Marietta man told to move mulch

Marietta man told to move mulch

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MARIETTA, Ga. -

A Marietta man is upset because Cobb County has given him 10 days to move a mound of mulch in his front yard.

Maynard Watson said he bought the mulch to do some landscaping. He says a neighbor turned him in to code enforcement, who told him that he had to move the bark chips or risk punishment that could include a fine and prison time.

"They had said that we had a pile here for eight to 10 years, which was incorrect. We have just had this dumped here in less than the last month," Watson said.

Watson says he bought the mulch from a tree service company and was planning on using it to landscape his yard. Cobb County spokesman Robert Quigley says leaving it on his lawn is against the law.

"Well, when you get past the 10 days then we could issue a citation," Quigley said.  "If we do that, then he would be required to appear in Magistrate Court. It's an opportunity for a judge to take a look at the facts of the case and make a determination."

Watson doesn't understand why the tree service company he bought the mulch from wasn't aware of the county law regarding mulch in his front yard.

"They need to go ahead and contact all the tree people and tell them, ‘No you're not allowed to drop any mulch in people's yards anymore,'" Watson said.

"These things are designed to protect the property value of the owners around and also just trying to keep it somewhat aesthetically pleasing," Quigley said.

Watson said that he wishes his neighbor would have just spoke with him about the mulch pile. He doesn't know who called code enforcement on him because it was an anonymous complaint. Cobb County officials say that's to protect tipsters from retaliation.

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