Trash site in neighborhood leaves community frustrated

Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 11:24 PM EDT
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Everyday people who live along Meadowbrook Drive, just outside of Charleston city limits, have to go past an eyesore.

“There are rats and mice that come from here, they’ve gotten into people’s houses,” said Amelia Legg-Coleman. “There is furniture, clothes. It’s gotten to the point where they go through people’s trash and put it over here.”

Mountains of tires, trash, furniture, garbage cans and more cover one lot right in the middle of her neighborhood. Most of the time, Legg-Coleman said the items throughout the lot pour over onto the road.

“There are nails that people run over. Tires have been damaged, and we’re just asking for help,” said another resident, Jamie Martin.

John Lucas is the man who claims all of the items.

“This is my compound. Yes, this is all of my stuff,” Lucas told WSAZ. “I have accumulated and accumulated stuff. It’s really hard to tell that I have been (trying to clear it), but yes I have been working on it ... more accumulating than actually putting up.”

Officials with the Kanawha County Planning Department said they’ve had their eye on the property for about a year. They are a complaint-driven agency and say they received their first complaint and labeled the property as an unkept property.

Planning Department officials said the property is now listed in the demolition file, but due to a change in ownership in October 2020, the process to demolish and clear the lot had delays. The county said they do not have anyone to clean up the items and they are working with the DNR, who also received at least one complaint about the lot.

“We’ve heard that people were going to do something about it before, so I guess we’ll see if something actually happens this time,” Legg-Coleman told WSAZ.

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