Messy yard has neighbor fighting back

Some Burlington, Iowa neighbors are fed up with a home on their street, they say, makes the neighborhood look bad.

The city says its hands are tied unless those complaining are more proactive.

Old rusty toys, a plastic swimming pool and trash bags are just a few of the random objects littering the yard of one Burlington home.

“I’m afraid something’s going to pop out at me every time I go near the property,” said Shana Rowell,  who lives across the street.

On the front porch alone, there are chairs, jumper cables and even spoiled pumpkins.

Rowell thinks the mess has negatively impacted the neighborhood’s property values.

“We’re the ones paying taxes and I’m thinking, please, if you’re hearing me, clean it up,” said Rowell.

We tried to talk to one lady seen leaving the home.

She wouldn’t talk and neither would anyone inside the home.

But, over the phone, someone living there told us 10 kids are keeping them too busy to clean the yard.

The city’s Community Development and Parks Director, Eric Tysland, says there are neighborhood organizations that can help with cleanup and everyone should keep their homes looking nice.

“It affects our image, it affects people’s pride. It affects the neighborhood,” said Tysland.

As for Rowell, she’s not giving up her fight any time soon.

“I don’t care if they do get mad at me because I’ll say it to their faces- clean up that damn trash can.”

Tysland tells us Burlington’s budget problems have resulted in code enforcement being put lower on the priority list.

That means neighbors have to be proactive about complaining.

First, there are two warnings issued and then, if the homeowner doesn’t clean up, contractors come out to do it and then, the homeowner is billed.

If that bill isn’t paid, it’ll come out of their assessed property value.

Click here for more news from Des Moines County

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