News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2007

Duck blinds fill the backyard of a residence on 10th Avenue Southeast.
Daily photo by Gary Lloyd
Duck blinds fill the backyard of a residence on 10th Avenue Southeast.

Hiding in plain sight

Location: 1204 10th Ave. S.E.

Description: Duck blinds line the backyard, which is visible from Eighth Avenue Southeast, one of the major thoroughfares used by Point Mallard Park patrons visiting some of Decaturís premier festivals. The Daily received a complaint that the blinds are an eyesore and should be removed from view of a public right of way.

Property owner: Jennifer Cowen rents the property from her mother Beatrice Frances. Cowen said the blinds are licensed by the state, and her son uses them during duck season at Swan Creek in Limestone County. She said the blinds arenít an eyesore and donít affect property values because a home within view of the blinds sold recently. ďI used to camouflage them until I found people hiding in them and doing things they shouldnít be doing in them,Ē Cowen said. ďI donít want to get shot at telling them to get out of the duck blinds. ... Everything canít be beautiful, and everything canít be a bed of roses.Ē

Ordinance: Decaturís weed, junk and litter ordinance doesnít address the issue.

Responsible officials: David Lee, a code-enforcement officer with the cityís Community Development Department, said the blinds donít meet the definition of a nuisance, according to the weed, junk and litter ordinance. Storing the blinds on the property isnít a violation, he said.

Let us know: If youíre tired of seeing a dilapidated building, litter, a drainage problem or an eyesore in your neighborhood, contact The Daily newsroom at 340-2433 or Call the cityís weed, junk or litter hotline to report potential violations: 341-4963.

- Chris Paschenko

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