Court date looms for junky yard near country club
Tension between Victor Buckner and his neighbor, Marion Country Club, is palpable.
Club president Don Noller described Buckner’s property as an “eyesore,” a sentiment that has been endorsed in this newspaper’s editorial pages.
Buckner wanted the club to “be a decent neighbor” and approach him about the issue, but the two sides have never talked directly about the issue.
Buckner’s property has housed many things over the years, but common elements include construction materials, unregistered vehicles, and large storage vehicles freshly stripped of their axels.
Its location as the foremost property at the city’s most frequented entrance has turned the squabble into a public issue.
A few months ago, the country club board encouraged the city to take every possible action to remedy the situation.
That’s exactly what the city has done, administrator Roger Holter said.
“Every legal option available to the city from a code enforcement standpoint is being taken,” he said.
The city issued Buckner two citations alleging zoning violations. He pleaded not guilty in municipal court. The citations pertained to health and motor vehicle care. City attorney Susan Robson said Buckner likely faces a fine and an order to remove nuisance property from his residence if found guilty.
Buckner will take the stand at 3 p.m. June 24 and look to prove his innocence.
His property is zoned as low-density residential. Holter said Buckner was advertising sale of cars on his residence via social media.
Buckner, however, contends that the lot on which the cars are stored isn’t his.
“Where those cars are, that’s not even my property,” he said. “Nor are they my cars.”
The lot adjacent to the highway belongs to a limited liability corporation that lists its resident agent as Linda Johnson, Buckner’s ex-wife, who reportedly in January struck a rent-to-own agreement (not recognized in property search records) with former Hillsboro resident Kevin Tidwell. Tidwell said the cars by the highway belong to him.
Even if the city isn’t aware of that, Buckner said, city police are.
“I know the cop knows because he talked to the guy that does own that stuff,” he said.
Buckner’s property further back from the highway has been alleged to house a junkyard. Holter said neither was legal for him to have on the property.
While Buckner is contesting the charges in court, he doesn’t necessarily resent the city for taking action.
“The city’s within their reason,” he said. “(Police chief) Tyler (Mermis) is tremendous. He’s the one who comes up usually, and he’s been great about it. They’ve been pretty decent with me.”
Buckner was less complimentary of the country club. He accused its members of throwing trash in his yard.
“That’s why I wanna move,” he said. “You might say they feel like they’re above the law.”
Buckner said he’s looking to fix up his property and put it on the market.
“I’m gonna move back to the country,” he said.
Buckner lived at the county lake until his residence burned in 2001. The dispute between him and the country club has been going on for years.
He said if the club wanted him to clean it up, all they had to do was ask.
“The country club’s within their reason, too. They just kinda went about it the wrong way,” he said. “They’re not very good neighbors. If they had asked, I’d have worked with them. I know most of them over there.”
Noller said fixing the situation wasn’t the club’s responsibility.
“To me it’s in the city’s hands,” he said. “We can’t do anything as a country club, can’t enforce any action on that. We brought it to the city’s attention and hopefully they’ll follow through.”
Last modified June 17, 2015