ABILENE, Texas - Does anyone in your neighborhood park on their lawn? Have you ever seen people dumping unwanted items in places other than the landfill?
Did you know those things are illegal in the city of Abilene?
Environmental Crimes Officer Bill Whitley said the two ordinances people violate most often are parking in the lawn and illegal dumping. Maybe people don't know it's illegal or maybe they don't care, but the city of Abilene does.
What do you do if there's nowhere else to park?
"What the code officers will ask the citizens to do is either put a border up so it won't wash out or actually dig down about three inches, fill it in with road base and then that's an approved parking surface," Whitley said.
That isn't just the case for cars, but all vehicles.
"You can't park a boat, you can't park your motor home, your RV, a flatbed trailer, nothing in the yard," Whitley said.
Another problem officers deal with consistently is illegal dumping. Whitley said people often leave bulk items like a couch or a mattress next to their trash bins and that's not where they belong.
"The people who pick up the dumpster are a totally different group of men and women that pick up bulk waste," Whitley said.
Instead, a large trash item should be put out by the edge of your yard about two weeks prior to pickup.
Citations for breaking those codes will cost you up to $500.
Why does the city continue to enforce these codes?
"You clean the grime, you clean the crime. So, wherever you have a lot of filth and nastiness and stuff like that you usually have a higher crime rate too," Whitley said.
If a neighbor continues to violate one of these ordinances, and you want officers to do something about it, you can take a picture and bring it to Planning Services at City Hall.
They will have you fill out a sworn statement so that they can issue a citation.
If you have a complaint you would like to file with the city of Abilene you can call (325) 437-4590.
To take a look at Abilene's entire city ordinance database visit http://www.abilenetx.com/ordinances/
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