Sanford man accused of running tree trimming business out of home



SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - A Seminole County man is accused of running a tree-trimming business out of his Sanford home.

Neighbors complained shrubs have been piling up around Michael Blake's rented house on Wayside Drive

The logs, branches and junk are in the back, side yard and even the front.

Seminole County code enforcement was there nearly half a dozen times, but they said Blake, who is renting the house and running a tree-trimming business there, refuses to get rid of the scraps.

They also said he has done this at other homes across the county.

"To have somebody else coming in that is a Scaramouch like him and destroy this neighborhood and get away with it and our laws are not effective against him? (You're) damn right that's frustrating," said a neighbor.

The county said it is going to start fining the couple that owns the house $250 day.

"The best way to enforce our codes is to cite the property owner who is the ultimate person responsible for the property," the county attorney said.

The homeowners have told the county they are going to try to evict Blake.

Blake said he's just providing for his family.

"Truthfully it's been a whole racist thing and I want to make sure you get this on the camera because I am an African black male and I work hard for my family," Blake said.

"Why don't you get rid of it?" Channel 9's Tim Barber said.

"When I get a chance I will move it, OK, I just did it four or five days ago," Blake said.

Blake said the county agreed to let him operate the business, but the state's website said his business shouldn't be operating at all.

"On Sunbiz it says 'inactive,'" Barber said.

"I don't know why it's saying that. It's active," Blake said.

Now Blake may move. His neighbors hope he does.

"I just want his butt out of here. Bye bye, get out of here," said a neighbor.