SHREVEPORT, La -- Fines are handed down against the owner of the former Shreveport Country Club property, where neighbors have complained for months about its upkeep -- or lack of it. They're fighting Denny Duron, senior pastor at Shreveport Community Church, which owns the former club.
That was even though the city's inspector, Rosemary White, testified that Duron had cut back enough brush, and repaired enough fencing, to be in compliance with city code.
But then a line of neighbors, armed with new pictures and videos, claimed the opposite.
"Just doing something once and not maintaining it is not worth a hill of beans. We need safety in that neighborhood. We need it to be done clean, nice and properly," Lucille Thomas testified.
"What's the plan to clear it up? Not just push it back 10 or 15 feet. We still got to look at it," Country Club Hills Neighborhood Association President Wendell Delaney said of the overgrowth. "Still got snakes, still got coyotes, still got racoons. It's a jungle."
But it appeared that it actually took testimony from the inspector's boss to tip the scales against Duron. Shreveport Property Standards Director Terrence Green waved off his inspector's determination that the property was in compliance.
"Either the city is given permission to clean the property up or impose the fine. Or they clean it up within your specified amount of time," Green suggested to the hearing officer, Danielle Farr-Ewing.
Farr-Ewing then imposed daily fines of $75 dollars a day until the grounds are in compliance with the city's nuisance code. She's giving Duron ten days to do that. If not, the city will fix up the property and bill Duron for the cost.
Duron must also pay $200 dollar in administrative costs.
Duron did not attend the hearing. He told KTBS 3 News he was not notified about it. But he struck a friendly tone with regard to the correcting violation.
"We do not feel that the demands that have been made by the neighbors are unreasonable," Duron said. "When it comes to the fences and the brush that has been encroaching on their properties, we will gladly take care of that."
Thomas also had testified about what she claims Duron told her about maintaining the property, when neighbors successfully fought against his sale of the property to a buyer who wanted to turn it into a substance abuse rehabilitation center.
"Few years ago, he told me himself that if we did not allow him to put that drug rehab place over there, that he wasn't going to do anything," she told Farr-Ewing.
Duron told KTBS of that conversation, "What I said was I don't have the money to keep it in the same shape as a country club."
Katherine Stringer-Davis testified about a coyote that came out of the former club's thick brush and dragged one of her dogs back into the woods earlier this summer. The sad incident was caught on her security camera.
"So it's not safe. I don't feel safe," she said. "Even coming in too late at night, because I don't know if a coyote is going to be peering at me and my daughter."
The nearly 200 acre site is listed for sale at $3 million dollars.