West Seattle front-lawn fire truck’s owner ordered to remove it

(WSB photo from December 2010)
Two months after that retired mid-’70s-vintage Oregon fire truck turned up on a front lawn along 44th SW in The Junction (here’s our original story), its owner says he is under orders to move it. Gary Elliott e-mailed WSB to say:

I am the owner of the tribute to firemen/women (the fire truck in the Junction). The City of Seattle has notified to “discontinue the outdoor storage of the fire truck in the front yard.” The housing and zoning Inspector Maggie Dang would not grant me the time I needed to explore other options, I am left with scrapping the fire truck for metal unless the WS Blog has other options?

Online city records confirm that there was a complaint about the fire truck a month ago, the city investigated, and decided it’s in violation, with the compliance deadline just extended to March 15th. Since the owner asked if we have “other options,” we’re asking you – any ideas?

155 Replies to "West Seattle front-lawn fire truck's owner ordered to remove it"

  • doggydodo February 9, 2011 (12:36 pm)

    Place it in a city park for kids to crawl on it.

  • M February 9, 2011 (12:42 pm)

    I’m so glad that a city with a current “budget crisis” has time to waste resources on this.

  • Krystal February 9, 2011 (12:43 pm)

    Yes and yes.

  • jwws February 9, 2011 (12:46 pm)

    Maybe it can be donated to the museum?


  • dsa February 9, 2011 (12:47 pm)

    Challenge the city. I have not looked it up, but it looks to me like the truck is parked in the front lot in a commercial zone.

  • Genesee Hill February 9, 2011 (12:52 pm)

    I am for code enforcement.

  • Noelle February 9, 2011 (12:54 pm)

    That would be a shame to scrap! Sell the truck on ebay or something? YOu could even just put a FOR SALE sign in the window of it. Someone passing by might have room for it in their life. Maybe donate it to a school or museum? Don’t just scrap it!

  • Obser February 9, 2011 (12:54 pm)

    Oh for goodness sake!! How about the City doing something about the eyesore of a house behind the WS Nursery?? Yeah, the one with the cool readerboard that recommends doing your laundry naked.

  • Ted February 9, 2011 (12:54 pm)

    Always can count on some uptight West Seattle-lite to complain about a firetruck sitting in someone’s yard.

    Oh the horror of the site !!

    Don’t people have anything better to complain about? Give these nosy nannies a brush and some soap to clean up the graffiti popping up all WS.

    Send them my way and I will point out where they can spend their time better

  • Left&Wright February 9, 2011 (12:56 pm)

    Don’t blame the City. If someone complains about a firetruck in someone’s yard, they need to respond. If they didn’t, I’m pretty sure we’d be hearing about how the City isn’t responding to citizen complaints, and sadly, it certainly does appear to be out of compliance.

  • miws February 9, 2011 (12:56 pm)

    Gary, I don’t know if this would constitute conflict of interest, or something, considering it would involve two city departments, but have you talked to the Crew at Station 32 to see if they can/will rally for you?



  • kevin February 9, 2011 (1:01 pm)

    Hi Gary,

    You would be welcome to park it for a temporary storage solution in my backyard concrete parking pad providing it would fit. I too, would hate to see it get scrapped.

  • skeeter February 9, 2011 (1:04 pm)

    I’m for code enforcement as well. It’s really a mess when some laws are enforced and others are not. If you don’t like a law, then work toward changing the law. Don’t just break it – even if you have good intentions.

  • WSRes February 9, 2011 (1:11 pm)

    Does this run? Does it have tabs? You could drive or tow it to a storage facility and pay a couple of months rent for parking until you decide on a long term option. If it has tabs, then you can park it on the street, so just find a spot with no length restrictions, until you can look for a permanent solution. Its probably exempt from emissions testing, so you could buy tabs for it in order to park it on the street. I also know someone who after his neighbors complained, turned part of his lawn into a small gravel driveway in order to lawfully keep his car there. That could be the easiest option. Finally, what would the fine be for noncompliance and how often would it be issued? Simply eating the fine for a couple of weeks could be a temporary solution.

  • milkdog February 9, 2011 (1:15 pm)

    So, what code/law was actually broken? Are you not allowed to put decorations in your front yard?

