Only on 3TV: Tired of tires in North Phoenix neighborhood

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Neighbors in North Phoenix say one man’s backyard looks more like a junkyard, and they are demanding the city force him to clean up.

Darla Riegel lives next to the problem property on North 18th Place, near Greenway Parkway and Cave Creek Road.

"We’ll come out on Saturday morning to have coffee and the first thing we’ll see is a pile of tires and wood and just junk!" Riegel said. "It just doesn’t make sense!"

From her yard, she pointed to stacks of wood, debris, electronics, and piles of tires, extending from one end of her neighbor's property to the other.

From the front, the house looks perfectly fine. The backyard, however, is another story.

"His entire garage is filled from front to back with old tires he goes and picks up," Riegel said. "He’s got a 24-foot trailer packed with tires, a truck packed with tires, the whole backyard has tires strewn everywhere."

She says his home is a fire hazard.

"If he goes up, we’re gone," she said. "That’s gonna burn for days."

Riegel has documented her complaints, which date back to 2012, to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, the Arizona Hoarding Task Force, and at least three separate complaints to the city’s Neighborhood Services Department.

"Nothing has happened!" Riegel exclaimed. "It’s just frustrating. It seems that there should be more help out there for people."

We took Riegel’s concerns to Patrick Ravenstein, the code compliance manager of the Phoenix Neighborhood Services Department.

"It is frustrating but sometimes when people don’t want to comply, we have to take additional steps and it does take additional time," Ravenstein explained, apologizing for how long the process has taken to get the property cleaned up.

According to Ravenstein, the property owner has been cited on two separate occasions and forced by a judge to pay fines twice. Ravenstein says in previous visits they have discovered trash violations, outside storage issues and parking problems at the house.

A follow-up review of the property was scheduled for Thursday but the inspector was out sick. Ravenstein says they will re-schedule the inspection for within the next few days. If they find the same problems illustrated in the 3TV report, the homeowner will be cited and taken to court again.

Thursday afternoon, 3TV attempted to talk to the homeowner, who was in his yard working while we were documenting this story. He did not respond to any of the questions that we asked.