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Fight to clean up blighted property lasting a decade

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BATON ROUGE - A blighted property, is ruffling the feathers of neighbors and homeowner associations. At least a dozen cars, equipment, tires and a piano are among the items that have been sitting on the Baton Rouge property for years.

The property is in the 10400 block of Old Hammond Hwy.

Gary Schaefer, President of the Sharpestowne Homes Association says he's been trying to get the homeowner to clean up his yard for a decade. He's asking the city to enforce ordinances, so blight left for years, doesn't happen.

"We tried to take it to court," he said. "And nothing happened."

While the home is surrounded by a tall wooden fence, neighbors can see in and say they're tired of looking at the rusty trucks and other items that surround the house.

Wednesday, 2 On Your Side knocked on the door of the home and no one answered.

"This is zoned A-1 residential and there's no reason to have that many vehicles stored on the property," said Schaefer.

Since 2007, Schaefer has inquired with the city-parish about the blight. He's spent hours upon hours fighting to clean it up but says little has been done to make changes. While he understands the city-parish has their hands full right now, he's calling on officials to help.

"The city has to finally come up with a plan and a method to enforce these ordinances, implement that and then go after it, go after the people that don't comply," he said.

Judge Janice Young says there's a permanent injunction against the property owner that has been in effect since November 2008. Judge Young says she has contacted the parish attorney's office and tells 2 On Your Side inspectors will be visiting the property.

The parish attorney's office tells WBRZ it expects a report from the city inspector by Friday. According to parish ordinances, the property owner could be facing hefty fines.

Check back for updates.

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