Tons of tires an eyesore for residents

September 23, 2009 10:22:30 AM PDT
A southwest Houston homeowner says the mess he's created will soon be cleaned up. He admitted he dumped hundreds of tires which, as you can imagine, has created an eyesore for neighbors. It is what you'd expect in a junkyard, mounds and mounds of tires, some head high. But this is no junkyard. It's a neighborhood in southwest Houston.

"It's a big eyesore. It definitely devalues the neighborhood," said resident Jesse Munoz.

Residents say the tires have been here for months, sitting smack dab in the middle of $100,000 homes. They say the piles create health hazards.

"A lot of mosquitoes, rats, a lot of dangerous animals. It's bad," said homeowner Jose Hernandez.

And a danger for curious kids.

"What if children get back there and one climbs up and falls or it falls over on them? It could hurt them," said homeowner Dana Starinsky.

She says she's complained over and over. We met others who have complained, too.

The city told us the property is part of a proposed extension of Loma Linda that no one owns and that they're still trying to find the person responsible.

It shouldn't be too hard, since he walked right up to us.

"Another two or three weeks, it will all be cleaned," said Lewis Reed.

He says he just started a tire recycling business and is using the property to store the tires until he can transport them to a recycling center. The ones on the ground, he says, are overflow from the trailers. He just can't keep up.

"When you're starting a business, it's not an easy thing," said Reed.

Homeowners have little sympathy. It's not his property to use and they're shocked Reed would let it come to this. He's a resident here, too.

"We're not doing illegal dumping. We're not running away from this. We will get it cleaned up," Reed said.

Despite the promises, many are skeptical, since they only see the pile growing.

Even though on Tuesday the city's Neighborhood Protection Department told us officers were still looking for Reed, he says the city has already given him 30 days to remove the tires. An official told us they often try to work with people in lieu of legal action. We'll continue to check back until those tires are moved.

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