When it comes to abandoned properties in Columbia County, Code Enforcement workers say there is no plan. Unless the property is causing a major threat and putting the public in danger-- over grown yards can stay that way for months. I met up with a woman who thinks an overgrown yard in her neighborhood is hurting the value of her own home.
Donnie Kelley says her neighbor's yard is becoming a problem.
She says she's filed several complaints with the county and nothing has changed.
Nobody lives in this home. It's for sale, and the owner lives in New York.
Kelley says the condition of the home is lowering the value of all of the homes in her neighborhood.
Donnie Kelley says," I think it's really an eye sore, I definitely wouldn't want to stop and look at that house going down the road since it's for sale."
Columbia County code enforcement workers say they've addressed nearly 83 yard cases the past few months.
Courtney Elledge reporting, "According to Columbia County Code Enforcement any blade of grass in a yard that is above 12 inches is considered breaking code. If you don't correct this in the time allotted, you could face jail time.
Dana Rhodes Code Enforcement Manger in Columbia County says, "Ultimately we can issue them a citation and take them to magistrate court. The possible penalties and find there can be up to 60 days imprisonment and a $1,000 fine."
Columbia County Policy states the tenant is fully in charge of their property whether they're renting or own it. But if a home is in foreclosure, like the home next to Donnie Kelley's, Code Enforcement officers say finding whomever is responsible can be a waiting game.
Rhodes says, "The bottom line is, if it's foreclosed on, and abandoned, then right now we're waiting for the bank, to contact the contractor, to come here to hire someone to cut it, clean it, whatever. You're talking weeks or months before anything is done to that property."
The bottom line? The County says they'll do all they can to take care of a property if it's creating public danger or harm in that area. But in most cases, the corrections are completely up to the property owner. This means, Donnie Kelley may have to wait for her neighbor's yard to be maintained.