Neighbors concerned after unkept yard morphs into forest

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Some of the lawns like West Brooks Road in the Walker Homes section of Southwest Memphis are far from perfect, but one home takes the meaning of unkept to a whole new level.

The house is no longer visible from the street due to the trees and weeds that have sprouted up around it.

"It's a nightmare," said Dora Hale, who lives next door.

"I've had people to break into my storage house here three times in the last two months because all the stuff back there hide. Can't nobody see them," Hale said.

Neighbors told WREG the house has been abandoned for at least three years after the woman who used to live there passed away and the house fell into the hands of a company called Pattens USA Properties.

"They will every now and then come and cut this part right here, but all those trees, mulberries or whatever they are over there, it's just an eyesore," said Rubin Campbell, who rents out the house on the other side of the blighted property.

Lately, Campbell said he's been cutting the grass in the front yard himself, but there's nothing he can do about all of the other problems.

"The door has been pushed down, I've seen that from the back back there, so somebody has probably been living in it," he said.

There's also wildlife.

"Raccoons, possums and stuff come. I have to tie my garbage cans down because they go in the garbage cans," said Hale.

The city released the following statement to WREG:

"In terms of the property at 250 W Brooks , City of Memphis Grounds Services has notified the property owner . For all overgrowth violations, each property owner will receive a certified Notice of Violation allowing them (7) days to correct. The Notice of Violation is sent one time and covers the entire calendar year. Only after non-compliance by the owner, vendors are assigned the lot to cut and are given 5 days to address. Invoices are mailed to the property owners for services rendered by the City for reimbursements. Liens are placed on the properties. Collections efforts of the lien are the same as for base property tax collections.

Citizens are encouraged to help fight blight by utilizing the Memphis Tool Bank. The Mobile Tool Bank is designed to keep Memphis, a clean and litter-free city by loaning tools such as rakes, shovels, brooms and trash bags to groups holding cleanups. By utilizing these resources, organizations eliminate the expense of purchasing tools for their neighborhood clean ups. This is another way that Memphis City Beautiful continues to work to increase community responsibility and involvement in beautification and environmental efforts in their community. The Mobile Tool Bank is reserved for residents seeking to improve a minimum on 10 residential parcels on the same block within City of Memphis limits. Citizens may contact Memphis City Beautiful at (901) 522-1135 or their website"