• North Memphis residents claim neighbor is operating a car repair shop from his home

    By: Leah Jordan

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Some neighbors in North Memphis claim a man is running a car shop or a junkyard out of his residential home.

    A city council candidate made a Facebook post Wednesday alleging the homeowner was running a business out of his house. The post said code enforcement was made aware.

    FOX13 Investigates dug into local codes and found there is no ordinance that allows people to get permits or licenses to operate a mechanic shop from a residential property.

    In fact, there's an ordinance that prohibits that activity. (See: Unified Development Code-(City)-4688-HOME OCCUPATIONS 2.7.4A.)


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    FOX13’s Investigative Team drove to North Memphis to ask Steven Simmons, the homeowner, if he repairs peoples’ cars on his property for money.

    He said all the vehicles on his property – behind and in front of his fence – belong to him, and that he simply enjoys working on his own cars. 

    The original Facebook post that tipped FOX13 off included photos that looked over Steven Simmons’ fence and onto his property. When we asked if we could see what was behind the fence, he said no.

    “Further harassment. Further harassment from the City of Memphis,” Simmons said. 

    Simmons told FOX13 he has ‘about 20 cars.’

    City ordinance limits homeowners from having more than four cars visible on the property. After receiving multiple citations, Simmons said he built a fence. 

    “I put the fence up because they kept coming at me about the cars. So, I put the fence up and put my cars behind the fence. And they still kept coming,” Simmons said. 

    Simmons told FOX13 he worked for the City of Memphis more than six years ago and was injured on the job. He said he is planning to take legal action in order to get settlement money, and because of this, feels that officials are retaliating against him. 

    “I feel they’re focusing their attention on my property because of me getting hurt on the job, the lawsuit I’m filing, and me asking to be treated fairly,” Simmons said. 

    FOX13 reached out to the City of Memphis to confirm Simmons’ prior employment. They said they are looking into it and will respond back when they know. 

    A spokesperson for the City of Memphis was able to confirm there were complaints of the homeowner allegedly operating a commercial business out of the home.

    The spokesperson said due to the nature of the complaint, it was passed along to the county.

    A Shelby County spokesperson told FOX13 she and Memphis police officers visited Simmons’ property on more than one occasion to tag some of his vehicles. 

    “…vehicles were tagged to be towed. Mr. Simmons removed those vehicles or had tags placed on them so that they were legally parked,” the County spokesperson said. 

    Some neighbors told FOX13 they believe Simmons can do what he wants on his own property. Others said they don’t want to see clutter in their neighbors’ yards.

    “I wouldn’t want to live in an area where I see a lot of people working on cars, trash, broken down cars. I don’t want to live in that kind of area,” North Memphis resident Henry Harris said. 

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