Madison resident wants ‘junk cars’, overgrowth removed from neighbors’ property

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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - Mose Chapel Road resident Nancy Burch emailed WHNT News 19 this week at her rope's end. She says she has been trying to get inoperable vehicles and overgrown brush removed from her neighbor's property for years - since June 25, 2007 to be precise.

Burch gave us a tour along her property line where we found half-a-dozen inoperable vehicles. Burch says since 2007 she has been in contact numerous times with Madison City Code Enforcement officials to try to get the issue cleaned up - an issue she says has persisted through 3 Madison mayors.

"They say, 'it's out of our hands - we can only go so far - our hands are kinda tied by the city rules,' excuse me?!" Burch puzzles.

Burch says it's not just the aesthetics of her neighbor's property that are bothering her.

"Well, there are rodents coming in from over there," she says. "We've had snakes to come in, I've seen opossum racing to get away from there - I wouldn't want to be there either," Burch jokes.

We spoke with Madison Director of Building Jimmy Morgan who confirmed with a city code enforcement officer that the property owner, Bruce Dansby, had in fact been previously cited, fined and taken to court over issues with his yard.

Morgan says they often have to deal with repeat offenders who go right back to the same behavior after they have been asked to fix a situation. Morgan explains resource limitations obviously prevent the city from keeping regular checks on properties they have already addressed. He says Burch needs to submit another complaint to the city so they can come revisit the yard in question.

"Yes absolutely," Morgan says. "We are always able to answer those types of calls. We do appreciate any type of extra information or the ability to meet with someone and be on their property to be able to view what their viewing."

Of course, part of Burch's frustration is that she says she's already done that. She says she was told some time ago a code enforcement officer would come scope out the property, but that he found no violations.

"I feel like I'm getting patted on my head, you know it's like, 'don't worry about it, little girl,' - you live here," exclaimed Burch in response to the run-a-round she says she has been getting.

Despite her frustrations, Burch says she will go back to the drawing board and submit yet another complaint. After all, she says, her requests are simple:

"I want that truck gone, I want all those inoperable vehicles out of here, I want that back yard cleaned up," Burch says matter-of-factly. "I'm not the only one who sees it."

Madison City code stipulates inoperable vehicles must be parked/stored on a paved driveway and covered with a car cover. Code also states inoperable vehicles cannot be parked /stored on public streets.

The maintenance of land provision for the city of Madison reads all land shall be maintained free from any accumulation of garbage, litter, debris, blight or deterioration - and that it's considered a violation for any person to permit grass and weeds to grow to a height in excess of 12 inches on any premises or lot owned by such person within the city.




  • Bryan

    If the person owns the property he should be able to enjoy his own empire any way he sees fit. What you don’t like my be his master piece.

    • Red

      “Masterpiece” is one word, Bryan. And thank God there ARE rules and ordinances and nobody is asking you for your opinion on the matter. A trashy, junky resident of a neighborhood should not have the right to bring down property values of everyone else in the neighborhood, regardless of what he thinks he can do in “his own empire”.

      • rick

        “I want that truck gone, I want all those inoperable vehicles out of here, I want that back yard cleaned up,” Burch says matter-of-factly.

        for some reason she thinks and treats that like her property. typical, noisey, better than everybody else, working on the arsenal, Madison resident.

  • Ralph

    This guy probably lived there for years when it was the boonies.People built thier ugly cookie-cutter houses all around him then complain.

    • rick

      ya, that was the poorest part of Madison at one time, Mose Chapel road was home to descendents of the old south.
      Homeowner wasn’t complaining when it bought the house at a reduced price because of the neighbor.

  • Danielle

    This person should be able to have whatever they want on THEIR property. They pay/paid to buy the land and house, They can do what they want with it.

      • Tyler

        Yes it actually does make you king of that land, or at least it should except for the fact that you have to continually pay taxes on the property which isn’t right.

    • Jeanne

      Well,Danielle, if that is the pig stye you, Tyler and Ralph want to live in you should take your little “kingdom” way out in the country behind a tall fence. Nothing brings down property values like having a lazy , dirty bum in a decent neighborhood who collects junk scattered in overgrown weeds and trash trees. Just picture trying to sell a nice home next door to a junk yard. Not so much. Keeping a clean yard shows some pride of ownership and consideration for the neighbors at the very least. Any thing else just shows what an ignorant pig you are. Most subdivisions have some sort of restrictions against this, perhaps the neighborhood residents could get together and file a lawsuit.

