.
NBC15 Investigates reached out to Will Creech ten times over a three-week timespan without hearing back from the homeowner. A spokesperson for Everlight Solar sent a statement that reads, in part:
“We are not violating any zoning laws. We are well aware of the zoning restrictions and strictly adhere to them. The home in question rents rooms to some staff in compliance with the law.”
On Cathedral Point Drive, Jacobson says the car shuffling died down during the holidays. And after the new year, it picked back up. That’s why Jacobson says he’s planning on putting his family’s home on the market, hoping the car counting stops in his new neighborhood.
Verona City Administrator Adam Sayre says the city is looking into the property and that this problem is a unique situation in town.
Verona Alderman Evan Touchett says he can’t give details in an active investigation, but he is aware of the complaint and says, “no one is being harmed” by what’s happening.
“It can’t be a precedent that’s set in Verona. I would like to see our city officials step up a little. Because if this is one neighborhood, who says another business won’t do this in another neighborhood?” questions Jacobson.
According to the Better Business Bureau, Everlight Solar has an A+ rating as an accredited business.
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