• City will enforce cleanup of huge debris pile at Mandarin home

    By: Kevin Clark

    Updated:

    The City of Jacksonville plans to take action at a Mandarin property where a pile of debris is nearly as large as the home there.

    Neighbors say the man who lives operates a tree-trimming company, but has been using his backyard as a dumping ground for months.

    A COJ spokesperson tells Action News Jax the homeowner was cited in November.

    Now the city could place a lien on the house while it cleans up the debris.

    In an email, the chief of code enforcement told a concerned neighbor, "I hope to have a contractor out in the next two weeks to clean up the lot."

    Neighbors near the Herton Drive home have expressed concerns about the debris being a fire risk as well as an eyesore.

    “You literally could stand and see the pile above the house,” one neighbor said.

    On Wednesday Action News Jax watched the man haul another load of chopped trees back to the home.

    He asked us to stay off the property and said that he’d have the piles cleaned up this week.

    The man is a tenant at the home which is owned by Charlie Sakakini.

    Sakakini said he helped his tenant get his tree-trimming business off the ground, but said the man stopped paying rent months ago. He says the debris problem has gotten out of control.

    He plans to evict the man this week.

    “I’m probably going to spend the next month working to pay to move all this lumber out of my yard that he’s loaded in here,” said Sakakini.

    Action News Jax spoke with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

    Officials said they plan to send a letter next week giving the man 30 days to clean up the debris pile.

    If not, the DEP says he could face thousands of dollars in fines.

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