  • valvashon February 9, 2011 (1:16 pm)

    Here’s an idea: Have a plan with what to do with AN ENTIRE FIRE ENGINE before you bring it home and park it on the lawn. As it sits, I had no idea that it was a “tribute” to firefighters since, you know, it’s just a fire engine sitting on your lawn.

  • argiles February 9, 2011 (1:18 pm)

    Rent a storage spot for it, rather then scrapping it.

  • onceachef February 9, 2011 (1:18 pm)

    make sure it’s drained of all petroleum products (gas, oil, fire retardants) and “sink it” to become a man-made reef….fishies will love it!

  • bridge to somewhere February 9, 2011 (1:19 pm)

    Whatever the outcome or intent, I find it kind of hilarious someone parked a giant firetruck on their front yard, totally obscuring the building actually built on the lot.

  • Beth February 9, 2011 (1:25 pm)

    Couldn’t agree more with M, but city codes, like them or not, are here for a reason. Valvashon, I thought the same thing. If you have to scrap you will get $. Donate that to the firefighter fund.

  • Genesee Hill February 9, 2011 (1:25 pm)


    That is a great idea; they could sink it next to those underwater Ivars billboards in Elliott Bay.

  • bridge to somewhere February 9, 2011 (1:26 pm)

    Also, there is a firefighting museum in Arizona who might be interested in the truck, if its present owner wants to donate it: http://www.hallofflame.org/

  • Loree February 9, 2011 (1:26 pm)

    Stor-Mor on Avalon has a secure lot and allows RV storage. I imagine they could accommodate a fire truck.

  • Noelle February 9, 2011 (1:27 pm)

    For someone how may want to buy it – Does the Firetruck run?

  • triangle resident February 9, 2011 (1:30 pm)

    There’s storage at 35th and Fauntleroy advertised.

  • mike February 9, 2011 (1:31 pm)

    I do not find a firetruck an eye sore. I think I would be happy to live next to it.

    park it in my neighborhood on the street then move it a block when you get a complaint like everyone else does. Apparently you can continue doing this indefinitely.

    You could also park it next to all the RV’s in SODO.

  • Michael February 9, 2011 (1:33 pm)

    From Conan O’Brien last night:
    “When someone gets caught, they always claim it’s a ‘tribute.'”

  • PeterT February 9, 2011 (1:35 pm)

    There are probably a few Washington State or Oregon rural districts that could use the donation of a fire truck, and the owner might be able to realize a tax deduction.

  • Bill February 9, 2011 (1:39 pm)

    If it runs, I would think renting it out for kids birthday parties would be fun. I’m sure lots of parents would go for it.

    Of course, you would have to deal with state and local licensing as well as insurance, but maybe there is a market for it.

  • squareeyes February 9, 2011 (1:39 pm)

    Eyesore? Maybe not, but out of place? Definitely. Every time I went past it I wondered how long before the city called for its removal. And if it’s meant to be a tribute to firefighters, a banner identifying it as such might help – otherwise it’s just an old fire truck inexplicably parked on a lawn.

  • Smitty February 9, 2011 (1:46 pm)

    I just can’t imagine that some rural district couldn’t use it, update it.

  • mike February 9, 2011 (1:49 pm)

    Out of place is good, if everything was the same then our lives would be boring… Its a good looking fire truck! not a toilet, not a rusted camero, and not an old washing machine.

  • Genesee Hill February 9, 2011 (1:50 pm)

    It might be a bit expensive to maintain a 1975 fire truck…

  • SarahScoot February 9, 2011 (1:51 pm)

    Sorry, I just don’t understand why someone would buy a fire truck without a plan for a proper place to store it. Parking it askew on an apartment building’s lawn doesn’t count…

  • Genesee Hill February 9, 2011 (1:53 pm)

    Maybe the Seafair clowns are looking for a new “ride”…

  • Lola February 9, 2011 (1:56 pm)

    Go Gary,

    We love the WS lawn art. Some people just do not get it. At least it might be keeping the dogs from peeing on the little lawn that is there. Tee hee. Sorry to hear it has to go.

