Burnt House a Nuisance: Why is it not being cleaned up?
This house is located at the intersection of Delridge and 16th Avenue SW. The house burnt down in December of 2007. Sometime thereafter, some vagrants started using the basement as their home and so the owner boarded up the windows. Word is that the house was to be torn down and a mixed use residential-commercial project was to take its place. Nothing good has happened since.
As you can see from the attached pictures the place is a complete nuisance. No steps have been taken to mitigate the damage caused by the fire and the subsequent abandonment. The grass and weeds are overgrown. The charred appliances and furniture are still lying outside where they were dumped by the fire department. And the place is conspicuous to just about everyone visiting the White Center commercial area. Clearly, the owner does not care what kind of a nuisance this creates for the community. Anybody got some ideas on how to get this negligent owner to clean up his mess?
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October 23rd, 2008 at 12:12 am
Donate some money to him? Money is tight for most people right now. In an ideal world, we’d all have hummingbirds and roses, but there’s no hiding the reality of the present economic situation. Tearing down a house costs money. Hauling off the pieces isn’t cheap.
I’m definitely not surprised that the new construction hasn’t gone up yet.
October 23rd, 2008 at 3:23 am
If you don’t think anybody’s filed an official complaint, here’s how (it can be done online):
I am having trouble finding the exact parcel for that on the Seattle DPD site – the address I had in our story about that fire last year was apparently wrong, because there’s no such address listed in the DPD files … will go by for a better bearing tomorrow.
October 23rd, 2008 at 7:26 am
That’s complete nonsense. There’s less than a truckload of burnt debris in that yard and the grass costs nothing to cut. So who should we donate the money to? His insurance company so they can get reimbursed for the money they paid him? Get real.
October 25th, 2008 at 1:51 pm
Seriously, Ricardo? That’s the kind of response you post? Congratulations on completely quashing the dialog. Clearly you just wanted to complain about something, not have a conversation.
Professionally, I advise people on how to use blogs to build community. Let me suggest that you try talking about your point of view rather than using insulting language to communicate your frustrations. You aren’t some anonymous poster, you’re a contributor to this blog. Your responsibility is to facilitate the dialog.
Do you know the owner of the property? What if it’s an 85-year-old elderly person with no children who isn’t able to take care of it him/herself? I’m guessing you have no clue or you would have mentioned it in your post, yet you feel completely comfortable tossing out admonishments left and right. What a bitter human being you must be.
October 26th, 2008 at 1:30 pm
“Seriously” Lauren, you are correct, I am indeed writing to “complain” and to “admonish” the slumlord that owns this property. As for opening a “dialogue,” I am hoping to open one on how we get this scoundrel to clean up his mess.
The history of this house is the very definition of slumlord. A nonresident picks up a dilapidated property, makes no improvements and milks it while it becomes a fire-trap. When the house finally burns, he abandons it to blight the neighborhood. (See history of South Bronx and Newark, New Jersey.) I might add, that had it not been for the quick action of a neighbor, six people would have perished in the fire. So, yes, I am outraged.
Just for comparison, imagine such a house fire happening on Queen Anne, Capitol Hill, Magnolia, the University District, or Madison Park. Do you think the community in those neighborhoods would sit idly by while the owner never even bothered to clean up the debris, never mind leaving it to deteriorate for a whole year? Hell no! The fact that the owner has left it in such a state is not only an insult to the neighborhood but a gesture of complete contempt for those of us trying to improve the community.
As regards your comment that it might belong to an 85 year old elderly person — it does not. The owner has been given offers to buy the property but he is keeping it to speculate on the market. But no matter, anyone who owns and rents out real property has no business doing so if they cannot afford the upkeep of such property. Worse, if they can afford the improvements but refuse to do so. That, is the very definition of of a slumlord.
As for my emotional state, I don’t think most people would use “bitter” to describe me. But am I angry over this slumlord blighting the neighborhood? Yes. Look at the pictures, or better yet, go see the property.