EPA regulations keep condemned homes from being demolished in Pasco County

Eyesore remains 15 months after fire

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. - In June 2012, fire gutted a foreclosed home in Pasco County's Beacon Woods neighborhood.

At the time, residents were hopeful they wouldn't have to stare at the charred mess for too long.

"I just hope the bank steps up and tears it down and cleans it up," one resident remarked.

Now, 15 months later, not much has changed.

The house on Parchment Drive sits condemned, with no roof, and weeds covering what used to be the living room floor.

Joseph Zengel lives next door.

"I don't know why the county is dragging their feet, they don't have any money? What the deal is?" Zengel said.

Gerry Seidel is the deed restriction manager for this well kept, quiet neighborhood.

She was optimistic last November when the county ordered the house to be demolished.

But officials told her new EPA regulations for asbestos testing of condemned structures have put a hold on demolitions until the county gets the money to pay for the testing.

"We do what we can and then we rely on the county and the county is letting us down on this one," said Seidel.

The county says they have more than 60 similar buildings to deal with, so getting them torn down could continue to be a lengthly process. It's now what residents want to hear.

"It's a danger. It's a hazard.  We've got a lot of little kids who run around and teenagers who are looking for a place to hang out," said Seidel.

One house was not occupied when it burned down. It was ruled arson at the time, but no arrests were ever made.

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