  • SarahScoot February 9, 2011 (1:56 pm)

    I disagree that it “looks good” there; in fact, it looks to me as though there was such an emergency on that block that the truck’s driver just decided to drive right up on the lawn to rush to the aid of a local resident.
    To those who say it looks good there: do you think it will continue to look good months or years from now? Do you think a person who can’t be bothered to find a code-abiding storage place would actually put forth the effort to keep the truck clean and shiny, and the surrounding lawn groomed?

    And a note I haven’t seen addressed: are the owner of the fire truck and the owner of the brick apartment building one and the same? If not, and the truck belongs to a third party, this arrangement really doesn’t make sense.

  • celeste17 February 9, 2011 (1:57 pm)

    I was thinking of the volunteer fire department. They run old time rigs in parades (maybe they would be intereted).

  • coffee February 9, 2011 (1:58 pm)

    For the comments about other districts using it, there are many code changes and insurance changes that caused local authorities to get new equipment, I.E. a new fire truck. Its most likely the case here.
    Coming from a background in emergency services, I love firetrucks and think they are so cool. But I also understand why the city is after having the truck moved. I would think you could find outdoor storage for it. Also, there are many parades that would most likely have groups or schools that would want to have you drive it in the event with their group on your fire truck.
    Go down Ambaum there are a few outdoor storage places there. Not sure what the rates are, but I know when you leave the city limits storage gets much less expensive.

  • karen February 9, 2011 (2:01 pm)

    What kind of solution are you looking for? Long term, short term? Does it drive? Is it legal on the street? What is your long term idea for the truck?
    Knowing some of this would help us come up with ideas.

  • I. Ponder February 9, 2011 (2:05 pm)

    As a tribute to the working men and women of America I’m going to park my car on my lawn. Also very tacky! I like the fire truck, but parking it on your lawn, not as much.

    Drive it to BURNING MAN!

  • eileen February 9, 2011 (2:07 pm)

    The site is in a NC2-40 zone. Have you gone to the city (DPD) to discuss your options? In that zone there are certain “uses” that are prohibited. One is outdoor storage which they are considering the fire truck to be. If it was accessory parking for the existing residential use on that lot, you would need to have screening provided (I think it’s 6 feet tall) and a five foot landscape buffer. You may consider the truck as art, but there are probably things you would need to do to qualify it as that. Link to rules on permitted uses:
    contact for the applicant center at DPD:

  • Will February 9, 2011 (2:12 pm)

    I work in Fremont, a place that is actually, you know, “fun”. They have a Lenin statue, a troll under a bridge with a Volkswagen in his hand, a rocketship, etc. There’s probably someone up there that would love a firetruck to park on their lawn.

    Publicize it on the Stranger Blog. Mention how quirky Fremont is and how it would be a good fit and make sure to mention how West Seattle is a bunch of no-fun-having-sourpusses.

  • patrick pavey February 9, 2011 (2:17 pm)

    Sounds pretty much like a split on whether this old fire rig is okay where it is OR it should be removed. Hmm.

    As for donating it to a fire district somewhere, sorry it is so far out of compliance for current fire apparatus standards that it would probably cost more to retrofit it than a new rig. (Well, actually new rigs are well above the $500,000 mark now but still.) It was a good thought though.

    Finally, the idea of parades might be a better shot. The Last Resort fire Dept. in Ballard supplies the older rigs you see in the many parades. By supplying, I mean they own the rigs (I believe privately, each member owning one or more of the rigs) and arrange to show them off in the parades. I do not know particulars on how they deem a fire apparatus worthy but a call couldn’t hurt.

  • Old time resident of WS February 9, 2011 (2:18 pm)

    Why not put concrete under it and call it a parking stall for building?
    Why are a good share of the comments so negitive?
    Why can’t we help one another, like WS used to be?

  • pigeonmom February 9, 2011 (2:27 pm)

    valvashon, you spoke my mind.

  • saint dizzle February 9, 2011 (2:29 pm)

    Give it to the animals

  • Officer Lumpy February 9, 2011 (2:35 pm)

    Donate it to the Seattle Seafair Clowns!

  • West Seattle Art Attack February 9, 2011 (2:36 pm)

    How about you convert it into a mobile BBQ joint that has food so hot you need a fire truck to put it out. Pretty catchy gimmick if you ask me. Of course there’s that annoying part about converting it to a restaurant and you’d still need to store it someplace but for a few hot wings each week I’d let it sit in my driveway (of course I would have to check with the wife first and she’d undoubtedly say no).

