NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - In a manicured New Orleans East neighborhood where most take pride in their property, one home stands out.
“We have like 200 buildings in this neighborhood, and this is the only eyesore,” concerned resident Ronald Miller said. “Rodents, snakes, cats.. basically everything live(s) at that house,” explained another concerned resident who asked not to be identified.
Among the weeds and tall grass, we spotted a riding lawnmower, a couple of wheelchairs, a walker, kitchen chairs, an old stereo speaker, and old tires, dozens of tires, spilling onto the street. “Cars had to go around the tires in order to travel the City street,” one resident said.
The Ivy Lane front lawn looks like a junkyard, and neighbors say at times it’s looked even worse. “At one point he had 300 tires stacked up neatly across his front lawn,” explained a concerned neighbor.
They’re worried it’s bringing down property values, and all the tires, some of them full of water, create a breeding ground for mosquitoes. “We’ve called the police, the fire department, mosquito control (has) been out here.. (the) health department.. the council person..” Miller said. One of Councilmember Cyndi Nguyen’s representatives has been to the property a few times according to Miller. “They cleaned his yard up for him,” he said. Another neighbor who only shared his first name, Edward, showed us snapshots of a day in early September when City trucks and a tractor lined the entire Ivy Lane block, cleaning up the mess.
That cleanup didn’t last, because two months later dozens of tires could once again be found at 11230 Ivy Lane. Not sure who to call next, a group of neighbors turned to the FOX 8 Defenders for help.
I reached out to Councilmember Nguyen while we were in the neighborhood, and within minutes, a couple of members from her staff pulled up. They explained they’ve responded to the home before several times.
“We’ve been through this over and over, and nothing gets done in this City,” Edward told the staffers.
According to the Orleans Assessor’s Office, the owner is Arnold J. Savoy. Savoy answered the door when FOX 8 was in the neighborhood, and when we asked what he was doing with all the tires, he said, “I called the City to pick em up for sanitation. Okay, that’s who I’m waiting on. So I would advise you to please exit off of my property.”
Councilmember Nguyen’s staff tried talking with the owner for several minutes, and after a while, Savoy sat in a wheelchair and wheeled across the street to confront a group of concerned neighbors gathered outside the property.
“We have been dealing with this location since the day I took office in 2018,” Nguyen said. She is so familiar with it, she’s on a first-name basis with the owner, yet she says the same situation continues to play out in front of his home.
“We gotta work with the property owner. He’s the one that is bringing these used tires to the neighborhood, and we gotta be able to get him the resources to help him to understand that what he’s doing is not healthy for the entire community,” Nguyen said.
One week after we visited the neighborhood, some of the junk had been cleaned up, and most of the tires were gone. Only about four tires remained at the curb.
Meantime, neighbors’ frustrations are growing. “Why can’t they confiscate the truck? Because that’s the problem right there,” Edward said. Savoy’s pickup truck, loaded with old tires, doesn’t have a license plate on it. Neighbors say a single home is hurting an entire neighborhood, from property values to quality of life.
The FOX 8 Defenders have learned the property had Code Enforcement violations in 2016, 2017, and 2018, and just this month, another case was opened on the property, according to the City’s Blight Status website. If you’ve got a consumer issue you want us to address, call the FOX 8 Defenders staffed with volunteers from the National Council of Jewish Women, the NCJW or, fill out our online complaint form.