(Sept. 7, 2018) A dilapidated, abandoned house may have just met its match, as it could be demolished after a nuisance abatement review against it was made during the Worcester County Commissioners’ meeting on Tuesday.
The property, a single story 60-year-old cottage located on 13412 Madison Avenue, in Ocean City near the Delaware line, has been left in disrepair after its owners, Raymond and Jeanette Quillen passed away in 1994 and 2006, respectively.
Edward Tudor, director of the zoning and planning committee, gave testimony regarding the property’s abysmal state. Several complaints have been made against the property.
“This is a property we have been dealing with for some time,” Tudor said. “We’ve had several problems over the last couple of years with grass being cut on site, and, of course, the building itself has not looked its best.”
According to the Worcester County code regarding health-related nuisances, conditions for a property to be declared a nuisance include uncontrolled growth of weeds or grass to a height exceeding one-foot, as well as a structure that is dilapidated, burned-out, fallen-down, ramshackled, or decayed, and is beyond hope of rehabilitation or restoration.
Before Tuesday’s meeting, Tudor had determined the house did not meet the conditions, as the house was structurally standing without signs of decay.
However, a hole in the roof has been discovered as of a few months ago, which may be grounds to have the property demolished if relatives of the deceased do not claim the house and conduct repairs.
Attempts to reach the surviving family members have been made without success.
“If the county commissioners find that this structure is beyond reasonable hope of rehabilitation and restoration, we could move forward with the demolition of the property,” Tudor said. “Of course, we would send the notice as required, we will continue to try and find these sons. At the same time, if you go that route, I recommend giving them no more than 15 days.
“At the same time, we could start working on some bid specifications for demolition and cleanup of the property,” he continued.
Commissioner Joseph Mitrecic agreed with the notion to demolish the property.
“This property has been a blight on the community up there since I’ve elected,” Mitrecic said. “I’ve been after Mr. Tudor about it since the first summer I was here as a commissioner. So I make a motion that we remove the structure from the property and clean the property up.”
The commissioners gave approval to remove the structure if no family member claims the property within the allotted 15 days.