Neighbors complain of junk, trash at Springfield home

The city is investigating a Springfield home after neighbors have complained of junk and trash on the property for more than a year.

Piles of materials have come and gone from the yard on the 1300 block of Beverly Avenue for a while, Springfield Planning and Zoning Administrator Stephen Thompson said. The city had three cases of junk and trash violations against the property owner last year, he said. It currently has one pending for the same reason.

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“We’ll work with them but at some point it can’t continue and that’s the point we’ve reached with this gentleman,” Thompson said.

All three cases in 2016 were closed by the resident, Guy Ray, Thompson said. He was given until Wednesday to clear the yard.

“Any items leftover … will be removed by contractors,” he said.

Ray said he collects the items to sell in order to make a living and would have the items removed from the yard by the end of the day Wednesday. He declined further comment.

“In previous cases he’s been able to remove the items and it’s been closed,” Thompson said of the cases. “However recently it seems as though he keeps bringing more in than he can get rid of quickly enough.”

When a city zoning officer checked the property on Thursday morning, Thompson said, most of the junk had been removed with some items remaining on a trailer. The city will check again Friday morning, he said, to see if the yard is clear.

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Neighbors have complained about the junk on several occasions, he said. At times the materials have stretched to edge of the street.

“It’s kind of an eyesore,” neighbor Clayton Steele said. “Some people have to do what they have to do but at the end of the day we all have to abide by the rules and we all have to play fair with our neighbors.”

The piles could also present more of a problem than just an eyesore, he said, including attracting bugs and thieves.

“They see things sitting out,” he said. “It could be a problem with stealing and things like that.”

If the items aren’t removed, Thompson said, the city will accept bids from contractors and choose one to do the job. It would take about a week for a contractor to collect the items, he said.

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“Ultimately it’s the property owner’s responsibility,” Thompson said.

Ray rents the home, he said, so the bill for the contractor from the city wouldn’t be sent to him.

Springfield residents are only allowed to keep outdoor items in their yard, he said, such as outdoor furniture, lawn maintenance equipment or vehicles. All other items violate city code.

Residents with concerns about zoning violations can call the city at 937-324-7680.

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