Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Help Me Howard: RR Vines
It would be irritating, your neighbors trees, vines and weeds growing into your yard then snakes and rats start coming over and under the fence, but what can you do, it's not your property. It's a problem one man faced and so he turned to Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser for a solution.
WSVN -- If you know Cleiderson Da Silva you may be looking at your TV and saying, that's not Cleiderson.
Cleiderson Da Silva: "I went from 316 to about 216. I am 210 now."
The gastric bypass surgery gave Cleiderson a new look.
Patrick Fraser: "So, you are looking better, but your yard's not."
Cleiderson Da Silva: "Yeah, definitely not. Not the yard."
Cleiderson lives next to a railroad track in Deerfield. He doesn't mind the train, but what's growing between the tracks and his house is not growing on him.
Cleiderson Da Silva: "Weeds, vegetation, trees, you name it."
If the weeds and vegetation and vines would stay on the track side it would be OK, but they don't.
Cleiderson Da Silva: "Killed one ficus tree."
Cleiderson has pictures that he sent to CSX Railroads to show them the damage the vines were doing to his ficus hedge. He even included captions to get their attention.
Cleiderson Da Silva: "So, it's like those horror movies you see. So, it just starts climbing it and leaning over your property and weighing down on your hedges. So, the hedges start getting weak and breaking."
His ficus hedge used to be 16 feet until the vine invasion. Now, it's filled with holes and much shorter after Cleiderson had to pay a guy $250 to cut out the dead parts.
Cleiderson Da Silva: "Everything you see green here climbing, that wasn't there two weeks ago."
But the tree cutter was not allowed to go down into the 'right of way' to do a better job.
Cleiderson Da Silva: "Which at the same time is partially illegal. I cannot invade their property to trim it.
And of course, crawling along with the vines are the animals living in the thick vegetation, raccoons, possums and lots of snakes, which his wife spots when she comes out to swim.
Cleiderson Da Silva: "And about a six feet snake just sitting there and she yelled."
Cleiderson complained to CSX Railroad for four months and got no where.
Cleiderson Da Silva: "Every other week I would get something in the mail saying we are still working on it, we are still working on it."
Finally they sent him a letter telling him they sold the railroad to the State of Florida and we are quote, "not responsible for the maintenance of this property." Leaving Cleiderson frustrated.
Cleiderson Da Silva: "You can see that there is no end to it."
Well Howard your neighbors property is invading your property, so are you just out of luck.
Howard Finkelstein: "Whether it's your neighbor, a business or a railroad, you don't have the right to go on their property and cut anything down, and their vegetation growing onto your property is your responsibility, until it becomes a habitat for wildlife, like rats and snakes, then it's considered a nuisance and they have to correct it.
I then spoke to the Florida Department of Transportation or FDOT, which does own the railroad. They told me their contract requires CSX to maintain the property, but instead of waiting for them to do the job, FDOT hired a crew to clean up the mess. As these before and after pictures show, they did what Cleiderson has been trying to get done, eliminated the mess, cut down the shrubs, cut back the vines and saved the ficus hedge.
Howard Finkelstein: "The Department of Transportation did a great job of helping solve this. If you have a neighbor who is allowing their property to invade your property, contact the City or County. If they legally can't correct it and it's a habitat for rats and snakes, contact the health department."
The Da Silva's are happy the vines are gone and hopefully the snakes as well.
Liliana Da Silva: "I do appreciate all that you did, it really works and I appreciate it. As a citizen here in this community you are the best person that came around, finding a solution for us, thank you very much."
Now, if your neighbors branches or vines are hanging in your yard, you can cut them up to the property line, no further. If you are wondering, the Department of Transportation paid the crew to clear up the right of way near Cleiderson's home, even though they say the railroad was being paid to do it. So, they will deduct that from the next check to the railroad.
Troubles got you way off track. Don't get rail roaded. Contact us. We will try to maintain a train of thought. That hopefully our solution will grow on you.