Valley artist claims work in her yard is considered blight - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Valley artist claims work displayed in her yard is considered blight

Posted: Updated:
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

An artist and home renter in the city of Phoenix's Sunnyslope neighborhood claims the city is forcing her to remove canvas art paintings from her front yard because they are considered blight.

Susan Applegate started painting at 7 years old. For the past two years, though, she's been locked in a battle with City Hall over a variety of code violations on the property she rents.

"They can't see a work of art in progress. So it's up to them to name it what they do. And they call it blight, rubble, debris, outside storage," Applegate said.

"The neighbors are saying the condition of the property is hurting their property values and it's creating blight in their neighborhood," said Tim Boling, deputy director of the city of Phoenix Neighborhood Services Department.

Applegate believes a city judge will decide what on the property is considered art and what is considered blight.

"They couldn't possibly be correct because I'm right. They can't win. I feel like Charlie Sheen. Winning!" said Applegate with a laugh. "It's freedom of speech."

It turns out, city officials say they have no intention of infringing on Applegate's freedom of speech. Boling says Applegate is mistaken in saying that her art display is a violation of city code.

"It's not a violation to express free speech on your property," Boling said. "The city of Phoenix has not cited the tenant for any of the items she determines to be art on her property."

The code violations Applegate is being cited for include excessive shrubbery and dead vegetation in her yard, including palm fronds and other items.

"Trash, debris, dead and dried vegetation on the property," Boling said.

Applegate has until March 26 to get things cleaned up and bring the property up to code standards or the city will hire someone to do it for her and send her the bill.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Prostitution sting results in 12 arrests

    Prostitution sting results in 12 arrests

    Friday, July 25 2014 3:19 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:19:10 GMT
    (WMC) – A prostitution sting was conducted at a Southaven hotel Thursday. As a result, the following 12 people were arrested: Preston K. Mitchell, 52, Memphis, Tenn., charged with procuring prostitutionMore >>
    A prostitution sting was conducted at a Southaven hotel Thursday. Twelve people were arrested.More >>
  • Fight leads to gunshots and mayhem in Stone County

    Fight leads to gunshots and mayhem in Stone County

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:24 PM EDT2014-07-30 00:24:50 GMT
    Stone County Deputy Chief Phyllis Olds described a Saturday night fight this way, "It's by the grace of God that nobody was killed." That fight reportedly started at an outdoor block party.More >>
    Stone County Deputy Chief Phyllis Olds described a Saturday night fight this way, "It's by the grace of God that nobody was killed." That fight reportedly started at an outdoor block party. Deputies said it escalated into a gun battle near the Cadillac Club on Thelma Andrews Road.More >>
  • You saw his photo, and like that, police nab an alleged burglar

    You saw his photo, and like that, police nab an alleged burglar

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:23 PM EDT2014-07-30 01:23:50 GMT
    A surveillance picture shown on WLOX News and WLOX.com Monday night, and surveillance video posted on Facebook by a car burglary victim helped D'Iberville Police find an alleged burglar.More >>
    A surveillance picture shown on WLOX News and WLOX.com Monday night, and surveillance video posted on Facebook by a car burglary victim helped D'Iberville Police find an alleged burglar. A day after airing that photo, and reading Facebook posts, police realized their suspect was in Jackson County. With the help of Jackson County deputies, they arrested John Edward Dennis on a charge of burglary of an automobile.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.