Inquirer: Lakebottom yard looks like 'Third World country'

mowen@ledger-enquirer.comSeptember 29, 2013 

MIKE OWEN/mowen@ledger-enquirer.comTrash spills out of the back yard of this house at the corner of Springer Avenue and 15th Avenue.

An Exasperated Lakebottom Reader is tired of an area near her house looking like "a Third World country."

It's a house at the corner of Springer Avenue and 15th Avenue, and she is not exaggerating.

The house is greatly hidden from view by wildly overgrown shrubs and vines in the front. What that hides is a front porch that looks like a hoarder lives there.

Several windows have plywood instead of glass covering them.

The back yard is where it gets really interesting. The house faces 15th Avenue, so the side yard is open along Springer. The remnants of a wooden privacy fence remain, with only the 4-by-4 posts remaining along most of the yard.

The yard looks like a small thrift shop exploded. It is littered with children's toys and household detritus. An above-ground pool has seen better days and looks ready to topple. I hope there's no water in it.

Two large piles of trash have spilled from out of the yard slightly into the street. The piles include old broken furniture and what appear to be the remnants of an old mattress and box springs set.

Alert Readers will recall that the city usually has no jurisdiction, which I've been told they don't. But that doesn't apply in cases like this, where the back yard is open and visible from the street. Heck, this one is spilling over into the street.

My reader said she has called the city three times about the property over the past year or so. A couple of times, a crew has come out and cleaned up some, but apparently no one is making the owner of the property take responsibility for it.

Well, that's where we may have a problem. I checked the city's tax records and got the name of the owner. But there's no homestead exemption claimed on the house, so he probably doesn't live there.

So I checked the guy out on and it reports that the man did live there in 1992, when he died.

God knows who has been paying the taxes on the property for the last 21 years, but someone must have been.

We'll have to look into this one some more, to see if the taxes are being paid and see if the city can make whoever is responsible for the property act like they're responsible.


We updated you last week on the house on Miller Road that was reported to Inspections and Codes. Director Greg Coates said they'd told the owner there were several things he needed to do, and he had until Oct. 4 to do them, or at least appear to be in the process.

I rode by the place on Sunday. The grass has been cut, which helps, but I can't tell if anything else has been done.

Maybe someone was working in the place, because the front door was standing open.

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