Delridge problem-properties followup: City rule change in progress

Four months ago, North Delridge Neighborhood Council co-chair Mike Dady led a tour of “problem properties” in the area – including rundown homes that sit vacant (like the one above at 3804 23rd SW, where another complaint is under investigation now), often frequented by squatters, posing safety and sanitation risks to neighboring residents and businesses. (Here’s our detailed report.) Two City Councilmembers — Sally Clark and Tim Burgess — plus one council candidate (David Bloom) and two city department heads were along for the tour; action was promised on several fronts, including a potential city rule change to allow properties to be demolished even if a plan for their replacement has not been approved. Dady followed up with the city this past week and learned that rule change is making it through the system; here’s the “determination of non-significance” published last month as part of the process – according to Department of Planning and Development director Diane Sugimura, one of the city officials who joined April’s tour, no one appealed that notice, so the ordinance went to the mayor’s office last week – you can read its full text here. Mayoral and council approval are required; we’ll follow its progress through the system.

5 Replies to "Delridge problem-properties followup: City rule change in progress"

  • Pete August 23, 2009 (5:08 pm)

    I noticed this week that the house pictured was not secured again. I went to file a complaint and someone had already beat me to it. I certainly hope this legislation makes a difference for our community as we should not have to continually follow up on these problem properties. The responsibility is and should be squarely on the property as has been repeatedly pointed out.

  • 4thGenWestSider August 23, 2009 (7:54 pm)

    It would be interesting to get the owner (David Dolde)’s plan for the property. It is zoned L1 multi family, so maybe he is waiting for the real estate market to pick up. If that’s the case, it would make sense to tear the house down and clear the lot to get it ready. Of course, I’m sure the neighbors won’t be too thrilled when the rats start looking for a new place to live, but at least the eye sore will be gone. And the squatters.

  • Brian Earl August 23, 2009 (9:11 pm)

    While I understand the problem here, I think this is the wrong way to go about it. Tacoma and Spokane permit this and this does not address the problems the communities are facing. In fact if this becomes widespread this could lead to more blighted properties and starve essential services to currently underserved areas such as Delridge. Keeping the current rules in place and add an “unoccupied assesment” to vacated properties which creates a significant penalty to landowners who do not keep properties occupied. I think this can be done in a fair and appropriate manner. I am a landlord and understand my responsibilities to the community that surrounds my properties.

  • Mike D. August 24, 2009 (7:37 am)

    Brian Earl –
    -Are you saying that a vacant lot resulting from the removal a few collapsing houses that have outlived their lifespan would result in blight? I beg to differ. An occasional vacant lot is anything but blight, especially when you compare a vacant lot to structures such as the one at 3804 23rd Ave SW that due to its location serves as the gateway to the entire Delridge neighborhood.
    – There are two undeveloped vacant lots, one abutting, the other very close to 3804 as well as many other numerous undeveloped lots throughout North Delridge. None of these to my knowledge have ever been considered blight. Unfortunately, many people mistakenly think these vacant are publicly owned green belts.

  • Karrie Kohlhaas August 24, 2009 (8:34 am)

    Bravo to the Delridge community and Mike Dady for taking action and not giving up on this. I personally don’t know the perfect solution but I do know it starts with people in the community taking action and being persistent. I moved to Delridge last month and am simply blown away by the amazing community involvement here and the commitment by my neighbors do improve this neighborhood while keeping it affordable to long timers. Hats off to Delridge for bringing this issue into the light, not only for us, but also as a benefit to the entire city. Proud to be your neighbor!

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