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Old 11-06-2019, 10:43 PM
 
395 posts, read 136,615 times
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I'm trying to understand this thing about Colorado...
Noticed a lot of either completely collapsed or ready to collapse old houses (mostly while traveling around Eastern Colorado) and nobody seems to be removing the rubble/no cleanup.

The strangest thing is that they're not only on larger parcels out in the country but also in the middle of residential neighborhoods in rural small towns, on very small lots, so they literally are ready to fall on neighbors' house and lot or already had collapsed into a huge pile of rubble which just lays there being surrounded by regular occupied homes right by their side (and some debris being almost in the neighbor's yard).
If nothing else, there's airborne asbestos hazard for the neighbors. Had seen some not-yet-collapsed homes dangerously leaning sideways while neighbor's houses are right by them. In one case, seen rubble fallen right up to the border of public road.

I've seen this out especially in Southeastern Colorado, one example is Rocky Ford, Manzanola, La Junta area.
I'm trying to understand why there's no abatement/removal of the debris. Some of these looked like they were hit by a tornado but I don't think they were, actually.

I generally wonder what's happening with these towns such as Manzanola or Rocky Ford. I see a lot of abandoned commercial buildings on the larger streets, on top of a few abandoned, boarded up or windowless residential homes. Some of these clearly had been abandoned for a long time, especially commercial real estate as one can tell from the age of the remains of very old signage on these buildings, stuff looks like from decades ago.

Are these towns en route to become ghost towns, or are they actually improving?
And I wonder if there's a problem with squatters there.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:04 PM
 
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The hollowing out of rural areas is what you saw. Highly rural towns have been shrinking for decades, IMO over 125 years as farm machinery reduced the need for large farm families and younger generations moved to cities to find work, etc. That trend still continues and IMO that's what you saw. I saw the same thing when driving around Big Spring, TX this past summer. No jobs there ... people can't find a buyer for the home ... they drive off and leave it behind ... saw bunches of such dilapidated and falling down homes.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:52 PM
 
395 posts, read 136,615 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
The hollowing out of rural areas is what you saw. Highly rural towns have been shrinking for decades, IMO over 125 years as farm machinery reduced the need for large farm families and younger generations moved to cities to find work, etc. That trend still continues and IMO that's what you saw. I saw the same thing when driving around Big Spring, TX this past summer. No jobs there ... people can't find a buyer for the home ... they drive off and leave it behind ... saw bunches of such dilapidated and falling down homes.
I just did a many-months trip around almost entire rural US - excluding most of the Deep South, FL and TX this time - and can assure that this collapsed and near-fallen houses thing isn't what's seen in most other regions....Except may be New Mexico has some of this stuff in places.
Most of the rural USA looks well-kept and quite neat even though there're "no jobs" but people find ways.
(I haven't been to TX in 15 years so not sure what's going on there)

Town can require abatement and fine otherwise (some towns throw people in jail for non-payment of fines, by the way) or they can auction the lot off and do a clean up. Not sure why this route is not taken when huge pile of asbestos-laden rubble is sitting right next to occupied houses (this does not help with property values and town's recovery of course, "broken windows theory" thing). By analogy, if someone accumulated regular, smelling trash, or organized a pig farm on a city lot pretty sure the same towns would handle that stuff just fine....
By the way, these areas do get some tornados and high winds - I can imagine these unsecured debris flying and doing damage.

Last edited by opossum1; 11-07-2019 at 12:14 AM..
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Denver via Austin
3,320 posts, read 6,711,391 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opossum1 View Post
I just did a many-months trip around almost entire rural US - excluding most of the Deep South, FL and TX this time - and can assure that this collapsed and near-fallen houses thing isn't what's seen in most other regions....Except may be New Mexico has some of this stuff in places.
Most of the rural USA looks well-kept and quite neat even though there're "no jobs" but people find ways.
(I haven't been to TX in 15 years so not sure what's going on there)

Town can require abatement and fine otherwise (some towns throw people in jail for non-payment of fines, by the way) or they can auction the lot off and do a clean up. Not sure why this route is not taken when huge pile of asbestos-laden rubble is sitting right next to occupied houses (this does not help with property values and town's recovery of course, "broken windows theory" thing). By analogy, if someone accumulated regular, smelling trash, or organized a pig farm on a city lot pretty sure the same towns would handle that stuff just fine....
By the way, these areas do get some tornados and high winds - I can imagine these unsecured debris flying and doing damage.
I can assure you it's quite prevalent in Texas. The Deep South and Florida might be even worse, only it's hidden behind trees. The Rust Belt might be even worse than that.

