Temple Terrace neighborhood says problem home has been decaying for years

Neighborhood pushing for further city action
Posted at 6:25 PM, Jun 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-30 18:25:55-04

Neighbors in one Temple Terrace community say they are going to petition city leaders to take more action when it comes to a problem property.

“This house has been rotting before our eyes for almost three decades,” said David Long, who lives nearby and is leading the effort.

There is apparent decay on the exterior of the home, which is located in the 7600 Block of Leon Avenue in Temple Terrace.

Long said the community has received little help in resolving this.

“You talk to the homeowner’s association, you talk to code enforcement and people just wring their hands and say, we’re doing all we can do,” Long said.

ABC Action News has learned code enforcement has come after this property six different times. 

In one case, for problems like “stained walls” and a “damaged/rotted” exterior.

The City of Temple Terrace fining this homeowner $100 per day since 2008. To date, the property has accumulated near $329,000 in fines, ABC Action News found.

“I don’t know what the answer is but I do know something needs to be done about it,” Long said.

ABC Action News went to City of Temple Terrace Code Enforcement in an attempt to find out why the city has been unable to take further action on this for nearly a decade. City officials responded with an emailed statement.

“City officials are aware of the neighborhood’s concern regarding the up-keep of the private residence located at [7600 Block of] Leon Avenue. The homeowner was previously cited in 2008 for code compliance violations related to the home’s roof and exterior walls. The pending violations were addressed by the Municipal Code Enforcement Board and a fine $100 per day was assessed.

Repeated efforts to remedy the matter and encourage the homeowner to make the necessary repairs have thus far gone unanswered.  The homeowner resides in the home and claims the property as his primary residence. Fines continue to accrue. Currently, unpaid fines exceed $300K.

This situation is ongoing and the City’s Code Compliance Department will continue to be monitored the property.”  

- Greg C. Pauley, Spokesperson, City of Temple Terrace.

Florida law states hat no lien can be foreclosed on a property that is a homestead under the state constitution.

The neighborhood plans to petition the city leaders at an upcoming council meeting.