St. Johns County homeowner sued over unkempt lawn

Residents claim overgrown grass, hedges are a hazard

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - A lawn care dispute in a subdivision off Nocatee Parkway is headed for a courtroom.

The homeowners association in Walden Chase is suing a resident who refuses to mow her yard or trim her hedges.

Neighbors complain the overgrown grass is making the sidewalk hazardous and is attracting rats and snakes.

"Being a teacher who works with individuals with special needs, my concern is, I run, and when I run with students like that, there's a tripping hazard, there are so many different hazards," resident Karin Hunt said. "You try to put a wheelchair on the sidewalk and the grass is encroaching that. It can be very hard for them, somebody who's elderly, somebody who doesn't have full mobility."

The overgrown hedges make it hard to see the woman's front door. She was unavailable for comment at the home Wednesday.

The homeowners association has sent her several notices and said the woman won't take action. So it's suing her.

"In my opinion, if you want to live like that, that's fine, but do it in a rural place," said Rob Uselman, president of the homeowners association. "Don't buy a home in an area that has covenants and restrictions that you sign when you buy the house."

Neighbors have offered to cut her lawn and her hedges for her, and one neighbor did and said the woman sued her in court over it and lost.

The hedges in the yard measure taller than 8 feet in the front yard, and some on the other side of the house are even taller, going onto the top of the house.

The property manager has gone to the county several times to see what it can do about the situation, but there has been no resolution.

"Apparently we're on our own now," Uselman said. "So we'll keep going through the legal channels, and eventually this hearing will finish and the judge will make a ruling."

Neighbors say enough is enough.

"I know my yard's not perfect, but I think we have our HOAs, we pay for our HOAs to kind of assist us and give us guidelines," Hunt said. "And going completely against that is just bothersome. It's bothersome for everyone around here."

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