SHREVEPORT, LA (KTBS) — Lakefront property is a dream for some people, but for one Caddo Parish couple it’s turned into a nightmare.
Stephen Murry has a great view off his balcony right on to Cross Lake. That’s the kind of view people would pay a lot of money to have … or would they?
“My property value is not worth a dime with this situation I have out here. I’ve been told by realtors that there’s no point in putting it up for sale because your property isn’t worth anything with this situation out here,” said Murry, who lives on Cross Lake in Caddo Parish.
The situation is kind of self explanatory when you see the view looking towards the neighbor’s property.
“Right now we’re looking at years and years of hoarding behind my house,” Murry said. “This has been here for a little over 10 years or better.”
When asked if he knew how many abandoned cars are in his neighbor’s yard, Murry said, “I’ve seen two at least. … I believe around seven or eight cars, boats that hold water, refrigerators that don’t work holding water, general junk, tires.”
Murry said he called KTBS because he and his wife have gone through every channel possible over the past 10 years to “remedy the matter of my hoarding neighbor” with no resolution in sight.
The situation next door to Murry is definitely unsightly. But what compounds the situation is Murry’s neighbor also owns all of the property in front of Murry’s house. So he and his wife are surrounded by all that junk on two sides.
“So he bought the property in front of my house, all the way around. So I have the hoarding problem all the way around in a horseshoe effect of my property,” said Murry.
According to Murry, the person responsible is a man named, Lindell Davidson, a retired firefighter. And, according to the Caddo Parish Commission, Davidson is and has been in violation of property standards for a long time.
The parish has a law that makes it illegal to store or abandon inoperable or wrecked vehicles or their parts, along with any other discarded junk such as major appliances.
“All issues will be addressed in a responsive and fair manner focusing on customer service and public awareness while respecting the property rights of our citizens,” states the parish ordinance.
Murry, an Army veteran, takes issue with the part that says responsive and fair.
“We’ve been through the MPC. We’ve been through our commissioners. We’ve been through the property standard people. But it’s always a general rhetoric of ‘We’ll get it cleaned up,'” said Murry.
Caddo Parish Commission communications manager Krystle Grindley released the following statement in connection with KTBS’ inquiry about Murry’s complaint: “The parish’s Property Standards office has recently been investigating this case. It was turned over to the parish attorney’s office. As it is now a legal matter, the parish can’t comment on it, but I can tell you that it is under review.”
KTBS was unable to speak with Davidson. His front gate was locked and has two “No trespassing” signs and another sign warning “Dead end.”
“With me having to live completely surrounded by garbage and dump and everything like this … it’s not fair. I served my country and somebody needs to do something for me,” said Murry.
Murry also said the Caddo Parish Property Standards representatives have been out to the property multiple times over the years. Sometimes they tag the cars and junk, but his neighbor just pulls the tags off. Right now, Murry said he is in complete darkness about if and when this problem will ever be cleaned up.
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