RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If you have a complaint about tall grass in your neighborhood, it will have to wait. City inspectors say they'll get to you when they can, based on the order your complaint came in.
That's not what neighbors like Ralph Green want to hear, but it reflects a five-week backlog of tall grass complaints.
Green made several trips to City Hall about the abandoned house next door to him with tall grass and critters. He says he can't get the city to take care of the problem. NBC12 went to City Hall for answers, and there is now a tentative date for cleanup.
Cutting grass is not the business Richmond wants to stay in, but the city has spent as much as $590,000, code enforcement says, cutting grass and billing irresponsible property owners. Lawn mowers just haven't made it to this block off Jeff Davis despite numerous complaints.
"Look at the stuff growing up on the fence and everything it doesn't make sense. That's why I say the city needs to come out here. Do something about this," said Green.
Green says the property has a negative impact it has on his property, a well-kept yard and home adjacent to what resembles a wildlife habitat.
"The worst part is the rodents running around. Opossums, rats, snakes. You never know that snake could be laying somewhere ready to bite you," says Green.
Green says he's not afraid, but his fiancee is.
"I have seen snakes trying to come in. When she hollered, the snake was headed this way. We've seen little rats running around in the yard," said Green.
He says he has reported the property many times since moving next door to it nearly three months ago, and he only gets the runaround.
"The first time, they are going to send the inspector out. The second time they got a man in route to come out here. I'm sitting on the porch like I am now. The third time Oh we got it in process."
The head of Code Enforcement tells NBC 12 they are working to shorten the process but considering the backlog, contractors will get to this vacant property the last week in September. City records list the owner as Anna Urias, whose address is the abandoned house.
Green has a message for the owner: "Knock it down. Knock it down. Knock the house down."
Do you have the same problem? Find some patience and call the city's weed and grass hotline at 804-646-WEED or (646-9333). You can report overgrown lots and trash. If you leave your name and number, a city inspector will contact you about the action they take.
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