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THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2007
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This house is on Alabama 251, north of Johnson Elementary School in the Thach community. According to Donald Gee, who is with the Health Department, the boxes do not contain trash, but items the couple collects.
Daily photo by Holly Hollman
This house is on Alabama 251, north of Johnson Elementary School in the Thach community. According to Donald Gee, who is with the Health Department, the boxes do not contain trash, but items the couple collects.

Hiding in plain sight

Location: 23054 Alabama 251 in the Thach community in Limestone County, southwest of Ardmore.

Description: A Thach resident complained about the boxes and other debris piled around the home and about vehicles in the yard. Donald Gee with the Health Department said the county sued the owners when the boxes were scattered throughout the yard. The county won but is in the process of suing again because the owners only stacked the boxes around the house. Gee said the boxes do not contain trash, but items the couple collects.

Property owner: Mary Ott. The Daily was unable to reach the Otts for comment.

Ordinance: The county does not have zoning, but a local act regarding junk vehicles and debris requires that the vehicles and debris not be in public sight. For example, a wooded fence could hide the items.

The act does not include penalties, but the county can sue in civil court. A case can take as long as a year to resolve. The county recoups legal costs if the homeowner loses in court. However, if the homeowner cleans the property before the case goes to court, the county is stuck with its legal expenses.

Responsible officials: A Limestone County resident who thinks someone in his neighborhood has junk vehicles or debris in public sight can contact the Sheriff’s Department at 232-0111 or the Health Department at 232-3200. Gee can determine if the site violates the ordinance, issue a citation and, if the homeowner refuses to comply, see if the county wants to pursue the matter in civil court.

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.

- Holly Hollman

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