By Erin Jones

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The road to recovery is a long one for many North Dallas homeowners and businesses still dealing with the effects of last October’s tornado and now, the possibility they could face fines for not cleaning up their property in a timely manner is adding stress.

“Nobody want to be in this situation,” James Wiggins said. “This is not something any of us asked for. The challenge is we’re waiting for the insurance company to respond. We want to tear it down. We want to make progress.”

He worries about those in his neighborhood who don’t have insurance.

Up until now, city code wasn’t enforced, but city officials said because of growing health and safety concerns they’re going to start.

In the coming days, more than 100 residents who appear to be violating code will receive letters in the mail asking them to take steps to address the issues. The first notices that go out won’t be citations, but warnings.

For anyone who is running into issues with repairs, it’s encouraged you let the city know. That’s what Wiggins did and he said so far, they’ve been understanding.

“I understand that the city doesn’t want the place to turn into a slum,” Al Martinez said. “You’re not only getting it from the city, but you’re also getting it from the Dallas Central Appraisal District.”

On top the office completing their disaster reappraisal, Martinez said his parents (whose home was destroyed) received a letter.

“It says people have two years to let them know what they’re going to do in order to keep their homestead exemption,” he said.

Erin Jones