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Neighbors Irate As SE 55th Court RV Drama Continues

By Bryce Abshier

At a recent Belleview City Commission meeting, residents of SE 55th Court in Belleview voiced their anger as the two year long ordeal involving a RV and its nuisance tenant will not end. Neighbors have long complained to Belleview Code Enforcement and city officials about the RV, while Belleview Police frequently respond to the RV for late night disturbances.

Aside from the condition of the uncared for RV, neighbors primarily complain about the tenant and the trouble he causes in the neighborhood. Code Enforcement officer Kelley O’Neill spoke about the man at a recent hearing. “This gentleman apparently has been a nuisance to the neighborhood and there are some concerns about mental health, possible addictions. The Chief of Police did state that they have removed the man from the property on several occasions under Baker Acts,” O’Neill explained.

Matters took a turn for the worse as neighbors say that a second tenant has now moved into the RV. For two years, neighbors have already dealt with one tenant, who was described as “crazy” and “destructive”. After this long struggle, a second tenant was an unwelcome sight.

At a recent Belleview Code Board hearing, it was decided that Brenda Turner, who owns the property owner where the RV sits, had 14 days to correct the situation or fines of $250 per day would be accrued.

According to city officials, fines have already started to accrue for Brenda Turner. City officials are also aware that a second person is now living in the RV. The RV, which spent the last two years parked in the front yard, has now moved to the rear yard. One neighbor claims it is situated approximately four feet from the property line.

Commissioner Bo Smith offered his thoughts on the current RV situation. “If I am understanding correctly, once they put it in the backyard, other than someone living in it, there is not a whole lot that we can do,” Smith said. “They’re storing it on their property on the backyard.”

City Attorney Fred Landt agreed with Smith. “That is correct. If you have the RV in the backyard and it is not derelict, you are in compliance with our code,” said Landt. As for how close the RV is parked to the property line, the code enforcement officer does not have the right to enter the property and measure.

Another neighbor, who was particularly irate, did not mince her words while shouting at commissioners and code enforcement staff. “I am really sick of this. I feel like you have all failed,” she exclaimed.  “If I had done this where I worked, I would have been fired. I think you should be fired,” she directed at a code enforcement employee.

City Attorney Landt later condemned those comments as unfair and vicious.

The irate neighbor went on to make some serious allegations against the two tenants of the RV. “The other person (the new tenant) is this crazy’s man brother, who just got out of jail,” she said. “They’re both psychotic. So now we have two psychotic men living in the backyard. This is absolute BS. He leaves little gifts in my yard. Doll babies with sticks through their heads,” the neighbor said. “I have caught him peering in the window. I have two granddaughters that live with me. He is peering down and looking in the window. How would you feel knowing that some pervert is looking at your grandchildren?”

The neighbor again directed her anger at city officials. “We’re sick of it. And I’m tired of your answers. You’re not working on it. If you all had been working on it, something would have been done over the last two years,” she said. “You have dropped the ball several times, you have not followed through. I want something done, I’m sick of it!”

Mayor Christine Dobkowski advised the neighbor to call the police when things like she described happen. “The one thing that I can suggest is, if the gentlemen are doing anything that is a violation, do not hesitate to call the police department,” said the Mayor.

Fred Landt echoed that same sentiment. “The matters that the lady has complained about are not code enforcement issues. They are possibly criminal issues. If you think someone is a peeping tom, call the police. If you think someone is stalking you and leaving threatening things, call the police.”

For Belleview Code Enforcement, the focus of the investigation has now shifted to somebody living in the RV. If Brenda Turner does not get the RV registered, which it currently is not, then none can live in it.

“How do we get it moved at that stage,” asked Commissioner Ray Dwyer. “Do we contract one of the towing companies to come and get it?

“You’ll need a court order to do that,” answered City Attorney Landt. “If they get the title for the motor home, and they park it in the backyard, within the right distance, it can stay there. There is nothing we can do about that.”

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