Sarasota community turns to 8 On Your Side over abandoned property in disrepair

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla (WFLA) – People living in a Sarasota Springs community turned to 8 On Your Side over concerns of an abandoned home they say is an eyesore and health hazard.

Neighbors tell us the property on Dunbar Drive has an overgrown backyard and is overrun with unwanted pests.

From the street, the landscaping appears to be maintained; the front lawn was recently mowed.

But the entire back yard is filled with overgrown trees that neighbors say has become a haven for vermin.

Bees have made their home on the property, swarming near a hole on the house.

“Nobody is really maintaining it. All that’s getting done is that the front yard is being mowed,” said neighbor Cheryl Paetsch.

Paetsch said the home was abandoned more than a decade ago, and neighbors have used their own money to trim back trees ever since.

“They’re dangerous. If a storm comes, they fall over, they hit anyone else’s property it could be harmful,” said Paetsch.

“It’s been awful, it’s been frightening,” said neighbor Gina Jarvis.

Neighbors claim the homeowner is hard to get in contact with.

Property records show that home is owned by John Manning.  Taxes are up-to-date and the home isn’t in foreclosure. Paetsch said she tried to get the Manning family to fix it up. She also called county code enforcement.

“A gentleman did come out and he observed the property. He said we are only allowed to look at it from a street view,” said Paetsch.

8 On Your Side checked with the county, which claims they had no complaints on file, but would send a code enforcement officer back to the home.

“Someone needs to be held responsible for the condition that it’s gotten into,” Paetsch said.

8 On Your Side learned that Manning is in violation of one county ordinance and will have 14 days after notification to remove the overgrowth from the yard.

If he doesn’t, the county could move forward with a court case against him or have a crew remove the overgrowth and bill Manning at a later time.


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