Marshall County leaders to discuss overgrown and unsafe house, abandoned for 10 years

NOW: Marshall County leaders to discuss overgrown and unsafe house, abandoned for 10 years

PLYMOUTH, Ind. --- Overgrown with weeds and falling apart, a problem property off Manor Drive in Plymouth is causing a lot of frustration for neighbors.

It’s been abandoned for at least a decade but since the home sits outside both the city and the county’s jurisdiction nothing’s been done about it.

The run-down four bedroom house sits within the “two mile zone” surrounding Plymouth and Marshall County.

 “Every town and city in Indiana has a two mile zoning boundary around it so that the town and city can control the growth that goes on around their town,” Marshall County Commissioner Mike Delp explained, who sits on the county’s unsafe building committee.

Delp said that the home off is causing a bit of confusion among city leaders. The county’s unsafe building committee plans to meet Thursday to discuss who is responsible for enforcing zoning ordinances inside the two mile zone.

The homeowners at 11190 Manor Drive are listed as Dr. Jose DeJesus and Teofila DeJesus. Neighbors said Jose died in 2000 and Teofila left the house shortly after. Teofila died in 2014 but the couple has three surviving daughters who live out of state and according to Delp, someone is paying the taxes.

“One of the family members is still paying the taxes on it,” Delp said. “So at this point, it can’t go to a tax sale so that’s what’s making things a little difficult right now.”

Neighbors just want something about the unsightly property. John Beachum, who lives across from the property, said he’s been helping keep the front yard mowed on the property for the last ten years.

“We try to mow the front to keep it looking halfway decent and we’re concerned about possible meth labs and that sort of thing moving in,” Beachum said.

Jim Stuckmeyer lives directly behind the property. He said he also used to mow the back of the lawn for years until he became concerned about the safety of the structure.

 “I don’t feel that that’s safe that house in the condition it’s in in this point in time,” Stuckmeyer said.

Living in the two mile zone themselves, Beachum and Stuckmeyer essentially have no representation in the local government. That’s why they’re hopeful things get resolved when officials and neighbors meet on Thursday.

 “With all the children around this neighborhood, we’re very concerned about safety,” Stuckmeyer said. “Hopefully something can be done between the city and the county to determine what we need to do. And hopefully in the state it’s in, down it comes.”

County and city officials will meet at 9 a.m. Thursday to discuss what to do with this property and what to do moving forward with other properties like it.

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