Residents say pigeon problem cleanup should put the Fifth & Farm HOA into the Hall of Shame
North Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) - Pigeons and the poop they leave behind have cost one Valley community tens of thousands of dollars. But homeowners who say they were each told to pay hundreds out of pocket to clean up the problem say it's a case for Contact 13's Hall of Shame.
"We couldn't see a pigeon problem," said Scott Benesi.
But according to RMI, who manages Fifth and Farm, there was one. All 343 homes got a letter saying RMI had hired Nevada Pigeon Control to help alleviate the overpopulation of pigeons in the area.
So how far did the HOA go to peer into the neighborhood pigeon problem? They actually used a boom truck to peer over rooftops, even into backyards.
Each house found to have a poop problem was assigned a dollar amount based on the size and severity. It was either $210 to $330 per homeowner for Nevada Pigeon Control to clear loose droppings, pressure wash the home from top to bottom and decontaminate it.
"I called RMI and said basically what is it? What if I don't do it and they go well you're in violation." said Scott.
After he didn't pay, he got a violation notice for unsightly items.
"Unsightly from the ground or unsightly if you're up in a boom truck," asked Chief Investigator Darcy Spears.
"Both in some cases you're more than able to see it from the street," explained Jared Warburton, Vice President of Business Development for RMI.
Because of the violation notice and threats of fines, Scott says he felt pressure to pay up.
"I just paid and a lot of people just paid just to get them off our back," said Scott.
RMI told us it's pretty clear why pigeons are playing house there.
"We're right next to a pig farm here which tends to attract pigeons and that makes the problem worse," said Jared.
Nevada Pigeon Control posted a You Tube video last fall calling it the worst pigeon problem they've ever seen in the Valley and a problem they said would cost between $60,000 to $90,000 to fix.
"That's when I started to get red flags," said Scott.
Nevada Pigeon Control says they've euthanized more than 1,500 pigeons since taking the project on, partially by putting food out to attract them. But Scott who is usually home during the day, never noticed flocks like the ones featured in the You Tube video.
"If you have to get that high to see the violation is it really that big of a problem," asked Darcy.
"Well the problem with pigeon feces is that they attract other pigeons and so you can't eradicate a pigeon problem until you've cleared up the mess," said Jared.
RMI says some residents are still not in compliance like one home that had white streaks under the roof overhang. Another one had a drip of poop above the garage. Other homes, like Scott's don't have a drop of poop on them. So what did the roofs look like when Nevada Pigeon Control became an eye in the sky?
"You guys would be able to show us like a photo library," asked Darcy.
"I don't know that we have the entire library, but we definitely could provide evidence," said Jared.
Turns out, they couldn't. They couldn't give us a single shot. After our interview, RMI admitted they had no photos of Scott's house and couldn't show us others for privacy reasons.
"What did you do to notify homeowners to close their blinds or their drapes or not be in the backyards because there was someone on a boom truck peeping-tomming their house," asked Darcy.
"We did send out notice to homeowners by way of a newsletter letting them know that Nevada Pigeon Control would be coming by," said Jared.
They gave us the newsletter, but it says nothing about that boom. Still, they maintain they went about this the right way, even giving homeowners an out to avoid the cost and do the cleanup themselves.
"You mean like if they wanted to get up on their own roof with a scrub brush kinda thing," asked Darcy.
"Yeah or a hose or power washer," said Jared.
That's an option Scott says he wasn't given.
"So you believe without question that this belongs in our HOA hall of shame," asked Darcy.
"Oh, yes, absolutely," said Scott.
Nevada Pigeon Control says they're out in the community every week, looking for more signs of poop and people feeding the birds. RMI says the pigeons seem to have skipped some homes so not everyone has a poop problem. Of the homeowners who have been told to pay, only half chose to participate in the cleanup. They haven't been fined yet, but RMI says it could indeed come to that.