Hillsborough Co. Commissioner promises change after 8 On Your Side investigation into junk-filled property

8 On Your Side

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Hillsborough County Commissioner is losing patience and promises change following an 8 On Your Side investigation.

Last month, News Channel 8 exposed a property loaded with junk and trash near Boyette and McMullen roads in Riverview.

Roy Welsh owns a home just steps away from the junk-filled property.

“I am to the point of breaking because this has been going on for several months,” said Welsh.

8 On Your Side Investigates found two code enforcement cases for an accumulation of debris and junk.

The 2017 case for overgrowth and accumulations has fines currently running at nearly $400,000. The 2019 case cites uninhabitable dwelling and inoperable vehicles on site.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White reacted to 8 On Your Side’s investigation at Wednesday’s meeting.

“Situations like the one in Riverview must not be tolerated,” said Commissioner White. “I support the residents who live around this nuisance property and I want to do everything possible to get this property cleaned up.”

According to code enforcement, the listed owner of the property hasn’t been attending hearings. When 8 On Your Side Investigates stopped by the property to find out why, we couldn’t find the owner anywhere.

“What more can be done in a situation so neighbors aren’t waiting so long?” asked investigative reporter Mahsa Saeidi.

“We can certainly be more aggressive,” said Commissioner White.

Commissioner White believes code enforcement issues must be handled with great care in order to protect neighborhoods while respecting the due process rights of property owners.

That being said, the commissioner argues the Riverview mess has been around for too long.

“I’m confident that we can really accelerate this process,” said Commissioner White.

White estimates the property will be cleaned up in the next several months.

Meantime, he’s asked code enforcement to work with the county attorney’s office and come up with a better way, a quicker way, to deal with junked-up properties like the one in Riverview.

A report is set to be presented to commissioners next month.

8 On Your Side will continue to follow this story.

“I’m watching out for my neighborhoods and my district and this is on my radar screen,” said Commissioner White. “I’m going to work diligently to get this solved.”

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