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N.J. Neighbor: Purple Paint Job Is Homeowner's Ploy To Avoid Repairs

DENVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- When residents complained about the condition of a house in Denville, N.J., the owner responded with an in-your-face exterior makeover.

As CBS 2's Emily Smith reported, the house has been painted bright purple and decked out images of pink breast cancer awareness ribbons. At first glance, it provides excitement and hope to some passing by.

"It looks kind of neat – way better than it did before," one passerby said.

But neighbor Brian Walsh said the whole makeover job is a ploy. He said neighbors have been fighting for a decade to get the owner to clean up the property.

"You look at the back of it -- he didn't paint the back," Walsh said. "He painted all sides so everyone can see but not the back."

Whether neighbors like the color or not, painting a house purple does not violate any town codes. But the homeowner has been cited before.

The Town of Denville cited owner John Pinto numerous times over the past several years for maintenance issues. The most recent citation came in August, requiring him to repaint and repair a wall that is collapsing.

Walsh said Pinto's choice to paint the house purple shows a bare minimum effort to comply with the orders and avoid a summons.

"What bothers me is that I have to spray for termites twice a year, because this house is infested," Walsh said. "The roof is caving in."

Denville Town Business Administrator Steven Ward issued a statement in response to the complaints.

"As long as the property owner is working towards compliance, the township is not inclined to issue a summons," Ward said in the statement.

Walsh said Pinto can paint the house orange for all he cares. He just wants it clean up.

CBS 2 tried to reach out to the homeowner, but did not get a return call.

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