Officers say a residential property filled with garbage posed a 'health hazard' to neighbors

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Police removed 14 dump trucks worth of garbage and debris from a home in the 600 block of Southeast Third Avenue on Wednesday. Code enforcement had been working with property owners for nearly two years to clean up the site.Hillsboro Police were forced to clean up a residential property which officers say has presented a health hazard to neighbors for years.

On Wednesday, March 15, Hillsboro Police's code enforcement team removed 14 dump trucks worth of debris from a home in the 600 block of Southeast Third Avenue, near downtown, according to Lt. Henry Reimann.

The debris included several large appliances, mattresses, wood, scrap metal and garbage as well as two vehicles which had been left on the property.

"This probably one of the more extreme cases we've seen," Reimann said. "Usually when we get code violations it's a yard with a little debris."

According to Reimann, code enforcement officers had been working with property owners since August 2015 to clean up the property, but served an abatement warrant after a year-and-a-half, when it became clear that the property owners wouldn't comply.

"While the Code Enforcement Unit continues to make every effort to reach voluntary compliance, there are times where abatement is the only option," police said in a statement.

Reimann said that while property owners should be able to do what they wish on their property, they have to keep their yards within city code.

"We have municipal code to regulate a lot of that," he said. "That's partly why it took so long, we were trying to get them into compliance with this code. We had health concerns and it was a fire hazard, with all of the junk in the yard."

Reimann said the last code compliance issue that rose to this level was several years ago.

"They don't come around very often," he said.

Reimann did not say how much the city spend on labor to remove the debris from the home, but said that he expects the property owner to be charged for the removal.

"They should be on the hook to pay for it," Reimann said.

By Geoff Pursinger
Associate Editor, Hillsboro Tribune
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