America the Messy Yard Police State
Tempe cracks down on landownersTempe did crack down and seized the home at 1033 W 16th Street for messy yard crimes 10 years ago. The zelous messy yard cops cracked down on the home owner with a passion. They charged him with both criminal and civil violations for having a messy yard. And finally the messy yard cops seized his home.
Why didn't the messy yard cops seize the land from these messy yard criminals 10 years ago too?
First because the messy yard laws are selectively enforced. Second because 10 years ago the city of Tempe didn't want to steal the land these people in the article own.
Tempe Mayor Hallman says
"Double standards are an anathema to our form of government and turning a blind eye to these violations exposes us to liability, which is unacceptable,"If that is true why does Hallman continue to let the messy yard laws be selectivelly enforced? Mr Mayor Hallman are you going to demand that the Tempe Messy Yard Cops site every home in Tempe that is in violation of the Messy Yard Laws? Of course not! The City of Tempe doesn't have enough money, men, time or messy yard cops to fairly enforce the laws against the entire city. The City of Tempe doesn't even obey the laws. Look at the Hayden Flour Mill the the City of Tempe owns, it is covered with pealing paint which is a violation of the messy yard laws. Look at the 3 foot tall weeds behind the Tempe Police Station along the railroad tracks. Another messy yard violation the city isn't going to obey.
A group of Tempe property owners fighting condemnation says city leaders are stepping up their hardball tactics to take their land for a planned shopping center.
On Thursday, Mayor Hugh Hallman called for stricter enforcement of fire and building codes on land that was once a county island. He said public safety, not power politics, was driving the need to crack down on violations.
Hallman said he also wants to eliminate double standards that allow businesses in the former county islands to continue operating in violation of city codes.
"Double standards are an anathema to our form of government and turning a blind eye to these violations exposes us to liability, which is unacceptable," Hallman said.
Asked why the city has waited so long to look at stronger enforcement, Hallman said he has only been mayor since July.
The city is attempting to condemn property near Rio Salado Parkway and McClintock Drive for the proposed Tempe Marketplace.
The land for the $200 million project was county property until the city annexed it in 1999.
The City Council will continue discussing the issue.
Attorneys for the property owners filed a lawsuit in April accusing city officials of lying to business owners and residents to win support for the annexation agreement.
According to the agreement, the city pledged to spend $900,000 for basic infrastructure improvements.
The city has not yet spent the money.
"If they were really interested in cleaning the area, they would have done this years ago," said Del Sturman, part owner of a machine shop.
He said the city intends to harass business owners in the area until they give in and sell. About 20 property owners have refused to sell.
Tempe Fire Chief Cliff Jones said code enforcement in the former county island has been a major concern since the city annexed the property.
"There’s just no way to go out there and instantly bring all these buildings up to code," Jones said. Contact Dennis Welch by email, or phone (480) 898-6573