EWTK: Shopping strip turns into unauthorized landfill

Shopping strip turns into illegal trash dump

SAN ANTONIO -- In the 6200 block of Binz-Engleman Road there’s an epic trash pile that has festered for years, turning an east Bexar County shopping strip into an unauthorized landfill.

Neighbors who drive by the mess every day express frustration with the sight and smell of the place.

“It's a mess and it smells bad," Larry Perryman said.    

Perryman said lots of people have complained but nothing has changed.

“One day it’s clean and the next day it’s messed the same way so something needs to be done about it.”

Vianey Zavala said because an elementary school is right around the corner, the illegal dumping is a threat to the children who walk through the area.

"Somebody come get the trash! Get this trash out of the area it looks bad. It makes us look just bad," Zavala said

"Bexar County is trying to do whatever it can to force him to fix his mess," said Bexar County Public Works Director Renee Green.

Green said the owner has been under notice to clean up the property numerous times. However, he said the owner failed to show up when the county filed charges on him in civil court, so now they are asking the District Attorney to file criminal charges.

"Obviously if an individual property owner fails to abate his nuisance and is a repeat offender then we can always step up the enforcement and hope to go with criminal charges," Green said.

According to Green,the cap on civil penalties is $500 per day but criminal penalties can be much more costly and some can carry the threat of jail time.

Green said the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has also been called to see if charges can be brought at the state level, but there may be action even sooner. 

A realtor trying to find tenants for the empty retail space in the complex said a contract for cleanup is about to be awarded.

Darrell Keller of DH Realty said to expect a new look and a new business in the very near future. 

If you have a problem you'd like KENS 5's Eyewitness Wants to Know to check out, call us at 210-377-8647 or email us at ewtk@kens5.com.

(© 2016 KENS)


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