Third Ward in Houston is filled with homes built in the 1920's and 30's...Those older homes also come with several alleys all over the community.
Long time resident John Myers says,
"well there is a lot of dumping that goes on out there."
That is the problem people like Myers now face living in the historical area. They find everything from furniture to drug paraphenalia behind their homes. But here's the catch. The city is now posting notices like this one on the property of residents. They're being told even though the alleys are city property the residents have to - must clean it up or go to court.
"I don't think it's fair in the sense that they can come out and fine you for it,"
Joshua Wood also lives in Third Ward. He says, "the deal is we don't have any control over any body dumping trash and it's an alley way I mean it doesn't belong to the house it's not apart of the property."
Wood has lived on Binz for the last two years. He's one of the residents who has received a notice.
It reads Wood has only a few weeks to clean up the city's alley or face being dragged into court. Wood is defiant and refuses to do it.
He says, "you've been given til 6/22 to take care of it....and it didn't get taken care of."
Myers says, "I went back there and there's human excrement and I mean I'm not gonna go back there and clean that stuff up."
Myers, who has given in and cleans the alley behind his home, says he tried to buy it from the city but it became too much.
"I was told that we had to get everyone to sign a release form and the city would sell it to us but then it became a lot of trouble," says Myers.
The city's Neighborhoods Department confirms residents are responsible for the upkeep of city property like the alley behind their homes. Officials say as long as it's within 14 feet of the property line.
That's why Council Member Wanda Adams is working on a fix...a big picture fix. She says the city is investing $200-thousand dollars to buy cameras to catch those who dump illegally.
Adams says, "but our most important eyes are in the neighborhoods and the community to see who is illegally dumping to get license plate numbers to call it in to 311 to make sure we can catch these culprits."