Does use of Orchard Mesa property create a double standard for junk enforcement?
For three years, Joyce Dry says, she has been pestering county employees about illegally parked recreational vehicles and energy company trucks on a county-owned parcel on the northeast corner of Arlington Drive and Oxford Avenue in Orchard Mesa.
“It’s got a couple (or) three RVs, a trailer, some tree branches; most of the time somebody with a truck with a boat and at the end of the day a tanker with two or three water trucks are there,” Dry said. “There have been quite a few of us that have called the county and complained, but nothing has been done.”
Dry said she has contacted Greg Linza, director of facilities and parks for Mesa County, and Stacey Mascarenas, property agent for the county. Her complaints to them did little to change the situation, she said.
“We have signed (the property) several times, but a lot of people who live in that area say they were told it was left by owners for additional (parking),” Linza said. “I don’t have a parking lot staff that can go over there and continually watch it.”
When Dry saw a recent article in The Daily Sentinel about how the county has been turning up the heat on private property owners who store junk on their land, Dry surmised that there was a double standard.
“I thought, well, now wait a minute,” she said.
“If they are going to cast stones at the private people, then they need to clean up their own yard.”
Dry sent an e-mail about the situation to The Daily Sentinel and to Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland.
“This was the first I heard of it, so as soon as I did, I forwarded it on to Jon (Peacock, county administrator) and Code Enforcement,” Rowland said. “If there are things on there that shouldn’t be, we are going to take steps to get them removed.”
Rowland said it is unfortunate the situation has gone on as long as it has. Mesa County Code Enforcement now has the case and will investigate it the same as any other case, she said.
Rowland admitted the county should be a better steward of its property.
“It certainly should not take Code Enforcement to make the county take care of the lot,” she said.
Rowland does not fault any county employees who may have been aware of the situation for not forwarding the information, or for referring Dry to Code Enforcement.
“We are a company, a business, of over 1,000 employees. I think it is fair to say that sometimes the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing,” Rowland said.