3 On Your Side
3 On Your Side

Tempe resident disagrees with city alley ordinance

Posted: Updated:
Scott Waldon, who walks with the help of a cane, says he's in no position to clean up the city's alley. (Source: 3TV) Scott Waldon, who walks with the help of a cane, says he's in no position to clean up the city's alley. (Source: 3TV)
The City of Tempe is asking residents to clean up the alley behind their houses. (Source: 3TV) The City of Tempe is asking residents to clean up the alley behind their houses. (Source: 3TV)
Shannon Reed is with the City of Tempe and says there is an alley maintenance code that has always been on the books. (Source: 3TV) Shannon Reed is with the City of Tempe and says there is an alley maintenance code that has always been on the books. (Source: 3TV)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

Scott Waldon loves his Tempe neighborhood.

“I've been in the neighborhood for 21 years. It's a good neighborhood,” Waldon said.

Waldon says he was recently contacted by the City of Tempe with what he says was a strange request.

“I received a notice, probably three weeks ago, asking the neighbors to clean up the alleys,” Waldon said.

The city is telling Waldon to clean up wild grass, weeds and brush found growing along his block wall in the alley.  

But Waldon, who walks with the help of a cane, says he's in no position to clean up the city's alley.

“I'm disabled. I'm unable to do it,” Waldon said. 

And Waldon also says he didn't like the tone of the letter which said if he didn't clean up the brush, there would be consequences.

“They're saying that if they have to come in and do it, they're going to add the money to my water bill,” Waldon said.

Waldon says that's not right and claims one neighbor has already been fined.

“I do have a neighbor that told me they were going to charge her $500 to pick up trash that was put behind her house that she didn't put there,” Waldon said.

Waldon says in 21 years he's never been asked to clean up his alley. Shannon Reed is with the City of Tempe and says there is an alley maintenance code that has always been on the books.

"Our city code has always called for residents that they're responsible for their property line to half-way through the alley," Reed said. 

But that code was rarely enforced until recently when Reed says residents around Tempe asked the city to start enforcing it. 

“This is really in response to resident outcry. They would come to the city council meetings, and they would really want our alleyways to be cleaned up. They're proud of living in Tempe. They want to live in a clean community, and they want to have clean neighborhoods," Reed said. 

In cases like Waldon who can't clean up his area because of his disability, the city put him in touch with community organizations which will volunteer to help with the clean-up.  

But, Waldon still disagrees with the enforcement.

“I think this is just a revenue generator and they're pulling an ace out of their sleeve to say, 'Oh, by the way, we have this rule that's been there for years. We've never used it in the past but now we need to use it,'” Waldon said.

The City of Tempe says it is giving homeowners adequate time to comply but remember, if you don't and the city cleans it up for you, then you will see that clean-up charge added to your utility bill.

More information on the Tempe ordinance:

http://www.tempe.gov/city-hall/public-works/alleys

Here are the main reasons the City of Tempe says alley maintenance and code compliance are so important:

  • It ensures clear passage for work crews and emergency vehicles who need full access to the alleyway to provide services.
  • It reduces safety hazards for city employees who operate in and around large vehicles. Littered alleys can impede lines of vision for vehicle operators and create unsafe ground conditions for staff members who are raking up debris during bulk trash collection.
  • It reduces fire hazards like weeds that become very dry, especially during summer months.

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


  • Recent 3 On Your Side storiesMore>>

  • 3 On Your Side

    Smart devices: Do you own what you buy?

    Smart devices: Do you own what you buy?

    Saturday, February 4 2017 9:52 AM EST2017-02-04 14:52:25 GMT
    Consumers are app crazy, and not only to control temps or lights. They're unlocking doors and maybe even seeing what's inside the fridge. (Source: Alexander Kirch via 123RF)Consumers are app crazy, and not only to control temps or lights. They're unlocking doors and maybe even seeing what's inside the fridge. (Source: Alexander Kirch via 123RF)

    "Oftentimes, the companies that make these products insist that even though you might own the physical object, you don't own the software code inside of it," he said. "And that code is really fundamental to the operation of those products."

    More >

    "Oftentimes, the companies that make these products insist that even though you might own the physical object, you don't own the software code inside of it," digital rights specialist and author Aaron Perzanowski said. "And that code is really fundamental to the operation of those products."

    More >
  • 3 On Your Side: Using power tools to massage sore muscles

    3 On Your Side: Using power tools to massage sore muscles

    3 On Your Side looks into the latest consumer trend: using power tools for a massage instead of going to a pricey spa. (8/18/17)

    More >

    3 On Your Side looks into the latest consumer trend: using power tools for a massage instead of going to a pricey spa. (8/18/17)

    More >
  • 3 On Your Side

    Consumers using power tools to relax

    Consumers using power tools to relax

    Saturday, August 19 2017 12:53 AM EDT2017-08-19 04:53:24 GMT
    (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)(Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    Do you have a muscle cramp that’s putting a cramp in your day? Wouldn’t a massage feel great right about now? Some people are skipping traditional masseuses or massage equipment, saying all you need to ease your pain is right in your garage. 

    More >

    Do you have a muscle cramp that’s putting a cramp in your day? Wouldn’t a massage feel great right about now? Some people are skipping traditional masseuses or massage equipment, saying all you need to ease your pain is right in your garage. 

    More >
  • Social Connect

  • Contact

    AZ Family

Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Hide bio

Contact 3 On Your Side