Junkyard home in SE Portland causing headaches for neighbors, city

PORTLAND, Ore. - What do you do if your neighbors have allowed their property to become a junkyard?

That's what's happening at Southeast 75th Place and Lambert, not far from Whitman Elementary School, where a home has become a real nuisance. It's surrounded by tools, RVs, motorcycles and junk.

The residents weren't too friendly either, as one of them tried to throw a wrench at a KATU News reporter and photographer.

The man who threw the wrench said he is one of an unknown number of people living at the home. He wouldn't share his name.

"It's not that (expletive) bad," he said. "Most of it is tools."

The city of Portland cleaned up the property in April, but the junk all came back. And now, city officials say, the owner of the home is in bankruptcy.

The complaints have trickled in, but despite numerous orders that the property is a nuisance, or there's no garbage service or there's a disabled vehicle outside, clearing the property is a cumbersome process.

"If we had more staff, we would have better response times. But even under the best situation, it's always going to take us time," said Mike Liefeld of the city's Bureau of Development Services. "Our enforcement program is bound by many legal requirements in terms of notice, appeals, scheduling code hearings (and) getting an order to do something."

The city is seeking an order to condemn the property.