Fern Park residents upset over neighbor's junk-filled yard



FERN PARK, Fla. - Some residents of Fern Park are upset with a neighbor they said has junk piling up in his front yard.

Neighbors along Higland Drive said the yard is disgusting and code enforcement isn’t doing enough to make the homeowner clean it up.

“Most the time, I won't even look over there, because I don't even want to see what else has been added to it,” said upset neighbor Val Sowry.

Sowry said the junk, which includes, vacuums, bicycles, television sets and other junk, is on resident Larry Leonard’s property.

Leonard told code enforcement officers he collects the items and sells them to make money.

From the street, at least 10 garbage cans are visible, as well as a trailer, lawnmowers and a TV.

But code enforcement said the yard is in fact in compliance.

“I think this TV show ‘American Pickers’ is creating a tough job for you guys, because I think people, everybody, looks at this and says, ‘We are just going to keep this stuff,’” said one code enforcement board member.

If things get any worse, however, Leonard could face a $75 a day fine until he cleans it up.

County officials told WFTV Leonard has health issues, which is why they've giving him extra time to work on the issue.

Neighbors who've been complaining about the mess for months call it a slap on the wrist.

“He's been doing this for a long time, and he's gotten away with it for a long time,” said Sowry.

County officials said they've received similar complaints about the property in years past, but they've never reached the point of having to put a lien on the property.