  • Delridge Denizen February 9, 2011 (2:39 pm)

    Food trucks are all the rage and it certainly attracts attention.

  • Mike February 9, 2011 (2:41 pm)

    A tribute? Like some other posters, I see it as a large firetruck parked on a small lawn. Move it.

  • kg February 9, 2011 (2:43 pm)

    Looks like the fire truck owner may have been burned by an irate busy body.

  • jiggers February 9, 2011 (2:43 pm)

    If I was living there, I’d be pissed after awhile it was parked in front of my bedroom window.

  • Jim February 9, 2011 (2:49 pm)

    I can’t help but notice the other car in the picture that is parked daily at that location for the past several years. What does the code say about that.

  • RJB February 9, 2011 (2:55 pm)

    Donate for a tax credit? It is different…not bad different, just different.

  • As-If February 9, 2011 (2:59 pm)

    I don’t know. I thought it was cool. I mean, it’s looks to me like it is sitting on a commercial lot, right next to a big commercial building with a cute little Mini Cooper sitting on the sidewalk. What? Sitting on the sidewalk? Is that leagl? I mean it’s even the same color. Maybe it wants to grow up and be a Big Red Fire Engine some day too. Did you ever think of that?

  • Sean February 9, 2011 (3:21 pm)

    I’m pretty sure my nephew will take it off your hands…He’s less than three years old so you will have to deliver it, but he loooooves firetrucks.

  • ummm February 9, 2011 (3:29 pm)

    Hm. I always thought storing cars on your lawn when they stop running what white trash, but I guess I was wrong. If it’s art, or a tribute, you should probably put something up saying just that.

    Sending it to Burning Man was definitely the best idea so far.

  • chicago transplant February 9, 2011 (3:31 pm)

    1. Firetruck looks nice until it rusts and the weeds grow up around it. Would a 1975 rode hard and put away wet Winnabego look good sitting there? It’s a front lawn, not a shanty town, have some class.
    2. Find a park, take out the dangerous stuff and plant it there as a tribute to firetrucks…maybe over at Camp Long. They’ve got a lot of space! Kids love to climb in firetrucks…
    3. Donate it to the childrens museum in Seattle or Belleview.

  • West Side Lover February 9, 2011 (3:38 pm)

    Maybe you could park it in front of the house behind the Nursery? No one seems to complain about it enough to get the city to take action. Or maybe the people in that section of West Seattle aren’t so uptight.

    Ok, yeah there are regulations, they need to be enforced, so on and so forth. But do you people follow every single law/regulation/code on the books to the exact letter and consult an attorney for guidance of any of those doctrines conflict? If you do maybe you should look at moving to a community that has stricter enforcement of those norms. Perhaps Broadmoor will take you with open arms. Come on it’s not even taking up a parking spot.

  • CMeagh February 9, 2011 (3:49 pm)

    I enjoy seeing it when I pass by. It makes me laugh a little. I can see why some people might be upset that it has sat there, but I like it. If I had space and cash I would buy it.
    Hopefully this gets resolved without the truck having to be scrapped.

  • chris February 9, 2011 (4:10 pm)

    Agree with ValV. Need to think these things through a bit.

  • dawsonct February 9, 2011 (4:23 pm)

    A “tribute to fire(fighters)…” THAT’S FUNNY! And the broken-down car in my driveway is a tribute to Japanese auto makers.

  • SarahScoot February 9, 2011 (4:25 pm)

    I’m still lost as to why this man would think he has a right to park the truck there in the first place: is he the owner of the building? I’ve seen no indication of that being the case. If he doesn’t even own the building, I don’t understand why he’d think he’d have a right to park the truck on its lawn.
    Why isn’t anyone else wondering the same thing?

    • WSB February 9, 2011 (4:30 pm)

      Sarah – I believe he does or did own the property – his name is in the parcel records. If someone has said otherwise earlier in the thread, sorry, I haven’t caught up to all these comments yet, have been running around doing research off the desk for much of the afternoon – Tracy

  • SammaJamma February 9, 2011 (4:30 pm)

    I live in that building and the guy that owns the truck also owns the building. It’s a shame to see that it’s going to have to go. It was a great way to keep West Seattle weird!

