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San Mateo Homeowner Faces Eviction Over Junk-Filled Yard

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A pile of junk in Mark Klaiber's San Mateo yard. (CBS)

A pile of junk in Mark Klaiber’s San Mateo yard. (CBS)

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KCBS's Matt Bigler started as a reporter/anchor in 2004, and is now...
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SAN MATEO (CBS SF) – A contractor who has been remodeling his San Mateo home for ten years has been ordered to vacate the house after years of complaints from neighbors about the junk and clutter in his yard.

Mark Klaiber admitted he has been picking up construction materials and equipment from various jobs over the years as his own remodel slowly progressed.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

“I hoarded a lot of stuff from different jobs for my house because I figured I would use it, and I have. I mean, I find a deal, I pick it up,” he said.

“When I’m all done, everything’s going to go.”

That’s been the story since Klaiber was awarded a permit to remodel his home in 2002. Over the years, scaffolding, lumber, fuel tanks, a jet ski, a sailboat and a fax machine have all found their way onto the lawn outside Klaiber’s home.

Inside the house is an active construction site without sheetrock on the walls, although until recently the family did live there.

Building inspectors have cited Klaiber for a number of code violations and red-tagged the house, marking it unsuitable for habitation. He is still allowed to work on it, though.

“If anybody wants it done, it’s me. I mean, the city wants it done, but I think my wife wants it done even more,” Klaiber said.

She and the children now live in a tent pitched out front amid the clutter, while Klaiber prepares for a lawsuit filed by the city.

San Mateo has been patient enough, said Lance Bayer, a special assistant to the city attorney.

“We also have a responsibility to the community to abate a public nuisance,” Bayer said.

Neighbors such as Byron Barillas see Klaiber as a nice guy who “need help.”

“I wouldn’t say it’s an eyesore because he’s got it covered up right now,” Barillas said.

“But I wish he would clean it up, just for the health factor for him.”

The case goes before a judge on Feb. 14. If the judge rules against him, Klaiber could be forced to clean everything up, pay a fine, or even go to jail.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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