On Your Side: Man complains of neighbor's overgrown forestry - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

On Your Side: Man complains of neighbor's overgrown forestry

Source: NBC12 Source: NBC12
Source: NBC12 Source: NBC12
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

A Richmond man turned to NBC12 after he says a property owner neglected the property next to his home, and the city won’t do anything about the overgrown forestry.

David Epps has lived in a home on Platinum Road for almost 40 years. He says, in an area leading up to his home, trees and bushes are overgrown, limbs are falling into the middle of the road and it’s causing problems for drivers and the area.

Epps says from where his home is located, he should be able to see a few blocks up, but because of all the trees and brush, his view of the neighborhood is blocked. It hasn’t always been like this.

“We love it here, this is country in the city,” Epps said. “But now, when you’re coming out or going in, you can't see around these bushes to see if anything is coming or not.”

In recent years, part of Platinum Road leading up to their home has become more like a forest.

“Bushes are growing over into the street now,” Epps said. “These hang down. With the heavy rain, they hang down so you have to drive around them.”

Epps said the overgrown forestry also brings crime to the area.

“Evidence of drug use and prostitutes using it as a hideaway,” Epps said. “They feel safe, because you can't see them from either end.”

Epps has reached out to the city over the last few years.

“I've called the city several times,” Epps said. “I’ve got a case number, a ticket number and they say it's hard for them to do anything, because it's private property.”

Because it's private property, it's not technically the city's responsibility. However, Epps said, the property owner isn't maintaining the land and hasn't for years. He believes and hopes the city will step in.

“That's all they have to do, is come here with a bush hog to the side and cut it back,” Epps said. “I’m hoping you can get some action from the city.”

The city released the following statement:

The city does have a case in the system that will result in an inspection, but unless the trees have grown out into the road and are impeding traffic in some way, there is little the city can do about it.

The city cannot take action outside the confines of the ordinance, and when it comes to overgrowth, trees and bushes are specifically excluded from the ordinance unless they are hindering vehicular or pedestrian traffic.  Since there are no sidewalks in this area, there is technically no pedestrian traffic. Additionally, this is an undeveloped area where no lot maintenance is required except as to where it might impede traffic.

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