Two Elkhart houses face demolition

Building commissioner given permission to tear down houses on Aspenwald Avenue and State Street.

Posted on April 23, 2014 at 7:12 p.m.

The city’s building commissioner was given authority to seek demolition on two dilapidated houses and a residential garage Wednesday, April 23.

One of the homes is in the State Division historical district and the other is just a few blocks away.

The house at 219 State St., just west of Prairie Street, has been vacant for five years, according to a code enforcement officer who testified Wednesday before hearing officer Lee Berry.

The front porch is collapsing and the roof and foundation have serious deficiencies, according to the code officer.

A representative of INOVA Federal Credit Union told officials they had just recently foreclosed on the property and asked for time to allow for the property to go through a tax sale.

However, building commissioner Denny Correll objected, saying neighbors have put up with the dilapidated property for too long already. He asked that steps toward demolition begin.

As a result, the city will seek to track down the owner, Julie King, and demand she take care of the demolition costs. Officials believe she moved to Florida.

The hearing officer, Lee Berry, set a 30-day period for that to happen. After that, city officials can consider having the demolition done without the owner’s assistance.

Less than three blocks away, the city is looking to demolish a two-story house at 316 Aspenwald Ave. Windows on the first floor are boarded up and others on the second floor are broken.

Other problems include damage to the roof and a rotted floor.

The last known owner was Jose Fernandez, who officials believe moved to Colorado.

Berry also ordered action be taken on code violations with a house at 1322 Erwin St., north of East Beardsley Avenue.

The property has been vacant for three years and a detached garage is in disrepair and considered a fire hazard.

Berry asked the city to demolish the garage and fill in an in-ground pool in the backyard.

The last known owner, according to city records and the Elkhart County's mapping service, was Elizabeth Reese, who officials believe moved to Silver Lake.


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