  • SarahScoot February 9, 2011 (4:35 pm)

    Tracy, totally understand and didn’t expect you personally to answer the question. It just seems like a piece of information Mr. Elliott should have provided in order to get people to side with him. I’m more sympathetic to the issue knowing that he is the landowner. (Though I still don’t think fire truck parked on small lawn = art/tribute.)

  • k2 February 9, 2011 (4:45 pm)

    let’s build an EVEN BIGGER TROLL and have the truck underneath BOTH hands!!

  • marty February 9, 2011 (4:45 pm)

    Just park it on the street! The city allows about six motor homes to park all year on Harbor ave. All they have to do is move every 72 hours and they are in compliance. Trust me, I have complained and that is the true story. There is no law against continued parking. They even have a name for people who park like that, they call it “auto ranching”.

  • k2 February 9, 2011 (4:49 pm)

    wait, i’m way off with the troll comment…give it to Deja Vu, all they need is a few fireman poles (that’s a double entendre) around it and you’re good to go.

  • TMQ February 9, 2011 (4:53 pm)

    How about parking it at the bottom of The Hole ala Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel? Should be safe there for the next few years.

  • Marketgal February 9, 2011 (5:00 pm)

    It is a pretty truck. My husband noticed/commented on it both weeks that we went to the market.

  • Kevin February 9, 2011 (5:02 pm)

    I have a friend who has a fire truck parked in his driveway. The only problem he has had is that one year when he turned the on the flashing lights during Halloween eve, none of the trick-or-treaters came to the door because people thought there was an active fire call :)
    Then there is a guy in West Seattle that has a huge railroad signal in his front yard, and no one seems to have an issue with that.
    And another individual who has an old rowboat in the planting strip on 35th. Never saw a single negative comment about that when DP featured it in one of his “wiws” challenges.
    Never have heard any complaints about the big canon in front of the WS VFW either.
    I’m sure there are plenty of other examples of “yard art” around the West side.
    I find it kind of ironic that when a fire truck comes to your neighborhood, usually all the neighbors rush out to see what is going on, but let one be silently parked on display and people get all upset. Go figure.

  • bridge to somewhere February 9, 2011 (5:05 pm)

    TMQ for the win . . .

  • skeeter February 9, 2011 (5:05 pm)

    WSB – since there is so much interest, can you do more research? What was the owner’s “plan.” More details would be fun.

  • sean February 9, 2011 (5:08 pm)

    It is retro art. the City is all about art. Get a petition going and then Get Jesse.

  • Genesee Hill February 9, 2011 (5:13 pm)

    Hey, I got a thing for old Maytag wringer washers; I was thinking about placing a few in my front yard. You know, sort of as a tribute to the “Maytag Man”, of old TV commercials’ fame.

    Anyone got a problem with that?

  • KBear February 9, 2011 (5:19 pm)

    A few random thoughts on this…

    I HATE it when people park their boats/RVs/trucks/broken-down-cars/etc. on lawns, streets, sidewalks, and parking strips. Seattle has really uneven enforcement of its parking regulations.

    But somehow, this seems different.

    One of my favorite city parks to visit when I was a child had an old fire truck for kids to climb on. I’ll bet that’s still fun. Too bad the City of Seattle’s insurers would probably never let it happen.

    You wanna know what’s an eyesore, and a damn shame as well? The state of the “Midnight Call” mural right next to where the fire truck is parked. If the mural could be restored, then the fire truck parked next to it would feel a lot more like a tribute to firefighters.

  • lighten up February 9, 2011 (5:40 pm)

    Good luck. It’s cool-looking.

  • mike February 9, 2011 (5:42 pm)

    I think there is a double standard here. Take a look at the top left of the picture. The car parked on the sidewalk is there almost daily

  • Genesee Hill February 9, 2011 (5:49 pm)

    Yo, Mike, that Mini is NOT on the sidewalk!

  • mike February 9, 2011 (5:49 pm)

    oops. Left side.

    GH, your right. Not on the side walk. But surely not a parking place.

