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Trash vs. treasure in a Pima County Neighborhood

Man says neighbor has a junkyard at his home
Posted at 6:52 AM, Dec 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-18 23:49:19-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — The property lines are drawn in one Pima county neighborhood. John Kosa says he has a problem along the 7000 block of West Oklahoma, Kosa claims his neighbor's property has become a junkyard. He says his next-door neighbor has been collecting piles of wood, steel and run-down cars for over 16 years and wants it cleaned up once and for all.

"The county has asked him repeatedly to clean the property. He kept telling me he would do it well after a couple of years nothing happened," John said

Owner Jim Coon owns the property and says neighbors don't really care about his property, they're more concerned about the alleyway property he owns and how he uses it. Its a space that neighbors drive through to get to their home. He also claims that neighbors cut down a tree in the alleyway without asking.

"I have rights upon the property they have rights to go across it. I miss my darned tree," Jim said.

Jim works in construction and keeps his supplies on his property. As for a solution he says the plan is to finish covering his property by blocking the view with a wooden fence.

"I'll keep putting fence up and hopefully appease them surrounding the property so you can't see in. I got about 100 feet to go do and it should be all wrapped up, " Jim said.

Pima County environmental inspector Nick Weigel says owners can only have 200 square feet of junk on their property. When inspectors checked Jim's property they discovered that he has over 30,000 square feet of junk on the land. Inspectors also inherited the case from another department and started new enforcement on the property in April of 2018.

"If we run into a person who don't have the means or the ability to clean up a property or deal with the mess this big. it's advantageous of us to work with them on compliance," Nick said. "If we jump right to fines and penalties its preventing them from cleaning the property. The property owner made some efforts to install some screening . We gave a total of 3 total extension and our ultimate goal is always to bring the property into compliance."

The county received over 1,669 complaint calls over in the last year. When complaints are filed the process can take from 60 to 120 days to get resolved. Once a complaint is filed you have an opportunity to correct it. If no corrections are made a notice of violation is filed and a citation hearing is set. The last and final stage if no work has been done a date in superior court. Owners can face fines of up to $500 per day.

The property owner has a court date set for Dec. 20.

Have a junk problem in your neighborhood? You can file a complaint on the county's website.