      • Tyler

        See that is the problem. People in Madison try to express their better than everyone else, snobbish well to do persona by the way their elaborate homes and manicured lawns look to all their neighbors and fellow H.O.A. members.

  • Ralph Connor Jr

    I just wish the writer would have taken more time to turn out a quality article….. Or the proof reader should be fired for missing to many grammatical and style errors…..

  • soldier

    oh its no big deal let him live how he wants unless he’s your neighbor then oh then its a problem. if its within the city limits then there are rules that must be followed not to mention just plain respect for others around you but if outside the city limits do as you want. you want to live in a junk yard go live in the country.

  • santaclausmama

    So my neighbor has large plastic toys, car seats, five large dirty dogs (backyard) you can see them and smell them… and yes, they even had a sofa parked on the front porch!!! I am planning to solve my problem with tall hedges and some pretty grasses…. live and let live.

    • Red

      Typical, as in, takes pride in her neighborhood and wants to maintain her property values…? Is that what you mean Tyler?

      • Tyler

        No, typical as in everyone feels entitled to have what ever their spoiled self wants.This is the most snobbish place I have ever had the displeasure of being in. Its none of anyone’s business what someone is doing on their own property as long as its not hurting anyone.

  • Karinttt

    That man is giving “country” people a bad name. Why the heck are all these vehicles salting his property. And, if you watch the movie, this guy’s house is obviously just as new as the others on that street. And, I don’t agree that someone living in a house area should be allowed to just do whatever they want with their property. Their neighbors have a right not to have to put up with his filth. BTW, they should start looking at some of these vehicles… maybe one or two have been involved in a crime. Looks like a few great places to hide a body!!

  • John Doe

    Sounds like a nosey neighbor. Last year when it came time for the 1st mow of the season it rained on my off days for about 1-2 weeks & my mower broke down. My old turd of a neighbor complained…I mowed my lawn then discovered the old hag had already complained. I loathe living near nosey socialists & busybodies like the complainers. When I buy a house I’m strongly considering moving outside of the city limits. I’d rather have animals as neighbors than thugs & nosey clowns.

  • Jeanne

    John, I’m sure your “old turd of a neighbor” would be absolutely LOVE to have you buy a house out in the country! In fact might help you pack. By the way, has your socialist landlord checked on his rental property lately?

    • Tyler

      Well Jeanne, I am sure that you and all of the rest of the well-to-do people of this town would love to have everyone who does not agree with you to move out. After all we can not have the image of Madison ruined by us regular people.

  • Random user

    Funny thing is, he probably bought his house out in the country umpteen years ago and the Madison City was incorporated.

  • Regular Everyday Normal Guy

    Having lived in Madison my whole life, I remember this house getting built. It was there before all of these ordinances. Please remember people, this is America. If this man wants to have his cars on the side of his house he has the god given right to do so. Madison has tried to become it’s own prestigious place full of rich snobs that are all about their image. If you have a big problem with looking at the neighbors house then build a fence to block it. Thanks WHNT for making another normal everyday person look bad. This lady needs to get a life or keel over.

  • Women with morals.

    This gentle men is retired and trying to maintain a 1 3/4 lot by himself on a limited budget. He keeps the yard mowed. He moved here before this neighbor lived here about at least five years or more. There has always been a problems with possum problems in that area. He moved into that area when it was in the country and nothing but farm land around him. The area developed around him he was there first. Offer to help instead of judging him. He would probably move to the country if he could. Don’t judge before you know the situation.

    • Madison Resident

      That sounds about right from what I saw. Some Yuppie uptight neighbor complaining against some old man that’s been there much longer than she has. Sure some of that stuff looks bad but I bet she has never once asked him personally about cleaning up any of this and instead runs off to the city to complain every time. What happened to the days of talking to your neighbors about problems. If it was me I’d park every single car that I could right along that property line and maybe even get a big banner telling my neighbor to “Get a Life and mind her own business”
      If she doesn’t like it and wants her precious aesthetics move to Jones Valley or some other area with a gated community. She will find plenty of like minded Snobs there. Almost everything she complained about isn’t even visible from the road either, where was that truck in the video? That all looked like the back yard or the property line to me. Also that house is not even in a subdivision either so their is no community guidelines. Just one obnoxious snotty neighbor who needs to go back inside and mind her own business. People like her just make me sick they are so full of themselves you can just smell the stink of their smugness when you get near them.

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