  • Eric February 9, 2011 (5:59 pm)

    I always say don’t get mad, get even. Move the truck and make your neighbors ask you to bring it back. Build a fence (just don’t go over the city limit 4 or 6 feet) and make sure it is sturdy (not a hazard). Buy the cheapest mis-matched paint you can from Home Depot/Lowes and paint every board a different color/pattern. Heck, Home Depot sells $2.95 test paint in any color if you are not satisfied with the rejects.
    Florescent green and hot pink would make it a “safety fence”.

  • JRR February 9, 2011 (6:08 pm)

    I wonder how the people living in the apartment building feel about a huge firetruck obstructing their tiny windows?

    I have a neighbor who parks his seven or eight cars all manners of ways all over the street and planting strip. We might be West Seattle, but we don’t need to be the Wild West. Tow it away.

  • Gina February 9, 2011 (6:11 pm)

    The Farmer’s Insurance mini car, that parks in front of the Farmer’s Insurance office? It does go somewhere else at night.

    Bet the fire engine works as a sound buffer and it is much less street noise in the apartment house. Call it a 3-D mural.

  • Lola February 9, 2011 (6:12 pm)

    A new big toy for Ercolini Park? Everyone else leaves their toys there all the time. Ha.

  • As-If February 9, 2011 (6:16 pm)

    Ok….Ok… I say we vote on it.

  • dsa February 9, 2011 (6:24 pm)

    I bet the mini doesn’t dare park there tomorrow. Instead they will use up a valuable parking space elsewhere.

  • Genesee Hill February 9, 2011 (6:28 pm)

    All right!

    I vote that we move it to the front yard of all those who think it is “just great”. Since there are so many of you “just greaters”, just take your turn in hosting this “tribute to the firemen/women” every week, or so.

    Now; all those who think this looks just ducky in the neighborhood, please give your address, and we will try to have the behemoth towed there ASAP.

  • Momof3 February 9, 2011 (6:32 pm)

    Oooh… Save 100k and plop it in the Lafayette playground?

  • Steph February 9, 2011 (6:52 pm)

    Bring it to White Center… I don’t believe we have the same laws here. My neighbors have 7 cars on their property. This would be must nicer to stare at than the beat up Winnebago with a giant tarp over it.

    In fact, there is probably enough space on the side of my house. It might create a noise buffer when my neighbors come home drunk in the middle of the night. My lease is up in May, but it could work short term. I’m serious.

  • Kevin February 9, 2011 (6:53 pm)

    OK – perhaps a bit of a stretch here, but then this thread does seem to have taken off in a humorous direction.
    Most people have smoke detectors and personal fire extinguishers in their homes… so what is wrong with having your own personal fire truck just in case the need ever arises.
    After all, it’s just a big fire extinguisher. :)
    And for Seattle city zoning rules, just one more reason to argue for West Seattle to become a city of it’s own.

  • Genesee Hill February 9, 2011 (6:56 pm)

    Yeah, Kevin, so we don’t have to look like Graham, Eatonville, or the outskirts of Tenino!

  • Genesee Hill February 9, 2011 (7:16 pm)


    Great comment. You do have different rules in White Center.
    That is where I store my Maytag wringer washing machine collection.

    I love the fact there are few codes, and even less enforcement!

    Seattle better get its act together!

    OK, and Genesee Hill is over and out, thank goodness!

  • firewoman February 9, 2011 (7:41 pm)

    Hey West Seattle, I wonder if the cannon by the VFW hall has all its permits along with the Urban Reef in front of Salty’s, or the wooden boat along Harbor ave, I think Maggie Dang from the city would like to hear about all the things that makes WS different

  • Julie February 9, 2011 (7:48 pm)

    My neighbor has a bus that’s never moved and a boat with no trailer parked in their yard. Maybe they could take the fire truck…

  • LAP February 9, 2011 (8:05 pm)

    Perhaps it can find a temporary home in the old Station 37 on 35th Avenue SW? I’m not a huge fan of where it happens to be parked – I don’t think anyone passing by understands the owner’s “tribute” train of thought, it just looks like a big fire truck parked on someone’s front lawn. Perhaps this is because it does not have the look of an antique, such as the Last Chance trucks we see in the local parades?? Just my opinion.

