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Court order allows city to clear yard
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McMinnville took drastic measures on Friday to clean up a home on Lilian Street. By court order, the city was allowed to remove all items stored outside.
Planning and Zoning Department manager Josh Baker says the cleanup was the end of an unsuccessful effort by the city to encourage the property owner to remove the items himself.
“We have been working with him for more than a year trying to get him to clean up,” said Baker. “Our first court date with this property owner was Feb. 13, 2012. We try to work with property owners for several months. If our attempts are unsuccessful, we are left with no other choice.”
Outside storage, items stored outside the home, are not allowed by a current city ordinance.
“We are not going to come knocking on your door if you have a couple items outside,” said Baker. “When a few items turns into something like this, then we have a problem.”
A bulldozer, a brush truck and a dump truck were used to haul away all the items from the property owned by Drew Parsons. McMinnville Public Works employees performed the cleanup effort.
The legal process that allows the city to go onto a property and remove items also takes time, says Baker.
“When working with the property owner fails, we take them to court. Then, the judge gives them time. If that is unsuccessful, we ask the judge to sign an order allowing us to go onto the property,” he said.
Once the order is signed, a certified letter is sent to the property owner giving a 10-day notice. Baker says this property owner was given more like 20-25 days.
This is the first of two properties the city is currently taking steps toward clearing.