The plains have no trees to hide behind, and they also had a boom in the early to mid-20th Century because they discovered aquifers. With corporate farming and drying up aquifers, there's not much keeping people in a harsh, featureless plain. I grew up in the largest city on the High Plains (Lubbock, Texas), and much, if not most, of its population growth is people abandoning the surrounding areas.

Last edited by Westerner92; 11-07-2019 at 07:48 AM..
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:40 AM
 
6,711 posts, read 1,878,730 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westerner92 View Post
I can assure you it's quite prevalent in Texas. The Deep South and Florida might be even worse, only it's hidden behind trees.
I think this is the key. In the west, many of such things are more apparent because of the lack of foliage. Eastern Colorado is particularly dry and lacking in trees, which makes things such as abandoned houses stand out much more so.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:54 AM
 
Location: San Diego
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Many of the owners of these houses have passed away and the kids want nothing to do with the property as they live in big cities. These properties aren't worth much and generally end up going to auction or the State gets them after a certain length of time. Small towns out in the sticks have been shrinking forever.

Farmers are interested in the farm land not the dilapidated old farm house on it.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:35 AM
 
938 posts, read 551,580 times
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There are Facebook pages devoted to these abandoned sites. People post photos of them for art and curiosity.
One man's trash is another man's treasure.

Here is the Colorado version, but there are sites for almost every state.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/OAIPColorado/
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
3,320 posts, read 2,373,706 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opossum1 View Post
I just did a many-months trip around almost entire rural US - excluding most of the Deep South, FL and TX this time - and can assure that this collapsed and near-fallen houses thing isn't what's seen in most other regions....Except may be New Mexico has some of this stuff in places.
Most of the rural USA looks well-kept and quite neat even though there're "no jobs" but people find ways.
(I haven't been to TX in 15 years so not sure what's going on there)

Town can require abatement and fine otherwise (some towns throw people in jail for non-payment of fines, by the way) or they can auction the lot off and do a clean up. Not sure why this route is not taken when huge pile of asbestos-laden rubble is sitting right next to occupied houses (this does not help with property values and town's recovery of course, "broken windows theory" thing). By analogy, if someone accumulated regular, smelling trash, or organized a pig farm on a city lot pretty sure the same towns would handle that stuff just fine....
By the way, these areas do get some tornados and high winds - I can imagine these unsecured debris flying and doing damage.
re the bolded, towns have to have a formal structure and departments to manage and issue these citations and then a willingness to pursue them. You also have to present and willing ownership to perform the cleanup and maintenance. As others have pointed out, lack of funds, lack of presence, and lack of concern means many of these place simply exist until they are a pile of rubble that is blown by the wind. As you saw by the evidence of decades worth of neglect by not being occupied, this happens extensively in small towns.

Places in the plains and mountain US are particularly vunerable to this because of water and access to it. water law east of the Missouri River is much different than law west of it. Some time look up Riparian vs Prior Appropriation laws.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
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Drive US-287 from Memphis, TX, to Stratford, TX. The town of Claude has a pretty run down main street.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:36 PM
 
395 posts, read 136,615 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westerner92 View Post
I can assure you it's quite prevalent in Texas. The Deep South and Florida might be even worse, only it's hidden behind trees. The Rust Belt might be even worse than that.

The plains have no trees to hide behind, and they also had a boom in the early to mid-20th Century because they discovered aquifers. With corporate farming and drying up aquifers, there's not much keeping people in a harsh, featureless plain. I grew up in the largest city on the High Plains (Lubbock, Texas), and much, if not most, of its population growth is people abandoning the surrounding areas.
I had lived in the depths of the Deep South 15 years ago for some time and have not seen anything like that.
I had not seen this in the Rust Belt either, this year. Given I did not venture into particularly extreme high crime/dangerous highest poverty areas but Colorado rural towns supposedly are not that and property values are way higher than in the East while property taxes are way lower (than in Rust Belt), to put it mildly.

I have some photos from Colorado which I don't want to post here, sensitive subject, but it looks horrendous like in a 3rd world country and not in a charming ghost town way. Huge piles of rubble from collapsed homes right in the middle of small-lot residential areas and occupied houses.
OK may be this is happening in TX, but this still does not provide explanation why this is allowed to be happening in Colorado. Many rural areas if not most had been hit by unemployment throughout the USA but I can assure 99% of them do not look this way. Houses are kept up or rubble removed if one can't keep them up. I've driven through poor areas notoriously plagued by drugs in Appalachia and Ozarks this year and still did not see anything like that in towns.

Last edited by opossum1; 11-07-2019 at 07:30 PM..
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