CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — Neighbors are showing their support for an elderly Clearwater man who is facing hefty fines by code enforcement because of his overgrown landscaping.
77-year-old Jon Daniels has overgrown landscaping that he’d prefer not to cut down.
City code enforcement tells him his bushes, plants, and trees are in the city’s right of way.
Daniels said the vegetation keeps his house cool and it’s a perfect habitat for bees, birds and butterflies. He said he’s been growing the plants in his yard for 38 years. He’s had one particular plant for 22 years and has nicknamed it “Elvira.”
The landscaping, which looks a bit like a lush jungle, hides a majority of his home from view on Carlos Avenue.
“So all this has to go? Apparently so, anything over eight inches they tell me. And at first they said all the ground cover has to go. It has to be a uniform three inch situation,” said Daniels.
City officials tell 8 on Your Side that an anonymous complaint was emailed to them regarding a strong smell of cat urine coming from the property.
Officers cited Daniels for his fence, exterior surface and roof maintenance. Daniels has until June 20th to bring those violations up to code or be fined $250 a day for each violation.
A survey on the right of way has been conducted. Those results were not available Friday.
Several neighbors have signed a petition in support of Daniels. They want to present it to city leaders to let them know they don’t have a problem with his landscaping.
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