Duval County

INVESTIGATES: Westside Jacksonville lawn cleaned up after neighbors say trash was there for months

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — UPDATE, 10/19/2021: One day after our Action News Jax Investigates report, the trash in front of a Westside Jacksonville home has been cleared up after neighbors told us it was there for months.

The home’s lawn was filled with trash, everything from a mattress to furniture to old tires.

Workers and volunteers were out at the home all day Tuesday cleaning up the front lawn, just 24 hours after we investigated the trash problem on the property.

Neighbors said it was like that since May, when the homeowner was evicted and all her belongings thrown onto the front lawn.

The City of Jacksonville Code Enforcement issued several citations at the home, back in August and more on Monday.

Action News Jax received the following statement from 4D Properties and Investments on Tuesday morning:

“I am responding to the recent story regarding the subject property 7572 Wendell Drive. We are fix and flip company that recently inquired (sic) the property the end of September. We had nothing to do with the writ of possession nor did we discharge the former tenants items and belongings out of the property. Due to Covid restrictions we received access to the property the first week of October. Our company has ordered a dumpster and has hired a clean up crew to assist with the removal of the debris and discarded items this should be resolved by the end of todays (sic) business day. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have cause to the community and the neighboring homeowners.”

“It’s a great relief. It’s a ‘thank God’ that people finally took interest in it finally after six months and got it cleaned up,” neighbor Emily Amberger said.

The representative for 4D Properties said the company had no idea the property looked like that when they bought it in a blind deal.

But the company delivered on its promise and no trash remains at 7572 Wendell Drive.

Original story and video from 10/18/2021 below:

Neighbors on the Westside tell Action News Jax old mattresses, food and clothing have been sitting outside of a property since the spring.

At 7572 Wendell Drive, you see dressers, chairs and various kitchen items. Whatever was inside the home is now on the lawn.

Neighbors said they’re out of options asking for help.

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“I called the city several times. Left messages,” neighbor Nancy Townsend said.

Townsend said she has been trying to get this property cleaned up for months, as have other neighbors.

“I’ve called the city two to three times and filed complaints in reference to the issue,” another neighbor said.

Old furniture and lots more cover the lawn after neighbors said its previous tenants were evicted.

Some of the items could pose a threat.

“I noticed a bag with prescription medication in it, and that really scared me,” Townsend said.

While on the property, we noticed a piece of paper on the door. It turns out that code enforcement issued several violations back in August. Now it’s mid-October and the trash still remains.

We reached out to the city to find out who owns the property, and also what the city is doing about it.

Hours later, code enforcement showed up to the house and put two more pieces of paper on the doorknob.

City officials told us they have four active enforcement cases at the property:

  • “Nuisance: Trash/debris. A follow-up inspection was conducted and the issue still remains at the property. We will be preparing a work order for us to view the entire property. Due to the amount of debris on the property, we will have to develop a bid specification, submit it to procurement to solicit bids from independent contractors to perform the work.
  • “Nuisance Board Up: Open and vacant main and accessory structure. Work order will be generated and forwarded to the contractor to secure the structures.
  • “Residential: Citation was issued for various issues on the exterior of the structure itself (paint, fascia boards).
  • “Graffiti: Graffiti on the garage. Notices will go out to the owners to correct the issue. If no action is taken by the owner, the City will hire a contractor to paint over or remove the graffiti.”

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A “Warning Citation for Ordinance Violation” is issued to Boyd Management.

We reached out to the company for comment. Managing partner James Moore told us that Boyd Management doesn’t own the property anymore.

However, the company’s name is written on the citation and listed on the property appraiser’s site.

Moore said the company sold the land back in September to an independent investor.

We contacted the property appraiser’s office, who told us it typically takes 30 days to post a deed. The office also said its database has been down for a couple of weeks.

We obtained the deed, which shows that 7572 Wendell Drive now belongs to 4D Properties and Investments.

We found the owner’s address listed on the Florida Department of State’s website.

We knocked on the door to ask the company’s owners what they plan to do with the Wendell Drive property. There was no answer.

We received the following statement from Boyd Management, which indicates the new owner is planning to begin a rehab project on the property soon.

“Boyd Management took back the subject property in a foreclosure action earlier this year and then was required to evict the tenants. Once evicted Boyd entered into a contract with a third-party investor to sell the property in as-is condition, with the investor intending to fix and flip the property. That transaction completed in September of this year and Boyd no longer is the legal owner of the property.”

For now, neighbors will continue to drive and walk by the eyesore.

“I just feel like nobody cares to do anything about it,” Townsend said.

Action News Jax will stay on top of this problem and will update you as soon as it gets cleaned up.

PHOTOS: Trash piles up outside Westside Jacksonville home for months

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