Repeated code violations in St. Petersburg lead to quick effort to clean up property

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - As the sounds of machinery signaled the first steps toward the cleanup of the St. Petersburg front yard that ABC Action News first reported Tuesday (see http://wfts.tv/10q7607 ), the reaction of some neighbors spoke volumes.

"It was pretty awful to look at," said Peggy Kirk, who lives nearby.

Kirk has a new outlook on her neighborhood the day before Thanksgiving.

"I have something to be really thankful for.  That I don't have to look at that anymore," said Kirk.

After our story aired yesterday about the condition of the property on 21 St. N., St. Pete code enforcement told the tenants Wednesday they had until Friday to comply with city code.

This is on the heels of several similar violations over the past year; with the most recent coming just a month ago.

"It's a little bit upsetting to me that after that many ordeals at the property, we're still having to look at conditions like this," said St. Pete Code Enforcement Director Gary Bush.

As family members hauled items from the yard, and the junk pile grew, the city was more than happy to supply the equipment to hasten the cleanup.  

"The neighbors do have rights.  And I do have to look at that," Bush said.

Although today's portion of the cleanup provided some breathing room around the front of the house, there's still a lot of work to be done. But neighbors are glad that the city took action.

"I'm happy about it, and I hope it doesn't fill up again," Kirk remarked.

"We have many properties in this city that need to be addressed.  It's not fair to taxpayers for me to have to continually show up to the same one," explained Bush.

For those that live near the property, they hope the message has been received once and for all. 

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