Possums, snakes, blowflies, weeds spark recurring complaints about Hillsborough home

The nuisance house is located in the University of South Florida area residential community that is sometimes referred to as Suitcase City.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Neighbors say the yard is overgrown, there are possums on the roof, snakes in the grass, blowflies in the air and an odor of garbage wafting through the neighborhood that will turn your stomach.

“I’m kinda like at my wits end. I really don’t want to leave my neighborhood; I want to clean it up and keep it,” next-door neighbor Helen Johnson said.

A lawn mower is visible in the backyard under weeds that are growing waist-high, but it doesn’t get much use according to neighbors and county records.

Still, no matter how many times Johnson and other neighbors complain to Hillsborough County Code Enforcement, and there were 10 complaints at last count, nothing changes for any length of time.

The home is owned by Anastasia Timofeyeva, 39. The nuisance house is located in the University of South Florida area residential community.

“No comment,” Timofeyeva said Tuesday, choosing instead to lodge a complaint of her own about falling branches from an oak tree across the street before asking us to leave her property.

Records show that Hillsborough County Code Enforcement officers have paid 39 visits to Timofeyeva’s home during the past six years. Every time they’ve closed the case after compliance.

“Every time a complaint’s been made, the owner of the property’s complied and the code enforcement officers considered that to be the end of the problem,” said Ron Spiller, who took over management of the code enforcement department two years ago. “Looking back, historically overall, there should be a better way to do it and that’s what we’re doing this time.”

The most recent case involved 12 visits from officers beginning in 2015 and ending in February of this year.

But now, neighbor Helen Johnson said, there are possums, pestilence and an overgrown yard.

Spiller sent a code inspector Tuesday to cite Timofeyeva for the 11th time and says her case will have a hearing Friday. If Timofeyeva doesn’t cut her grass within three days Spiller says the county will take steps to cut it for her, place a lien against the property and begin the process of fining her.

The case is somewhat complicated because the house is in foreclosure and a bank will likely assume responsibility in the future, which brings a new responsible party into the mix.

Ever time a Hillsborough County code inspector visits the site of a complaint it costs taxpayers about $82. Spiller says the department’s new policy is designed to stop the revolving door citations.

That would really please Johnson who keeps her own yard neat as a pin. Neighbor Steve Moore lives two doors away and agrees. “We’re all having problems with raccoons and with possums, and they’re all coming from her yard because (she) doesn’t mow; she doesn’t clean or nothing,” Moore said.

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