By Ryan Cornell
TOMS BROOK -- Town Council continues to draw headaches from what some have termed "the biggest eyesore in town."
More likely to be used as the setting of a slasher flick than a soiree, the yellow house at 3415 N. Main St. and its adjacent brick building -- practically covered in overgrown sumac and thistle -- not only violates town ordinance, but also poses significant health issues, according to Toms Brook Mayor Phil Fauber.
Grass and weeds reach up to waist level, snakes slither freely through the yard and Fauber said a partially knocked-in swimming pool harbors dead animals and mosquito larvae.
"Jimmy Hoffa might even be in there," he added.
After nearly a decade of dodged phone calls, letters and general complaints, the council is grasping at anything to get Fort Valley resident Doug Boyd, who owns the parcels through Sunlight Properties LLC, to maintain it.
They might not have to wait for much longer.
When reached for comment, Boyd said he's planning to raze both houses in August before proceeding to develop the property.
"It's kind of obsolete to mow the grass when we're slated to get there and tear down those houses next month," he said. "...In light of this, I will probably send a couple guys up there with Weedwackers and just clean up the front if it's bothering them that bad."
Development of the Hillcrest subdivision property has been planned since 2007, but he said he's been waiting for the economy to pick up.
According to Shenandoah County property records, the parcel at 3415 N. Main St. is assessed at $139,000. Records show that Sunlight Properties LLC purchased the property for $340,000 in 2007.
The parcel at 3425 N. Main St. housing the brick building is assessed at $96,200 and was purchased in 2002, according to the records.
The yellow house, which is vacant, is next door to an elderly homeowner whom Fauber said is terrified of leaving her own front door because of the black snakes.
Councilwoman Leta Stickler said the town has already spent "beaucoup bucks" trying to mow the lawn.
"We've sent [Boyd] the bill, and the bill has not been paid," she said. "He's not paid taxes. We have liens on his property and he will do nothing with it except put up 'Keep Off' signs, and you can't see them because of the damn grass."
Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or firstname.lastname@example.org