Leaf dispute between Chattanooga businessman and city - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Leaf dispute between Chattanooga businessman and city

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB-TV) -- It's a dispute stemming from a tree and the leaves it drops on a businessman's property. He says the city is reprimanding him for trying to make the community look better and he doesn't understand why.

Ronnie Land owns Quick Tees on Brainerd Road. Year after year, he says he pays to have leaves raked into bags, then the city hauls them off. The city is not doing that this year, though. Instead Code Enforcement slapped him with a warning and left him to deal with them on his own.

"I asked him, so you would rather these leaves blow up and down Brainerd road? He said yes," Ronnie Land said.

Ronnie Land says he paid $100 to keep that from happening by bagging the leaves up for the city to pick up.

"I've never had a problem in the past," Land said, "All I'm asking for is the city to pick up 13 bags of leaves which would take all of maybe two minutes and they refuse to do it," Land said.

Instead, his efforts earned him a visit from Code Enforcement who gave him a warning and told him to ditch the bags.

"I took my pocket knife and I opened one bag and dumped it out," Land said.

Public Works says leaf pick-up is only a residential service, not to be used by businesses, and doesn't know why Land received help in the past.

"We have disposal sites the city operates where contractors can dispose at those sites for fees," City Sanitation Manager Justin Holland said.

The leaves in question are coming from a tree that Land says it's not on his property, it's the city's. The city isn't so sure, so the next step is to find that out.

"Once we know the owner we can make an informed decision about how best to deal with the situation," City Forester Gene Hyde said.

Forester Gene Hyde says this is a re-occurring issue all around Chattanooga with city trees dumping leaves on private property. The city will do a survey and if it is on city property, they'll decide if it should be cut down.

Either way, Land says he just doesn't want the leaves blowing all over Brainerd Road.

"I'm just trying to keep the community looking good. That's all," Land said.

Public Works has agreed to haul away Land's bags this time, but won't again in the future. Land wants the city's regulations changed, but when Channel 3 asked about that possibility, officials said no, that it takes too many of the city's resources to serve homes and businesses.

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