Neighbors Bring Complaints of Messy Yard to Augusta Supervisors
Some neighbors in Stuarts Draft are banding together and demanding change. At Wednesday night's Board of Supervisors meeting, many spoke about their frustrations with a home with a cluttered yard.
For more than a year, some have been complaining to city regulators that their neighbor's home is hurting their property values and a public health concern. The problem they've run into is that there is no law in Augusta County to enforce an orderly yard. But this situation may turn things around.
"It's just ridiculous. I mean when you stand back here and look. And when I have neighbors and company over, they're just like 'Oh my goodness! I've never seen such a sight,'" said Scotti Troxell, who lives next door.
Trash, fencing, tires, tarps, a refrigerator, weeds - Troxell is just tired of looking at it.
"We used to keep the big tree between her house and my house trimmed down. We don't anymore because we don't want to see the junk," Troxell said.
Troxell says she and other neighbors have tried to help the woman that lives in this home on Hodge Street in Stuarts Draft. But that the state of the yard has grown out of control.
"All we're asking for is for her house to look like all the others on the same street, which is just a clean orderly well-maintained yard," Troxell said.
For a year now, Troxell says she's called the Augusta County zoning officials, but there's no ordinance that applies. So neighbors started a petition and went to the Board of Supervisors.
After gaining the interest of their district representative, David Beyeler, they also got the county attorney to agree to visit in the coming days.
"Our goal was to prove it was a public health issue or hazard. But we also tried to go another route and say that it meets the definition of a junkyard in the county, which is any lot land or storage and collection of waste, debris, trash, litter," Troxell said.
Neighbor Douglas Thompson is worried about the spillover effect.
"It's an eyesore, and my concern mainly is the stuff that she brings in - the empty barrels. We don't know what's in it. And there's a stream behind it that empties into the South River, and my concern was environmental," Thompson said.
The goal of the movement is to prevent this from happening again there or elsewhere in the county.
"Nobody's ever pursued it, nobody's ever come to them and said ‘you got to do something about it.' They've just always been told there's not an ordinance and they've given up," Troxell said.
The woman who lives in the home was not there when NBC29 was in the neighborhood, but we did speak with the homeowner, her father, on the phone and he says this has all been blown out of proportion and that this is a personal family matter.
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