Neighbors Say Eyesores Next-door Aren’t Going Away In Columbia County

When it comes to abandoned
properties in Columbia County, Code Enforcement workers say there is no plan. Unless
the property is causing a major threat and putting the public in danger– over
grown yards can stay that way for months. I met up with a woman who thinks an
overgrown yard in her neighborhood is hurting the value of her own home.

 

Donnie Kelley says her
neighbor's yard is becoming a problem.

She says she's filed
several complaints with the county and nothing has changed.

Nobody lives in this
home.  It's for sale, and the owner lives
in New York.

Kelley says the condition
of the home is lowering the value of all of the homes in her neighborhood.

Donnie Kelley says,”
I think it's really an eye sore, I definitely wouldn't want to stop and look at
that house going down the road since it's for sale.”

Columbia County code
enforcement workers say they've addressed nearly 83 yard cases the past few
months.

Courtney Elledge reporting,
“According to Columbia County Code Enforcement any blade of grass in a yard
that is above 12 inches is considered breaking code. If you don't correct this
in the time allotted, you could face jail time.

Dana Rhodes Code
Enforcement Manger in Columbia County says, “Ultimately we can issue them a
citation and take them to magistrate court. The possible penalties and find
there can be up to 60 days imprisonment and a $1,000 fine.”

 

Columbia County Policy states the tenant is
fully in charge of their property whether they're renting or own it.   But if a home is in foreclosure, like the
home next to Donnie Kelley's, Code Enforcement officers say finding whomever is
responsible can be a waiting game. 

 

Rhodes says, “The bottom
line is, if it's foreclosed on, and abandoned, then right now we're waiting for
the bank, to contact the contractor, to come here to hire someone to cut it,
clean it, whatever. You're talking weeks or months before anything is done to
that property.”

 

The bottom line? The
County says they'll do all they can to take care of a property if it's creating
public danger or harm in that area. But in most cases, the corrections are
completely up to the property owner. This means, Donnie Kelley may have to wait
for her neighbor's yard to be maintained.

 

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