Residents in NW Harris County want neighbor to clean up yard

It's a mess so big that you can actually see parts of it on satellite images, and neighbors say they're fed up
November 29, 2013 4:30:07 PM PST
Residents in a northwest Harris County community are frustrated over an eyesore they say their neighbor refuses to fix.

We discovered the property in the 11000 block of Fleur Drive a few weeks ago while covering another story nearby. The yard here has been like this for at least weeks, but neighbors say much longer.

Despite their complaints, however, all of the stuff remains in the front of the home -- items which you would normally find inside, or at least in the garage.

A couch, animal cages, office furniture and more are all stacked up. There is so much junk that it shows up even when you look at a satellite view on GPS.

"Some people have problems and some people need help, and that's what he needs is just help," neighbor Rosemary Wallace said.

Neighbors say it's been like this for months. Wallace calls it "embarrassing."

"It's been some time, and everybody that comes over asks about it," Wallace said.

She calls this a mess and says it attracts bugs, rodents and other creatures, some of which have even infiltrated her garage and destroyed some of her belongings.

We went to ask homeowner Donald Budai about it, literally navigating our way through the stacks of stuff just to find the front door.

"My life is in shambles right now, and I don't need this on TV," Budai said.

That was back on November 11. We talked to Budai then, and he told us both he and his wife had been fired in a company downsizing.

"I'm going through financial difficulty. I don't need this right now," Budai said. "I've got another week to finish getting the front yard cleaned out and it'll be done."

That week came and went. All of the junk did not.

Budai said he is facing foreclosure and an attempt by the Bonaire Homeowners Association to put a lien on the property. Neighbors, who didn't want to be identified, wonder if the HOA is really doing anything.

"There have been complaints and nothing has been done," one anonymous said. "For a neighborhood that has an HOA, it's kind of ridiculous that the house has been there that long like that."

An attorney for the Bonaire HOA says it is "following the proper procedure to get the homeowner in compliance," although the attorney also tells us also that there is no lawsuit filed and that there was no hearing last week.

The attorney says Budai is a year behind on HOA dues. Neighbors say they don't want him to lose the home, just to clean it up.

Part of the issue here is that the neighborhood is not located within city limits. It seems there is no county ordinance that prohibits this. Even the Harris County Fire Marshal does not have jurisdiction in a situation like this.

We've contacted the health department to see what they might say about it.

Please stay with Eyewitness News and abc13.com for updates.

Find Kevin on Facebook at ABC13KevinQuinn or on Twitter at @kquinn001

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