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City: Clean your yard, or we will

By Jon Erickson
Published On: May 01 2013 05:30:09 PM CDT
NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY -

Public workers might landscape a private man’s backyard, then send him the bill.

This is the culmination of the process of city officials asking Anthony Boyd to clean up the backyard of his Magnolia Drive home in New Bern, city documents show.

If Boyd doesn’t comply, city workers will clean Boyd’s yard, and Boyd will have to pay for it.

The backyard is a “public nuisance,” documents show, and city workers have asked Boyd since 2009 to clean his property.

“To me, my yard looks fine,” Boyd said.

But city officials do not agree.

It is a last resort, but “it's a step our city must take to keep our code up and our city up to a condition in which we can all enjoy it,” said Colleen Roberts, a spokesperson for New Bern.

City ordinance allows the city to demand compliance with minimum property standards.

A judge would have to grant workers the right to go onto Boyd's property and do the work.

But Boyd now plans to clean the property himself, to avoid paying the city to do the same job.

The city began levying a fine against Boyd after he did not comply with the most recent clean-up request. 

The fine grows by $50 every day, and now is more than $7,000, records show.