Buggin' - Dairy Queen dilemma - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Buggin' - Dairy Queen dilemma

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A battle between neighbors is not unusual, but what if that neighbor is the town's Dairy Queen?

That's what one couple in the Town of Kemp in Kaufman County is dealing with right now.

After years of doing battle, they turned to FOX4's Saul Garza for help

David Shuffield is tired of picking up trash on his parent's property in Kemp.

Most of that trash, he says, is coming from next-door neighbor Dairy Queen.

He says even the restaurant's own trash ends up on their yard because a section of fence has been removed.

Because that section of fence was removed, Dairy Queen customers now back up and park their trailers in Shuffield's front yard.

"People traveling will bring their dogs here to use bathroom," said Shuffield.

Shuffield says his elderly parents have lived at their home for almost 35 years, and that the original Dairy Queen owners put up the fence and maintained it.

That is, until eight years ago, when new owner Shirley Leone bought the place.

Shuffield says Leone has been less than cooperative, recalling one conversation she reportedly had with his elderly mother.

"She was tired of hearing about it and if she heard any more of it she would tear the fence down," said Shuffield. "One minute, she says it's not their fence and it's our fence. If it's our fence, how is she going to tear it down?"

Shuffield says he's contacted the Kemp city manager, code enforcement and police, but says his complaints were put on the backburner.

Officials with Dairy Queen headquarters told Shuffield to work it out with the owner, since the restaurant is independently-owned.

The company essentially told FOX4 the same thing.

FOX4 went over to talk to the owner about Shuffield's complaints, but she wasn't there.

A manager was told to tell us, "No comment."

Days later, FOX4 got an email on behalf of the owner, saying, "The fence is in poor condition, but it is not on Dairy Queen property."

As for the trash troubles, she wrote, in part, "We regularly police the parking lot and the dumpster area...it has been a windy year."

As for the customer parking issues, she said, "We were not aware of a parking problem, but we'll certainly look into it."

Kemp city manager James Whitehead said that he did some research and discovered the fence was indeed built and maintained by the previous Dairy Queen owners.

This week, he sent the current owner a certified letter, informing her she could be in violation of city code if the fence is not repaired. No deadline was given, but the city manager says he hopes it can all be resolved soon.

If you have something that's bugging you, contact Saul at 214-468-7458.

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