Realtor worries Superfund designation will change neighborhood's dynamic

Realtor worries Superfund designation will change dynamic

PUEBLO, Colo. - In a few weeks David Webb will rent a home in a neighborhood that's inching its way to becoming a Superfund site.

"I love the architecture," he said. "The people have a sense of community here. The neighbors - they've banded together. And you don't see that a lot in a lot of areas here in Pueblo."

Pueblo City Council and County Commissioners agreed during a community meeting Tuesday they would write Gov. John Hickenlooper a letter asking him to request a Superfund listing.

Despite that likely designation, Webb said while it won't stop him from renting there it may prevent him from purchasing a home.

Webb is a real estate agent in Pueblo. He had clients interested in a home on Santa Fe Avenue, in the contaminated area, but he says they backed away.

"They chose not to buy in this area for that reason only- for the fear of a Superfund coming into this area," Webb said.

Once crews begin removing the lead contamination, homeowners will get to decide whether they want their soil replaced. Pueblo City Council President Steve Nawrocki doesn't agree with that. "They seem to be concerned about everybody's rights. Well, what about the right of the person who is willing to clean up but doesn't have the ability to protect themselves from the adjacent properties?" he asked.

Still, City Council is moving forward. Webb worries the Superfund designation won't remove all of the area's lead. He's also concerned about the future of the neighborhood.

Webb said, "It's my opinion that we're gonna see a lot of short sales and foreclosures increase in this area because they can't get the prices for their homes that they should be getting for them."

Those who live in a Superfund site or within 3,000 feet of a toxic landfill site are not eligible for any programs under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, including FHA loans.

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