Tehama County man fed up with hoarder neighbors

Aug 13, 2014 8:47 PM

A smelly situation is brewing in the small town of Richfield, in Tehama County.

Harold Epple moved into his Richfield home about five years ago, and almost immediately noticed an offensive stench trailing from his neighbor's home.

"I smelled garbage...sewer...there were lots of rodents...."

That's not a combination any new homeowner wants to deal with when they first move in.
Harold Epple followed the smell to his next door neighbor's home, where he found out there were no working sewer lines.
It appears his neighbors also have a big interest in collecting items - lots of them.

"So I figured these people are hoarders and they don't clean anything up."
Harold tried speaking to the homeowners about cleaning their yard, but they weren't having it.

"They're like ‘we live here and we can do what we want'...I said we'll see."

That's when Harold took his complaint over to Tehama County.

"I've asked the city to clean it up but it's not working out too well."

Harold spoke to the building division who couldn't do much at the time, because they had no code enforcement officer.

"Now they have one and they started writing letters, saying they're going to fine them if they don't comply with the rules, but it went nowhere."

Five years later, Harold is wondering what's taking the county so long.

Action News Now spoke with Tim Potanovic, Tehama County's Environmental Health Director, who says CalRecycle has a rigorous and lengthy procedure before it signs off any agreement to have the county clean up the home.

CalRecycle has signed a $60,000 grant to have the county remove the garbage surrounding the home --their goal is to have it all cleaned up by the end of September.


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