5

Neighbors rally to gardener's side following anonymous complaint

http://host.madison.com

Michael Martin is used to getting compliments on the botanical bonanza he has cultivated, mulched and pampered along his leafy, residential lot on the Near West Side.

But one anonymous complaint set Madison's inspection apparatus in motion and kept Martin in thrall for two weeks, an experience that mustered supportive neighbors.

"I know the city has to respond, and all this is complaint-driven, but they don't have to act on it," she said. "Too many people can use that as a way to get back at their neighbor. One anonymous complaint can be very manipulative."

Anonymous complaints make up 85 percent of those to the city's building inspection unit, inspector Marla Rauls estimated.

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