‘It’s a problem all the time’: Property owner complains as Warren County Supervisors declare four nuisance properties

Published 1:50 pm Monday, May 15, 2023

Four properties were declared nuisances following a Monday morning public hearing with the Warren County Board of Supervisors.

The properties are in various states of disrepair, Board Attorney Blake Teller said during the hearing, with debris strewn on them including waste tires and junk furniture. Teller said the property owners were notified prior to the public hearing and, of the four properties discussed, three had owners or representatives present.

Should the owners not comply with the county’s request to clean up their properties within a calendar year, a series of actions may be taken by the county.

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“We just ask the board to declare it a nuisance and order it be cleaned up within a year if they don’t clean it up themselves. Also included is a penalty of $1,500,” Teller said. “If the county has to clean it up and the (owners) don’t do it themselves first, then the cost of clean-up will be assessed and a lien placed against the property.”

The first property discussed and declared a nuisance was 3595 Mt. Alban Road.

District 3 Supervisor Shawn Jackson voted nay on this declaration and the others, citing concern over the way properties are determined to warrant county interference.

“There are so many (potential nuisance) properties around the county, as I’ve gone on record before, it’s just kind of tough and that’s why I’ve historically voted no,” Jackson said. “It’s like a shot in the dark and I feel as though there isn’t a uniform way to approach (nuisance properties). It’s a bit difficult to single out right now, while we have no uniform way to approach it.”

Board President Kelle Barfield addressed Jackson’s concerns, stating the process for identifying nuisance properties leans heavily on complaints called in by neighbors or members of the public, as well as evaluations performed by the county environmental officer.

The second and third properties discussed were 160 Bucks Drive and 4020 Highway 80.

The final property discussed was 250 Rancho Road. The owner, Bobby Williams, stated during the public hearing that he had previously communicated with the county about people dumping trash on his property.

“Folks are dumping on the property. Now I’ve got to clean it up after they keep on dumping in there?” Williams said. “I’ve put up cameras out there. It’s a trailer park near there. I tried to keep the road from being open, but the county tells me I need an easement. The trash and everything up there, it’s a problem all the time.”

Williams said dumping on his property was an ongoing problem and that he “knew (a hearing) would happen.”

“My neighbor tells me the fellow dealing with On Fire Tires, they’re the ones putting the tires out there,” Williams added.

Teller assured Williams that the county would take a different approach to clean up the property if the person dumping trash on Williams’ property could be identified. He also stated that On Fire Tires was recently cited for illegal dumping.

Barfield also offered a law enforcement-based solution for the issue, stating Warren County Sheriff’s Office personnel could patrol the area.