County commissioners voted today to begin litigation against two homeowners living on Funk Road who have refused repeated requests to clean up their property.
Located in eastern El Paso County, Funk Road has long been an eyesore and irritant to both nearby residents and county officials. The land located on either side of the road was once part of a vast cattle operation but decades ago the property was carved up and sold off.
New owners moved in and opened salvage operations, tire dumps, automotive repair shops. Over time, some homeowners accumulated thousands of used tires, hundreds of mobile homes, dozens of vehicles, and a bewildering array of household items.
The county began taking action against various homeowners as far back as 1985. After zoning regulations were imposed in 1999, the enforcement activities increased.
Litigation will begin against two Funk Road residents: Jose Noriega, who owns property at 35115 Funk Road and is alleged to have 30-plus dwellings on his premises, and Mike Murphy, who lives at 36350 Funk Road, and has accumulated trash and rubbish on his property and has failed to screen his inoperable vehicles.
In an interview last fall, Murphy said that he was in poor health and couldn’t clean up his property without help. Nor did he have the money to rent an industrial-sized dumpster that he would need to clean up his yard.
County Attorney Bill Louis said the county tries hard to work with residents before resorting to court action. “Putting people in jail is not our idea of a good time,” he said. ” With that said, we don’t back down from a fight.”