"They're the neighbors from hell." County calls it worst they've ever seen.
Jefferson County says it is the worst they've ever seen. For four years inspectors have tried to pressure a property owner to clean up. Neighbors turned to Fighting For You to shine a light on the nightmare they've been living with for too long.
We caught up with one of the people living in the home on Third Avenue in Docena. He refused to give us a time table to clean up the mess. He tells us he was hired to tear down a house in the area. Now all the debris from that home sits in front of his. The pile of wood, shingles and other debris is nearly as tall as the house. Vehicles block the road. And in the backyard there is more trash.
"This is unfathomable that people would live in this kind of squalor," says Jefferson County Commissioner George Bowman. He says homeowner Harlon Dodd died last year and his heirs have taken over the property.
Bowman showed us county letters dating back to 2012 where Dodd was ordered to "remove litter, debris, trash, junk...." with threats of fines and jail time. Still not much changed on the property.
"The only progress we see is it's gone from a great pile to a less than great pile," explains Bowman.
"It's awful; they're the neighbors from hell," said one neighbor who asked that we conceal her identity. She is worried about rodents and snakes coming from the property onto hers.
We asked the man we met outside if he would work with the neighbors. He said, "Lady I told you I'm trying when I'm not at work." Neighbors say they're not trying nearly hard enough.
We've learned the county health department plans to re-inspect the property next week. The owners have an agreement to clean up or face a notice of violation.
This case highlights a big issue in the unincorporated parts of the county, where codes and zoning laws are weaker than inside a city limit.