Preston Pyrah

Josh Summer, of the Mat-Su Borough’s code compliance department, speaks in court Wednesday regarding what has become seen as a problem property in the Bodenburg Butte area.

PALMER — Preston Pyrah appeared in Palmer Superior Court on Wednesday for a scheduling conference after the Mat-Su Borough filed a complaint on Aug. 30 for junk and trash violations on his property.

The lawsuit was filed against Preston and Roberta Jo Pyrah for violations on their property on South Bodenburg Loop in Palmer, one of many problem properties sparking passionate community discussion around the Butte area.

A rise in criminal activity at several compounds throughout the Butte area has made its way to the property owned by Pyrah and neighbors are concerned with their own safety around the property. The Butte Community Council has held three discussions on problem properties, and the borough has a separate lawsuit against Mason Henry and Raymond Close for junk and trash violations at their property on Bodenburg Loop. Residents of Bodenburg Loop told other community members, Alaska State Troopers, elected officials and borough staff about the problems around Pyrah’s property on Oct. 23. Neighbors complained of hunting arrows shot onto their property, heavy equipment and machinery running late at night into the early morning and cars parked near the roadway for days at a time that often left behind needles and trash. Pyrah’s wife Roberta Jo had filed an answer to the court on Sept. 27, but Preston Pyrah had yet to respond, citing financial difficulty and the need for legal counsel. The borough filed a preliminary injunction in October in an effort to expedite the process and not allow Pyrah to drag the proceedings out any longer.

“The court has granted the borough’s motion for preliminary injunction and so that’s something that the borough will be monitoring to see if the defendants bring their property into compliance and the deadlines are rapidly approaching on that,” Mat-Su Borough Deputy Attorney Aschenbrenner said.

Pyrah’s deadline to remove the junk and trash and is Nov. 11. Pyrah must file a motion with the court by November to prove his property has come into compliance.

“I’m only one guy,” Pyrah said.

According to borough property records, Preston and Roberta Pyrah purchased the property in March of this year.

Superior Court Judge Kari Kristiansen set a bench trial date for December 7, 8 and 9 of 2020.

Load comments