Citrus Park resident angry about neighbor's code violations

Citrus Park resident angry about neighbor's code violations

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Bob Mullins is upset about code violations at a neighbor's home. Bob Mullins is upset about code violations at a neighbor's home.
A Citrus Park man is angry about code violations at a home at 14508 Berkford Ave. A Citrus Park man is angry about code violations at a home at 14508 Berkford Ave.
Bob Mullins is upset about code violations at a neighbor's home. Bob Mullins is upset about code violations at a neighbor's home.
Bob Mullins is upset about code violations at a neighbor's home. Bob Mullins is upset about code violations at a neighbor's home.
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Behind a homemade sign with big black and red letters, Bob Mullins protested silently.

He invited morning rush hour drivers to see for themselves what he calls a $300,000 dump.

"It's where a lady has for years dumped junk on her property and nothing has been done about it, been there for about 16 years. It's got mold, it's got animals that come in there, they got raccoons," Mullins said.

Mullins is talking about 14508 Berkford Avenue in Citrus Park, owned by Brenda Owings.

Because of the trash heap that extends from one end of her lot to another, she faces $316,500 in county code enforcement fines .

8 On Your Side took Mullins' concerns to Hillsborough county commissioner Victor Crist.

"When you accumulate as much junk and you get as overgrown as that yard has become, it becomes a public nuisance. And when it becomes a public nuisance it becomes a health hazard to the surrounding neighbors and at that point the county should be able to act," Crist said.

The reality is the county is powerless.

Even though she doesn't live

on Berkford Avenue, Owings claims a house that's somewhere behind all that rubbish, is her primary residence.

Florida's Homestead law prevents the county from stepping foot or foreclosing on a property owner's primary residence.

"You know it's about quiet peaceful enjoyment of your property. There are points of time when there are disputes where the county will come in and help settle, just out of shear fairness. At this point what we're seeing is abuse, abuse of a privilege," Crist lamented.

The junkyard at 14508 Berkford Avenue sits across the street from a school. Mullins worries the mold from rotting material has the potential to make children walking nearby ill.

All this mess sits around the corner from Mullins property.

Earlier this year, Owings purchased an additional house and lot, right across the street from Mullins. He fears what is coming.

"Something like that comes in and there's a disregard for other peoples' rights, it's just wrong," Mullins said.

The bottom half of Mullins' sign reads, "When will the county clean it up?" A question the entire neighborhood is asking. A question Hillsborough county isn't able to answer.

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