Apartment tenant forced to tear down garden

NORTH CORNWALL TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A 73-year-old man living at an apartment complex in Lebanon County is being forced to tear down the garden he built outside of his patio more than 10 years ago.

Bob Bordner knows a lot about the Plaza apartment complex, which makes sense because he's been renting there for almost 20 years. In fact, it's become so much like his own home, he built a garden, known to other tenants as "Bob's Garden." Bob said he's always had permission.

"Some years it's looked better than others," Bordner said. "I kinda like the way it is now."

But much like the seasons, every thing is about to change. Bordner said the apartment complex has never had a problem with him, and he's never had a problem with them, until a blue paper showed up on his door. Management said his garden has to go by March 31st, citing a more uniform approach to landscaping.

"So I talked to the apartment manager again, and said, 'I need more time. I'm 73,' and then taking down this patio, and things I need to do,' I said I'm on oxygen," Bordner said.

His garden has become well-known to the other tenants. Over the years he's added more plants, patio furniture, lawn ornaments, even brought in pavers.

"It was pleasant," Bordner said. "It was growing, and people looked forward to it. Always stopping by when they're walking their pet."

Bob's lease is up in may. He was already considering moving out because of increased rent that's to come. His plan is to donate the contents of the garden to a nearby playground.

"I come and go with the anger, ya know," Bordner said. "Tried to stay level headed about it. But it is an emotional issue with me."

FOX 43 spoke with the manager of the apartment complex off camera. She was unable to give a comment. Bob is just asking for more consideration, and hopefully, more time.

"I have no intention to fight it," Bordner said. "I just want them to be reasonable, ya know? Because I found a home for it, and it's a good home. And it made me happy."

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