Memphis man says neighbor's yard is out of control

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - People in a Memphis neighborhood say their neighbor's yard is so out on control it looks like a jungle.  There say snakes and rats have taken over, and they want something done.

Wes Barrett says the land bordering his home is a nuisance.

"According to city lot law, he's supposed to maintain this property, but he's not," Barrett said Wednesday.

This lot, which shows up on the books as a townhouse, is actually 16 acres of vacant land near Fletcher Creek.

"We have deer, raccoons, possums, snakes, rats, you name it, it's back there," Barrett said.

Barrett can't open his fence because of the heavy foliage. Over time, he's found syringes, homeless people and abandoned bikes on the property.

This isn't a new problem. In 2004, Barrett called Action News 5 about the same problem, and the owner cleaned it up. But six years later, the problem is back and worse.

"Burglars as I would say, whatever you would call them, would enter down on Macon Road," he said. "They have paths back up in here where they can come down those paths, come right through here, come over our fences and come over to our storage buildings and rob us. Come to our patio doors and go in our homes."

A check of the area on the Memphis Police Department's website shows nine crimes in and around the area over the last 30 days, ranging from burglary to narcotics crimes.

The owner of the property, who did not appear on camera, said she recently took it over, and had not heard about the problem.  She promised to bring the property up to code.

City law requires the weeds be shorter than a foot.  Barrett hopes the property owner makes good on the promise.

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