Durham County News

Durham homeowner allowing clutter to collect in yard for years, neighbors say

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) - Neighbors of a Durham homeowner are complaining that the house's front yard is consistently a wreck.

It looks like the place tools go to die. It's littered with broken mowers, generators, car parts, boards, and cars. There's even a kitchen sink.

Faith Gardner with the City of Durham said the mess in the yard is a chronic problem.

"When did he cross the line," she asked. "We look at when — when has the property, not a person — when is the property in violation, and not in code, is really a case-by-case basis. We look at the physical condition at any point in time."

According to Myra Harris, who lives a few doors down, city code enforcement has showed up numerous times over the years. The owner would clean up the mess, but it would reappear within days.

Harris has been documenting the mess. She said that, at one point, there were 11 cars and at least three boats in the front yard. She said that, every weekend, the mess gets worse. 

According to code enforcement, city officials have been out to the house several times. The owner has been given a number of extensions, but the city is taking action now. 

"If the property is not brought into compliance by the due date, then our impact team, which is a city steff, will go out and remove the items that are in violation. Then there will be an administrative fee charge of $250," Gardner said.

The homeowner has 10 days to fix the yard. IF not, the city will take care of it.

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