PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - Neighbors in Pass Christian say it's a nuisance property that needs attention now. But the homeless veteran who owns the lot says she's doing the best she can to clean-it up.
On Monday morning, both sides pleaded with Harrison County supervisors to help resolve the matter.
"Since May, I've been there every day," Velia Alarcon told county supervisors. "I love that property."'
Alarcon admits her property on Bayview Avenue needs some attention. She is still struggling to recover from a fire which destroyed her home early last year.
"Lost everything. And then within two weeks, the 'neighbors' are coming to zoning, tired of looking at it," she told the board.
Among the neighbors voicing concern are Greg and Pat Thompson, who own the house next door. They say the overgrowth and unkept lot attract problems.
"Rodents. Mosquitoes. Snakes. A pool with larvae inside it. And I'm just concerned about kids," said Mr. Thompson.
A realtor told supervisors the nuisance property could have a negative impact on property values and future development.
Nonnie DeBardeleben said, "Because it ends up affecting the overall visual aspect of the neighborhood."
Becky Montgomery says Velia Alarcon has been her house guest since May. She's seen her fellow veteran working hard to try and make improvements to the lot.
"And I just wish the community as a whole would look at this veteran and see how hard she's working and say let's pitch in and get this done and done right," she said.
Supervisor Marlin Ladner represents that area and agreed to give the property owner a bit more time to make improvements.
"I would make a motion to give her 45 days," said Supervisor Ladner.
If the property is not cleaned-up by then, the county will do the job and assess the cost to the owner.
Along with cutting the overgrown vegetation, the property owner must also remove a storage shed that was built without the county's approval.