Kim Truhan lives in the country, but thinks the country is getting too close.
Her property on Sharon Hogue Road is separated from her neighbor’s by a triangle of land that is 25 feet wide at the road, but narrows as it travels west 867 feet until it is only 2 feet wide where it connects to a much larger parcel.
This triangle has not been cut and the grass is going to seed. Mice and snakes come out of the grass, and mosquitoes and ticks find fair ground for their purposes, Truhan said, noting her house is only 10 feet from the property line. There is a spring that empties onto the triangle, so part of the land never dries out, she said.
Truhan wants the Brookfield Tri-District Conservation Club, which owns the triangle, to cut the grass. The club is not so sure that’s a good idea.
Brookfield Township has taken the position that it wants the club to cut the grass, but Code Enforcement Officer Pete Ross said it is not clear whether the township can enforce the grass-cutting provisions of the Exterior Property Maintenance Code because the property is out in the country, where homes share space with large farm fields and forest.
The code states: “All grass, weeds or rank vegetation shall be periodically cut and in no case shall exceed a height of eight (8) inches,” but that that standard is “applicable to all residential structures, dwelling units, residential portions of mixed use structures and all dwelling units located in commercial buildings.” No one lives on the triangle.
Meanwhile, the relationship between Truhan and the club members has soured.
“We could let it grow up with trees and everything else,” said club Treasurer Burl Tingler. “It’s our property. She wanted us to donate it to her and, if she’d a went about it right, we probably would have, but then she pissed everybody off. Now, we don’t care what she does. She raised a stink, and she demanded that we donate her the property. That’s not the way life goes. She’s kind of got people teed off at her right now. I’m not gonna say we won’t cut it, but I’m not gonna make you any promises either.”
Truhan said she knows club members have referred to her as “belligerent and ignorant.” She countered that she first approached the club by letter, and attended a club meeting, but she claimed club officials threw her and her son out of the meeting when she wanted to discuss the proposed donation.
“They wouldn’t even let me talk,” she said. “How is that being belligerent and ignorant? They’re the ones that are.”
She said she even offered to buy the property.
Name calling aside, Truhan said she knows the club members are “just trying to prove a point.”
“This is the second summer already, and I shouldn’t have to call and complain all the time to get this grass cut,” Truhan said.
The township asked the club to cut the grass last year, and the club did, twice.
“They’re not responding,” township Trustee Dan Suttles said of township requests this year to cut the grass.
“We have been in touch with them to cut the grass,” he said. “We’re trying to get it cut.”