Bithlo residents still waiting for dilapidated trailers to go



BITHLO, Fla. - A group of Bithlo residents and Orange County officials agree that some dilapidated mobile homes have got to go. The question no one seems to be able to answer is how to go about getting rid of the eyesores.

It's a story Channel 9 reporters have covered for more than a year.

Neighbors complained about trash piling up and the mobile homes falling apart on a property just off of State Road 50.

Forklifts were brought out to clean up the mess and county officials promised that the area would be cleared out.

But more than a year later the trailers still sit and neighbors accuse the county of putting Bithlo on the back burner.

Orange County Code Enforcement officials agree with residents that the area looks like an abandoned trailer park, filled with potentially dangerous homes that families haven't lived in for a long time. They said despite the fact that the county has condemned the homes, saying they are unfit for habitation, that legally they are still private property and as much as the county might want to, they can't simply send in the bulldozers and clear it all out.

County Code Enforcement officials told Channel 9's Mark Joyella on Tuesday that the usual process can take months, but they said this has been an exceptional process. They said the usual work to claim property was slowed by an owner's bankruptcy and another person's death, forcing the county to work through an estate.

They said the property will be cleaned up.

Officials said the first four trailers are set for demolition soon and another nine trailers go before the Code Enforcement Board in December.

Officials at Orange County Code Enforcement told Joyella they can't remember another property that was as difficult to clean up as this Bithlo property.

They said they understand the frustration and promise neighbors that it will be taken care of.