Snakes no longer have a hiding place in the overgrown grass outside an abandoned Bellevue house. The yard at 23rd and Franklin was finally mowed on Thursday.
The property owner will get the bill from the city and he's not alone. City crews cut overgrown yards at 15 properties.
“There's a lot of neighbors frustrated, hopefully those frustrated understand we're doing the best we can to get those taken care of for the ones not taking care of their property, so they see if they don't take care of it we will,” said Sgt. Larry Lampman with Bellevue Code Enforcement.
Crews couldn't start mowing overgrown yards until Thursday because they've been busy with cleanup from recent storms.
Neighbors next to the house are not only angry about how it looks, but worried that creatures have crawled inside. Rob Paczkowski has photos to prove it’s not empty. “Bunch of snakes, they come out of the house and tan themselves on the side porch.”
The city of Bellevue had posted unsafe signs and gave the owner numerous orders to clean up the property. “It hasn’t been mowed at all this year.” They worry what it’s like inside the locked house with covered windows. “How much water and mold?”
A front yard prairie is not what the neighborhood needs. The concern over the condition of this house goes beyond the neighbors, like a mother out with her child, worried about snakes in the grass.
When Donna McGarity takes her daughter for a walk she avoids the sidewalk in front of the abandoned house. “Not really that I'm afraid, I just don't know if a snake will cross my path or going to be gigantic, Jumangi-sized mosquitoes coming out of there.”
The neighbors say photos of the house occupants don't do justice to their size. “About that long.”
Though likely harmless, the snakes have stayed on the abandoned property and a neighbor hopes the dog will keep it that way.
The owner of the house had no comment for Fact Finders. City Councilman Scott Houghteling said he'll push for a resolution of code violations.