Homeowners Struggle With Overgrown Lawns

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Several residents in a west Jackson neighborhood are upset over the appearance of a foreclosed home, saying it is an eyesore. Residents said they have called the city several times since July to mow the grass at a house on Blackberry Street, but it has not gotten done yet. “We have company we don’t want come over here because of that and we try to keep the house pretty nice, but it doesn’t make sense,” said Jessie Brown, who lives next door. “We’re not going to pay for anything for somebody else’s house.” ABC 7 Eyewitness News asked the city why it could not just mow the lawn, but housing code inspector Weldon Phelps said it is not that simple. “Our job is to ensure that we contact the proper people so that we can get the grass cut,” Phelps said. “We can’t just go out and just start cutting people’s yards. We have to notify them first.” Phelps said once the city gets a complaint, by law it has to send a letter to the homeowners. They get five days to mow the yard. If city officials can not reach the owners, they then have to contact the mortgage company and wait five more days. “And then if I can’t notify them, then what I would do is forward it to the building official, who forwards it over to the proper department to get the yard mowed,” Phelps said. On top of that long process, Phelps said they are writing 20 to 30 letters to owners of foreclosed homes every day. He told upset residents the lawn will be mowed this weekend. Residents said they are pleased with the news, but if it does not get mowed they will keep calling.

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