Fighting for You: Homeowner Accuses Neighbor Of Breaking Community Covenant Rules

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - A Madison County homeowner is fed up with one of his neighbors. He says the neighbor isn't following the rules of a community covenant. Jim Matthews told WHNT NEWS 19 his neighbor is currently violating two portions of it. Matthews has tried talking to his neighbor, but couldn't get anything done. Matthews emailed WHNT NEWS 19 to see about getting things done.

Matthews has issues with his neighbor's lawn, sign in the yard and mailbox. He provided WHNT NEWS 19 a copy of the community's covenant which states how high grass can grow and what can be placed in yards. It appears Matthews' neighbor is in violation. Matthews told WHNT NEWS 19 the person who regulates the covenant is ignoring the violations. He wants WHNT NEWS 19 to hold the covenant-writer and neighbor responsible.

Matthews has lived in the Central Estates community for a decade.

"We were the second house in this community to be built. We've watched people move in and out of it," said Matthews.

He thinks the Madison County community is a good place to live and get to know neighbors. He's becoming concerned with one of those neighbors.

"There are certain rules and restrictions that we have to follow. This young man down the road did not have to do that, even though we have offered to help and everything else. He did not do it," added Matthews.

Matthews showed WHNT NEWS 19 the Central Estates covenant. It states each tract owner shall be responsible for keeping all weeds under control, grass mowed and other foliage trimmed. It goes on to say any and all grass located on each lot must never reach a height higher than six inches.

Most of the yard is compliant. However, some parts are clearly overgrown. Matthews tried talking with his neighbor in person and through a letter.

"I felt it needed to be done because he was refusing to do anything about the yard," added Matthews.

There appears to be another violation. The covenant states no sign of any kind shall be displayed to the public view on any tract except for one professional sign advertising the property for sale. Matthews also has an issue with this sign. He has contacted the covenant-writer and the Madison County Commission.

"I was trying anything and everything to get this young fellow to do what was necessary to get his yard to looking up to standards," added Matthews.

WHNT NEWS 19 contacted a spokeswoman for Madison County and was told the county could not do anything with regard to the covenant, but would do something with a third issue.  County inspectors found a destroyed mailbox at the home during a recent visit. Inspectors decided to cite the property owner for a mailbox that violates the county's junk ordinance.

The citation gives the property owner 30 days to clean up his property. The homeowner could face a fine if the property is not brought into compliance.

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