Residents in Lake Wales fighting to put an end to neighborhood 'junkyard'

Posted at 6:03 PM, May 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-03 18:50:46-04

A retreat for snowbirds in Polk County has just about everything you would want, and one thing you really don’t: a junkyard.

For the last year, neighbors in the Breeze Hill community have been pushing the county to do something to stop a resident from turning his front yard into a trash pit.

“It basically looks like a junkyard. I don’t know how else to describe it,” said Paul Beiber, who lives nearby the property.

The make-shift junkyard is one of the first properties you see as residents and guest pull into the subdivision.

Fed up neighbors say it’s a constant flow of old, rundown equipment — lawn mowers, trailers, and everything in between.

“They’re turning it into an entire business that does not work,” said Richard Rounds, who also lives in the community.

They say it’s not only ruining their property values but also their peace.

“It’s a big eyesore, very big,” Bieber said.

ABC Action News went to try to get some answers. Daniel Shedd, who lives at the home with his mother, told us all the stuff belongs to him.

“It’s just a hobby. I just buy stuff that’s broke,” he said.

He said code enforcement stopped by a few weeks ago and hauled more than half of it away, but he has no intentions of ending his hobby.

“Absolutely. I’m going to fill up my whole yard. Because everything that runs, they can’t mess with it. They have to leave it there,” he said.

Code enforcement has fined the property owners more than 40-thousand so far, and the fines keep racking up by 250 bucks every day.

“How are you ever going to get the money?” Bieber said.

Shedd admitted to ABC Action News he is not going to pay the fine.

The neighborhood association decided to take matter into its own hands and bought the land surrounding the junkyard, where most of it is sitting.

It’s going to cost every home owner 50 dollars, and they’ll turn it into a small dog park.

“We didn’t want to but we had no choice,” Rounds said.

They also realize this fight may not be over.