"Junk" has Saginaw in a dispute with property owner - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

"Junk" has Saginaw in a dispute with property owner

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(04/10/2014) You've heard the expression; one man's trash is another man's treasure.

The city of Saginaw says one property owner has too much trash.

But he says it's his treasure and wants more time to clean up his land.

The city says its been in a dispute with Bob Diebold for a little more than three years now.

And it looks like the dispute is going to court.

"I am very upset, they keep harassing me and harassing me," says Diebold.

The 72 year-old says he has owned this home on Woodbridge on Saginaw's westside since 1975.  He says the city condemned the house in 2010, and he was allowed back in it in January 2011.  But the city's code enforcement unit, SCENIC, has been trying to get Diebold to clean up his property ever since, especially the backyard.

"We've had complaints from the neighboring property owners," says the city's chief building inspector John Stemple.

The city issued a notice of violation asking Diebold to remove the junk from his backyard by March 20th, a deadline which has come and gone.

"I've been working on it and I've been making progress, it looks a lot better than it did when they were here," Diebold says.

To him, this is not junk.

"No its not junk, and its not something I am hoarding, this stuff is going to be used for an apartment I am making up stairs," Diebold says.

Diebold was arrested in October, charged with obstructing a police officer, but that charge was dropped.  The homeowner says he is in the process of getting repairs on the in-ground pool.  As far as all the other stuff.

"What the hell does it matter that I've got something covered up with a tarp in my backyard," Diebold says.

"We've tried to be patient with him," says Stemple.

Since the backyard gate is locked up, Stemple says the city's next step is to get a court order to get on the property.

"We are pursuing that at this time," he says.

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