  • eileen February 9, 2011 (8:05 pm)

    Wow – this thread has taken off! I love the idea of it on a playground or with a huge troll at the bicycle path under the west seattle bridge!

    In response to the public art debate check this out:
    It’s about how to create a thriving business district through public art.

    from that website:
    If the project will be on private property, you will need written permission from the property owner and your agreement should specify who is responsible for maintenance. In either public or private situations, you will need a detailed design to show the owner or the City.

    There are different ways to proceed with a public art project for your district, depending on the location and scale of work you envision. Common steps in the process include:

    1. Choose a site.
    2. Get permission from owner and/or Seattle Department of Transportation if placing in the street right-of-way.
    3. Hold a community meeting to get support and fulfill public process requirements.
    4. Hold an open selection for an artist, providing some fee if holding a proposal-based competition.
    5. Raise money for materials, construction or painting, permitting and artist fee.
    6. Build/create project.
    7. Hold an “unveiling” with press release.

    Why not? Worth a shot. Sounds like you have a bunch of offers to store it temporarily until you get all the paperwork in order.

    • WSB February 9, 2011 (8:11 pm)

      The owner did say he had not originally sought permits. And to the point of the person who asked for followup, I intend to do so tomorrow, both with him and also with DPD … TR

  • miws February 9, 2011 (8:11 pm)

    And another individual who has an old rowboat in the planting strip on 35th. Never saw a single negative comment about that when DP featured it in one of his “wiws” challenges.


    Not to mention, the guy up in Admiral, who unabashedly has his Johnson jammed into his parking strip! ;)



  • NotMe February 9, 2011 (8:11 pm)

    For all of you complaining about what your neighbors have in their yard, have you tried registering your own complaint? Same thing will happen if their “tributes” are not in compliance with city code.
    There is a reason for the codes. You let this character keep his “tribute” (aka, an old junked fire engine) then I should be allowed to park my Cessna in the driveway. Shouldn’t be any reason I can’t fire her up to keep the engine nice and sound, too. Oh, and as far as the leaking hydrolic fluid and occasional oil and such, I will just toss down some cat litter to take care of that. Sound good to all of you that think this “tribute” is cute and oh-so-cool-to-be-in-West-Seattle?

  • firewoman February 9, 2011 (8:13 pm)

    Thank goodness we all paint are house the same color, mow our yards on saturday, wash our windows semi anually, drive a ford and like the same art? whats wrong with having fun/different

  • sophista-tiki February 9, 2011 (8:16 pm)

    check with the community college they have a really big lot where they park for the truck driving school. Dont scrap it. Agreed that the lawn isnt the best spot but I also like that its becoming a fixture of the neighborhood. and it kinda cheeses me that some stick in the mud had to go to the city to complain how typically passive agressive. Why not just go talk to the guy.

  • MKE February 9, 2011 (8:17 pm)

    I park my Cadillac HEARSE on my front lawn all the time. I’ve never had a complaint!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    As for this wonderful firetruck. Contact the Last Resort Fire Department. They’re the ones with all the old antique firetrucks that are in all the parades and local car shows every year.

  • Jack Fisher February 9, 2011 (8:17 pm)

    Code enforcement in seattle a freaking joke, just ask anyone who lives in the rozella apts. I do.

  • NotMe February 9, 2011 (8:28 pm)

    I don’t think anyone has the same color house that I have, and I would never drive a Ford. I do, however, *try* not to break city codes, ordinances and speed limits. (I do find myself trying not to go over 40 down the hill on Admiral every day. It really is tough to stay at 30 mph.) Stop trying to make it sound like we are all a bunch of lemmings or living in Stepford.

  • fire February 9, 2011 (8:39 pm)

    why not give Mr Elliott a break for adding alitle Humor and art to WS maybe we should support the effort an let the city know

  • Bob Loblaw February 9, 2011 (8:48 pm)

    I’m just thankful it’s not a tribute to gynecology, urology, or proctology …

  • cs February 9, 2011 (8:53 pm)

    WSB- I’ve never wanted a “like” button so much as on this comment thread- can you add a like button to your comment sections?!

