An elderly Berkeley home owner who ignored a council order to remove rubbish and old household goods stockpiled on his suburban block has been ordered to pay $1,400 in fines and costs.
Neighbours repeatedly complained to Wollongong City Council in mid-2018 about the quantity of surplus goods surrounding Kiro Blazeski's home at 7 Stafford Street, claiming it presented a potential health risk.
Court documents said the council sent an inspector from its development compliance unit to the property on June 11, who spoke to Blazeski about the excessive waste on site and the need to have it removed.
Photographs taken by the council staffer showed goods piled on top of each other with the sheer quantity of items making the grass barely visible in some spots.
Among the goods were step ladders, saw horses, cupboards, timber off-cuts, car tyres, an assortment of old furniture and whitegoods, buckets, unregistered cars, pool fencing, window frames, scrap metal and garage roller doors.
The officer returned on July 25 and again on July 30, but the rubbish remained on site.
The council sent Blazeski a letter warning him that they intended to issue him with a formal clean-up order.
As part of the letter, Blazeski was invited to respond as to why such an order shouldn't be given.
However, Blazeski didn't respond, nor did he initiate any clean-up, prompting the council to issue the notice on August 27.
As part of the notice, a copy of which was tendered in court, the council nominated a timetable for the removal of the rubbish in stages over five months.
"The stockpiling of materials upon the premises creates an unhealthy condition and gives rise to the harbourage of vermin upon the premises and adjoining neighbouring properties," the council wrote of its reason for the clean-up, also noting the state of the property created a fire hazard.
The court heard the council inspector returned to the property on September 18, October 19, November 21, January 31 and June 20 but the state of block remained unchanged.
Blazeski was subsequently charged with failing to comply with a clean-up order, to which he pleaded guilty in Wollongong Local court last week.
Magistrate Les Mabbutt accepted that Blazeski's wife had recently passed away, he had health problems and no family nearby to help him.
He fined Blazeski $700 - the charge carries a maximum fine of $2,200 - and ordered him to pay $700 in legal costs.
The goods remained stockpiled on the property on Monday afternoon.