“Most of all, I just want people to know that I'm still here and that I haven't gone anywhere,” said Burchfield, owner of ASAP Tree Service in Ringgold. “I get calls all the time with people asking me whether or not I've been put out of business.”
Burchfield said that when he started providing tree service and selling fire wood eight years ago, he never heard a word from anyone living near him. As the business began to grow, so too did complaints that he was causing disturbance in the neighborhood.
Burchfield said that since 2010, there have been continuous complaints from both of his next-door neighbors and from a neighbor across the street.
“For awhile there weren't any complaints at all,” Burchfield said. “But over the past two years, I've been dealing with complaints from the neighbors and dealing with the county also.”
Burchfield said he has complied with every request the county has presented since the ordeal began in 2010, which included erecting an eight-foot-tall privacy fence around his nearly two-acre back yard.
“I've done everything that has been asked of me every step of the way,” Burchfield said.
Burchfield put up the $13,000 fence in September 2010 after the county issued him a cease-and-desist order due to having visibility to the work site, reports show.
Although Superior Court judge Brian House recently ruled in favor of Burchfield in the lawsuit, there were stipulations in the final order pertaining to the ASAP's hours of operation. Tree-sawing and log-splitting operations are only allowed to take place between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; also, chain saw use must be limited to only 10 hours per week.
“The worst part about it was the calls that I would get,” Burchfield said. “I would get to talking to people, and they'd say 'I thought your neighbors put you out of business.'“
In December 2011 Burchfield filed a lawsuit of his own against neighbors Wayne and Allethia Dunn, after he noticed multiple video cameras, he said, peering over his privacy fence into his workspace from a building on the Dunn's property.
“It's harassment and an invasion of privacy to have cameras aimed at my business on my property,” Burchfield said.
Wayne Dunn declined to comment on the matter Thursday morning.
As it stands now, most of ASAP's business is conducted hundreds of yards away from his neighbors on a spread of 20 acres behind Burchfield's house. The acreage is owned by his sister and brother-in-law, Dawn and Griff Shirley.
“It's hard when people start attacking you when all you're trying to do is make a living,” said Dawn Shirley. “There aren't a lot of big businesses or factories here in town. Nowadays people have to work outside the county or run businesses from their homes.”