LARIMER COUNTY – Imagine an entire abandoned home, garage and all, seemingly dumped onto your front yard. This was the case for Mountain View Dairy Farm on North County Road 9, and since early September, the house has remained on Michelle Dickinson’s property.
“This particular house and garage had been moved four times in the last year and-a-half from Loveland,” Loveland Mayor Pro Tem and Councilman Don Overcash said.
The abandoned house was left there by Gary DeJohn, a man who has already spent some time behind bars for a similar crime in 2016.
DeJohn is the owner of DeJohn Housemoving Inc.
“There was a house on somebody else's property that did not belong there, and there was no permission from the owner,” Vincent Junglas said.
Junglas prosecuted DeJohn’s previous case in late-2016, and serves as the Assistant City Attorney in Loveland. “For me, that's textbook trespassing.”
Junglas explained, “Mr. DeJohn was cited quite a few times for the same conduct.” Eight times to be exact.
“Each day of the violation was a continuing violation. So, each day counted as a separate, distinct offense,” he clarified.
Junglas pointed to DeJohn’s jail time. “He was sentenced to the 30 days in jail and had to pay a $1,000 fine on January 5, 2017.”
DeJohn also failed on following conditions that followed that initial 30-day sentence and spent 90 days in Washington County Jail in May 2017.
A court ordered complaint was issued on June 22, 2017.
“He’s not to have any further violations for a period of 12 months from the date of that disposition,” Junglas said, which would put this latest offense on that timeline. However, Junglas followed up and said, “Our code is not applicable outside the corporate limits of the city.”
Property owner, Dickinson, wouldn't talk to Denver7 because of a pending county lawsuit.
Instead, a formal complaint filed on November 10, 2017 details how the City of Loveland ordered DeJohn to remove the abandoned home by Labor Day. He obliged and moved the home to County property.
DeJohn allegedly told Dickinson he would be back the next day to take it off her dairy farm.
Four months later and the house remains. It is riddled with asbestos and is easily seen from North County Road 9.
Councilman Overcash stood yards away from the home on Wednesday and asked, “Where is this going to end up next?”
Neighbors want the house gone for good.
Larimer County Code Compliance officer, Tony Brooks, said the home was originally at 3421 Valley Oak Drive when DeJohn was contracted to remove the house. The structure was first left on the corner of N. Boyd Lake Ave and East 37th Street.
The home was then moved to 3890 Emerald Shore Circle, before being shuffled to a vacant lot at the corner of Medford Drive and N. Boyd Lake Ave.
Now, it sits at 6875 N. County Rd 9.
Brooks said that in order to move the wide load, a special Public Works permit is needed through the engineering department. However, DeJohn does not have the proper permits to move the house.
He added DeJohn was very aware of what permits he needed in order to do so.
Brooks said a 15-day Notice of Violation went out from Larimer County to Dickinson on September 6, 2017.
Dickinson responded five days later, saying she needed direction and was unsure of what to do.
The County’s business process requires going through the property owner, which is why Dickinson was initially served the notice.
Brooks said, “It was clear Miss Dickinson was a victim.”
Now, the County is working toward a resolution.
On Wednesday, Brooks filed a complaint with state police to make sure they were aware of the issue.
“It's hard to imagine someone being so thoughtless as to consistently violate a number of laws and take advantage of a number of people for their own personal gain,” Overcash said.
However, no one knows why DeJohn has been towing this abandoned house around for so long. It hasn't been said why DeJohn is seemingly dumping the home at locations without permission.
Denver7 reached out to DeJohn for answers, but he said he had appointments all day.