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Empty homes are an eyesore

Date posted - September 1, 2013

What can I do about the empty house across the street? No one has lived in it since June, and there is no “for sale” sign in the yard. A friend told me that it is in foreclosure but I don’t know about that one way or the other. What I do know is that the lawn hasn’t been mowed all summer, and there are waist high weeds. If you look in the windows (yes, I did! -hoping to find someone to talk to) you can see trash everywhere, and it smells terrible from outside…I can only imagine how awful it must smell inside. We just bought our home in April and it is distressing to be living across the street from this eyesore.


I called the city office a few weeks ago and left my name and address, and the address of the property, and was told that someone would look into it. I called Monday of this week to see what’s going on, because no one has been out to look at the house that I’ve seen, and the lawn sure hasn’t been mowed, and the city office told me that the owners have some amount of time to respond to a certified letter, etc etc.


Has anyone else in Sheldon dealt with this before? I can’t be the first person in town with this problem. What else could I be doing? Thanks for any advice. By the way, the house in question is located on Sunset Ct. Thank you for any ideas!

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27 Responses to “Empty homes are an eyesore”

  1. jay miller says:

    we have the same problem on the west side don’t feel bad they need tougher enforcement or some kind of code to back it up, one of the council member has the right idea the letter they send don’t mean nothing I know someone who has five,

    • concerned citizen says:

      we have the same problem on Washington ave the only difference is it is a rental property that is not occupied. The owner has been told and the neighbors have all talked to the city with no avail. what needs to be done I don’t think it is my responsibility to do the up keep on the property or the house.

  2. Lee Ann says:

    Last summer my daughter’s next door house went into foreclosure. And the bank that carries the loan was responsible for coming over and mowing and general upkeep. My daughter knew who to contact to remind them to mow the lawn, and they did a decent job of keeping it mowed.

    One would think the city would know who is foreclosing on the property. I wonder if the tax assessor would consider that too private to give you the name of the lender?

  3. Two Bits says:

    I have always wondered why the city deals with some eye sores but ignores other long-time neglected properties.

    • Lisa says:

      What about the Budd-z’s property??? Talk about an eyesore!!!!! I know that sometimes insurance claims can take some time but that doesn’t mean you can’t mow or use some weed killer and maybe pick up some garbage.

    • Rainbow says:

      What about the old IPS Building south of the post office, not only is it unsightly but very unsafe. Several years ago along with the Pucci’s problem, this was addressed, but was ignored. There was picture proof at that time with a petition to address both issues. The petitions all of a sudden vanished from areas for people to sign. What is the city doing about this, other then closing their eye’s and building bump outs!

  4. biker says:

    There has be reason….eye soar with 3 ft tall weeds. City has to issue there letter which takes time…they then have x amount of time comply…if nothing done then the city will knock down the 4 ft tall weeds. Then the city assesses the given amount to property owner via property tax increase.

    • Dug(the dog) says:

      Cool, I’m going to mow it twice a week and then I will send them a bill when it’s sold!!! Wait til they get MY bill!!!

  5. Citizen says:

    There are a lot of occupied houses, who don’t have the best appearance either, cars or some thing with wheels. boats, campers are driven on the lawns and parked on the lawns. That does not make a pretty picture. sure can take the value of your property down, backyards can be loaded with the same type of problem. There should be an ordinance for vehicles, etc to be on the lawns!!!!

    The city employees(the outdoor physical employees) have been working on many projects this summer. so I think they need a little slack.

  6. Red says:

    Goodness gracious…. do the neighborly thing and mow the place.

    Anyone else drive by and check it out? Terrible, just terrible.

    • Concerned says:

      Sounds like a good plan!

    • Jill C. says:

      Hi Red,

      On one hand, mowing it would seem like the neighborly thing to do. But to me it feels a little weird, like trespassing- I was nervous even looking in the front window to see if anyone was home last week when I went over there, even though I could *smell* that no one could be living there. Also I think that since it seems like you drove by the place, then you will know what I’m talking about when I say that at this point, I would be nervous about damaging my lawn mower blade because the yard is so junky and lumpy looking.

      **Update- I got distracted earlier when I started typing this. But when I just got home, guess what I saw? SOMEONE MOWED THAT YARD!!! I didn’t call the city again or anything. It might just be coincidence, or maybe someone saw this editorial and word got back to someone who decided to do something about it.

      I see that someone also pulled up (or cut down?) a huge overgrown shrub/bush that was on the corner in that yard, for which I am thankful, because it was blocking sight lines for traffic.

      I haven’t noticed anyone over there with a dumpster, though, so the house is probably still full of smelly garbage, which is a shame because it looks like it could be a lovely home for a small family. From the style (single story ranch) and windows I am guessing that it is a 2 bedroom, and has a 2 car garage, on a corner lot.

      • RR says:

        I also live on Sunset Court and took the time to cut down the over grown bush and hauled it to the tree dump and another neighbor mowed the lawn which only took about an hour. Although it was getting to look a little shabby, I’ve seen a lot worse properties in town where people still live in the home.

      • Red says:

        You worry about trespassing to mow it and clean it up, but not while peering through windows? Hmmm…..

        • Jill C. says:

          Red- I wasn’t sneaking around peeking in all the windows. I looked in the windows on the front porch, which you have to walk past to knock on the door. Why do you want to make me sound shifty or creepy when I came here using my real name and address in the spirit of keeping our community “a nice place to live”?

          As soon as I saw the post here from RR I walked next door and thanked them. We discussed keeping the property nice looking together. I am grateful for this space online because coming here spurred action to solve a community problem, but sometimes I think that the anonymity the internet affords can bring out the worst in people, too.

  7. biker says:

    What does city employees have to do with this? Thought that was an odd statement.

  8. jay miller says:

    There are some eye sores on the west end that NEVER get taken care of!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Community Problem says:

    I think the town of Sheldon has issues with properties everywhere. My question would be, Who is going to step up inthe city office or on the city council and do something about them. I love my home and I like the yard to look nice. It is a TON of work. There are many people who simply do not take pride in their homes/property. Should I have to look at YOUR garbage? Absolutley not. We have had this issue in the past where multiple meetings were held and letters were issued to the owners of the property and they were given a certain amount of time to clean it up or the city would, and they would be assessed the taxes. The ordiance is already in place. Wont anyone enforce it? The city workers have has a very busy spring and summer with the ice storm and additional projects. The cleanup will fall ont hem, but its enforement sould come from above.

  10. Mom3 says:

    Please before you pass judgement on others please make sure you know the whole story. Maybe that place a couple blocks over is looking a little shabby but there could be reasons you don’t know. Is there an illness/accident that is making it hard for them to care for things, did the mower break and they have to save for a while to get it fixed or buy another, could they be working overtime the last couple of weeks & the few hours they have are going to loving their children, etc. I agree that some of the times/places it is about not caring but not 100%.

    Remember everytime you pass judgement on someone; someone else is judging you.

  11. old woman says:

    Not the case on the west end. We just live on the wrong side of the tracks! Thing is we still pay taxes just like the people on the other side of town

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