By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Today was the original deadline for the owner of 9029 16th SW to either demolish the charred remains of a house that had caught fire at least three times in five years, most recently February 25th, or to show it is “not unsafe.” We reported the March 28th deadline in this followup on March 2nd, five days after the latest fire.
Since then, we have been going by to check on its status, and after still not seeing signs of demolition by late last week, checked the Department of Construction and Inspections page for the case, and discovered the property’s owners had been given an extension, to April 21st.
What the online-file notations don’t show is why. So we contacted SDCI spokesperson Bryan Stevens, who replied:
The owner is trying to find a way of bringing both structures down, so we’ve offered an extension of the violation case to allow for the necessary steps to make that happen and conduct the demolition all at once.
While the fire-damaged property can be removed with an over-the-counter permit, the second building cannot. The Land Use Code requires vacant residential structures to be maintained unless there is a complete application under review to allow redevelopment and a completed plan for waste diversion. The owner made an application last week to comply with this provision. This effort demonstrates progress towards resolving the violation and allowed us to grant an extension while the final details are sorted out.
The “second building” is on the alley behind the main house, and was not involved in the February fire. The city had ordered the owner to “secure” it, and as shown in a photo in our previous followup, it had been boarded up.
The city files, meantime, show the application for the redevelopment project, described as “mixed-use,” was officially accepted today. And SDCI spokesperson Stevens reminds us of something that we noted (with extensive backstory) in that March 2nd followup – the city is looking to change the rules to make it easier for owners to demolish vacant/derelict properties. We’re checking to see if there’s a current estimate of when the proposals are expected to go before City Council.