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Venice, Illinois man struggles in fight against overgrown weeds on neighboring property

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VENICE, Ill. - Michael Starnes has lived in Venice, Illinois all his life. He said the  house next door has been vacant for about 15 to 20 years.

Starnes used to take care of the lawn, but a few years ago he was diagnosed with COPD, which makes it difficult for him to breathe. As a result, the yard next door started getting worse and worse.

Starnes said you can’t walk down the sidewalk anymore. Last week, the porch fell off and the brush had become home to unwanted critters.

Starnes said he has brought the problem up to his alderman multiple times and hopes the city clears the lot soon.

Venice Mayor Tyrone Echols said the house is on a list to be demolished. He said the demolition paperwork takes a while and several homes have gone on that list over the years.

In the mean time, Echols said the city would take care of the brush and try and clean the area up.