Frank under fire for breaking backyard codes

Published June 14, 2006

PINELLAS PARK - John Frank, a former Lealman fire commissioner, has come under fire again, this time because of the state of his back yard.

Pinellas Park code officers have cited Frank for multiple problems in his back yard, including allegations that it is in such a state of disrepair that it's become a haven for rats.

Last year, county code officers cracked down on Frank, citing him for multiple violations and accusing him of living in Pinellas Park rather than Lealman, ultimately causing him to lose his fire board seat.

Pinellas Park spokesman Tim Caddell said Frank is cooperating with city officials and trying to bring his property at 4620 87th Ave. N into compliance.

Frank's most recent problems began May 5 when the city received a complaint. Code officers discovered Frank's back yard was overgrown and full of debris "including but not limited to mattresses, etc. stored in rear yard in deteriorated remains of a formerly screened porch," according to city records.

They also called a Pinellas Park building inspector who found "the fascia is torn away and has created a harborage for rats in the house," records show.

He was given 30 days to clean up his back yard and rat-proof his property, but on June 5, code officers discovered he had an "illegal" trash bin. Frank had gotten the trash bin from County Recycling, the company that recently won the bid to provide garbage service in the Lealman area.

But under Pinellas Park's agreement with Waste Management, city property owners must rent trash bins from that company. Frank has since rented a Waste Management trash bin and has been given an extension until Monday to get his property in order.

City records show that Frank had been cited previously by code officers in 2001, 2002 and 2004 for an overgrown yard.

He was told to clean up the yard and complied. He was cited again in 2005 for wrongfully storing an old carpet pad and washer and dryer on the driveway. He was told to move them within seven days and did so.