We have something a little different this week.
An Anonymous Yet Concerned Reader called to report that the property next to his house is severely overgrown. It's so bad that kudzu is growing out over the property line and into his yard, he said.
I rode over to Bishop Drive, which is off of Miller Road, to see the renegade property, and as you can see from the picture, it's just as bad as advertised. The only difference between this week's property and last weeek's is that there is no house on this property.
So who owns it?
Well, in a sense, you do. But before you start hanging your head in shame, if you are prone to such things, it's actually city property, public property, so it's the city's responsibility.
After some online sleuthing, I discovered that while the lot may be vacant, but it's not your traditional vacant lot. Our Concerned Reader says there has never been a house on it.
A look at the city tax map and Google Maps suggests an explanation for the mystery. Google shows a street dead-ending into Bishop right acrosss the street from the overgrown lot. But in reality, the street, Angus Avenue, actually dead-ends one block over on Highpoint Drive.
The city tax map shows Angus extending not only to Bishop, but beyond in between two houses (one belonging to our reader). If Angus actually had been extended there, it would dead end into a pond, which is probably why they stopped where they did. Duh.
It's been a while since I bugged Pat Biegler, the city's director of Public Works, so I called her and asked what the city's policy is on such properties.
After doing her own looking into the matter, Biegler had some good news and bad news for our Concerned Reader.
The bad news is that the city considers such areas to be "natural areas" and does not maintain them.
The good news is, "We are concerned about the kudzu," Biegler said. "So we will go in and spray some herbicide."
I always thought killing kudzu was like killing a zombie, not the easiest thing to accomplish. But I trust they know what they're doing.
That said, people who are familiar with my "skills" as a gardener might suggest to Biegler that, if she really wants to get rid of the kudzu, she would hire me and put me in charge of growing it.