City wants man to clean up his yard - WNEM TV 5

City wants man to clean up his yard

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A Mid-Michigan man is in a battle over his property saying the city wants to take away his belongings.

But local authorities say the home is in violation of city code and that it's not just an eye sore, but a safety hazard as well.

They say if he doesn't clean up his yard soon, they'll be forced to act.

Bob Diebold doesn't see anything wrong with his backyard. The Saginaw resident is upset. That's because the city cited him for violating its environmental ordinance. 

Diebold says he has every right to have things like a piano, refrigerator, dishwasher, and stove outside on his property. He tells TV5 that neighbors have complimented him on how nice his yard looks. He believes he's being picked on.

"They're just harassing you. They just got your number and you can't make a move that they're not harassing you," says Diebold.

The Chief Inspector for code enforcement at City Hall says that Diebold is not being singled out.

According to Chief Inspector John Stemple, the city sees roughly five hoarding cases a year. He says he's been trying to work with Diebold to find a way to take care of all his stuff.

"We've given him three plus years to try to comply and stay in compliance with our ordinance and I think we've been more than patient," says Stemple. "It's not fair to the other property owners around and we certainly don't want to see anything bad happen to him."

Time is running out for Diebold. The city is trying to get a court order to forcibly remove the items from his yard. Stemple also showed TV5 pictures from inside the home, saying all of this is a real safety hazard. 

The city is waiting for the judge's decision before they forcibly remove the items from Diebold's yard.

If the city does move forward, the cost will be passed on to Diebold. 

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