Austin Police Needed in Property Dispute

Posted at: 12/11/2013 6:43 PM
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Some tense moments Wednesday morning in a remote neighborhood in northeast Austin.

It's a situation that's been building for almost a year, and Wednesday it boiled over.

"I think it's payback, I totally think this is payback," Meshet Scabby Robe Parnett told us. Minutes earlier, he watched Austin police arrest his father.

“The city has come out and is taking pieces of my property off my property," Scabby Robe Parnett explained.

Dump trucks, forklifts and police converged on the home Scabby Robe Parnett’s home in a remote part of northeast Austin, in a part of Lansing Township that was annexed into the city of Austin just a few years ago.

“We had complaints about a number of zoning violations about that property,” Austin development director Craig Hoium explained.

The complaints date back to January 2013.

"We were cited for having junk on our property, which we have been cleaning up since May," Meshed Scabby Robe Parnett told us.

“We have had a number of contacts with the property owner about getting those violations resolved,” Craig Hoium said, adding that the city has been monitoring the clean-up and has seen little progress since this summer.

"We've done our best to get it to what it is now, and this is what we get," Scabby Robe Parnett said.

But before the clean-up could begin, police made two arrests ... Scabby Robe Parnett's mother and father, both of whom were arrested for obstructing the legal process.

“Some of the conversations we had with the property owner we thought there might be some objections to city staff resolving the violations,” Craig Hoium said. “There were some threats made, and Law Enforcement officials took action.”

But Meshet Scabby Robe Parnett said the condition of his property isn't the real reason behind Wednesday morning’s action. He was one of the property owners who won a court challenge against sewer assessments made by the city of Austin when the area was annexed into the city.

"They've done nothing but harass me since then. If my grass is seven inches tall, I get cited," he added.

Austin development director Craig Hoium said the city’s efforts to clean up the property had nothing to do with payback.

"I wasn’t aware they were part of the claim,” he said.

City officials tell us that the property was cleaned up by midday. No one was hurt.