SIERRA VISTA— A judge has ordered the city to sell the house of a 65-year-old woman who continuously ignored code enforcement requests that she clean up her property, which was declared a “public nuisance.”
The wrangling between the city and Jodi Silva has been going on since April 2016, when code enforcement officials advised her that her property on Freihage Road had become a public nuisance.
Three and a half years later, after Silva ignored three nuisance abatement notices and just as many abatement liens filed against her property, the city filed a lawsuit against her in August 2020. The suit asks the court to allow the municipality to sell Silva’s property in order to recoup over $17,000 in abatement costs and interest liens filed against her that she never responded to, said Sierra Vista City Attorney Nathan Williams.
At a default hearing Monday afternoon, Cochise County Superior Court Judge Jason Lindstrom ordered the one-story house with the overgrown front lawn and shrub-covered facade be sold.
The case, Williams said, is unusual because of Silva’s refusal to respond to anything — she did not participate in Monday’s telephonic default hearing — and because of the costs incurred by the city in cleaning up her property.
The property is overgrown and scraggly at the moment, but Williams said Thursday it was a lot worse before the city came in and cleaned it. He said a tree had fallen in Silva’s yard and could have hit a neighbor’s residence. Additionally, Silva’s backyard pool was filthy and infested with mosquitoes.
“Ms. Silva never responded in any way throughout the abatement process, which began at her home around 2016,” Williams said. “As a result, the costs to the city were much higher than in pretty much every other abatement case.”
The Herald/Review left a message for a telephone number listed under Silva’s name, but no response was received.