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TUESDAY, MAY 15, 2007
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Piles of bricks in backyard at 811 Seventh Ave. S.E.
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Piles of bricks in backyard at 811 Seventh Ave. S.E.

Hiding in plain sight

Location: 811 Seventh Ave. S.E.

Description: The single-family home is used for storage. Doors, carpet and shutters are visible through the uncovered windows. Piles of bricks and wood fencing emerge from overgrown weeds in the backyard, prompting Decatur residents to complain it's a haven for mosquitoes and rodents. The home, which has no power meter, has a deteriorating roof, and residents say it has been vacant 10 years. They say it hurts property values.

Property owner: Morgan County revenue commissioner records list the owners as Ann Terry Mayfield and Robert Earl Mayfield. There are no phone listings under their names. Their address is P.O. Box 2864, Decatur, AL 35601. A city directory lists them as business owners but doesn't specify what type of business.

Ordinance: Decatur's weed, junk and litter ordinance prohibits any growth of weeds, other than ornamental plant growth, which exceeds 12 inches in height. It also prohibits junk from being stored on the property so as to constitute a health, safety or fire hazard. The city's zoning ordinance prohibits the usage of single-family homes as storage facilities.

Responsible officials: David Lee, a code-enforcement officer with the city's Community Development Department, said the home was cited and failed its re-inspection and that the city is pursuing additional measures to rectify the situation. Jimmy Brothers, director of the city's Building Department, said a department inspector would investigate a possible zoning violation.

Let us know: If you're tired of seeing a dilapidated building, litter, a drainage problem or an eyesore in your neighborhood, contact The Daily newsroom at 340-2433 or news@decaturdaily.com. Call the city's weed, junk and litter hot line to report possible violations: 341-4963.

- Chris Paschenko

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