  • Keith Golder February 9, 2011 (8:58 pm)

    Donate it to the Preservation Hall Fire Dept in Ballard. They have lots of old fire trucks.

  • JW February 9, 2011 (9:28 pm)

    Typical absurd city rules. Seattle is the worst. Thanks McGinn!

  • Genessee neighbor February 9, 2011 (9:31 pm)

    The city needs money and their employees have nothing to do so they find things to ‘make work’. I’m dealing with an issue with the City right now that is ludicrous over a furnace vent in the home I’ve been in for 30 years!

  • sayWA? February 9, 2011 (9:36 pm)

    “Honey, can I have a FIRE TRUCK?”
    “There’s this guy in West Seattle who has to get rid of his”
    “I just want to park it in our front yard”
    “No, really, a FIRE TRUCK”
    “Uh honey, I don’t think I can say THAT on WSB”
    Oh, never mind…

  • LyndaB February 9, 2011 (9:59 pm)

    Wow, I scrolled through over 100 comments before seeing one that I had the same idea. That belongs to LAP who mentioned parking at the former station 37 on 35th. I second that one.

  • JD February 9, 2011 (10:03 pm)

    C Gary, you are Rad! I love your style and am proud you are kin. Fight the good fight. xo, jd.

  • maplesyrup February 9, 2011 (10:28 pm)

    I guess I don’t see why it bothers people.

    It’s not on my lawn, not blocking a street, not taking up parking, not hurting anyone, not endangering anything, not ruining property values. And it’s kind of cool.

    Why should I care?

  • mondo February 9, 2011 (10:45 pm)

    Simple: The owner can move it to a storage garage. Can’t afford to pay rent on storage? Then sell it on eBay to someone who can actually afford to take care of it without breaking any zoning laws.

    Why is it that people think that laws don’t apply to them? (reference the other lengthy thread on the speed traps on Admiral Way)

  • Alki resident February 9, 2011 (10:56 pm)

    Put it on top of the new fire station on 35th.

  • Joplin February 9, 2011 (11:26 pm)

    … sorry, couldn’t resist. This comes form the best of craigslist:

    I need your eyesore,please help

    I had a nice hedge on my property line, but my neighbor said it was a ratty eyesore and killed it. I would like a bus? a train car? huge peice of rusted heavy equiptment?? This is not a joke If you have something huge and ugly you need to be rid of perhaps we can help eachother out! I would prefer something tall and ominous but will consider any old peice of sh*t. Wreckage from a airplane would also fit the bill. Also, if part of it squeekes in the wind or is highly reflective in the sun that would be a plus

  • Paul February 10, 2011 (12:00 am)

    Hey Mini Cooper…Your Busted!!!

  • aw February 10, 2011 (1:36 am)

    It looks cool.. Who would complain about that?

  • redblack February 10, 2011 (6:35 am)

    as-if: yeah! let’s vote on it.
    2 questions on the ballot:
    “should the fire truck be moved?”
    “should the fire truck stay?”
    maybe voters will reject both.

  • Sparky February 10, 2011 (7:43 am)

    There is the Pacific Northwest truck museum in Brooks Oregon.

  • maude February 10, 2011 (8:28 am)

    I love that you can’t do, or put, what you want on your own private property. God Bless America.

  • Will February 10, 2011 (9:06 am)

    Hey, I got a thing for old Maytag wringer washers; I was thinking about placing a few in my front yard. You know, sort of as a tribute to the “Maytag Man”, of old TV commercials’ fame.
    Anyone got a problem with that?”

    I think it’s comments like this that irritate me the most. Are you seriously taking the position that you can’t tell the difference between a shiny red firetruck and a couple of wringer washers?

    I understand you are attempting to make a point, but it’s this kind of black-and-white mentality that makes this American life less enjoyable.

    This is a bright-red firetruck on a mowed lawn. It’s not a rusted out washer. It’s in a mixed-use neighborhood (read: business district), not in front of some arbitrary house in a residential area.

    It’s interesting items such as this that give a neighborhood character, that allows you to say, “Hang a left after the big firetruck” instead of “go past the Taco Time”.

    It’s a shame we can’t have nice things and I’m embarrassed so many in my community are ready to sanitize us into Bellevue.

  • steven lee elliott February 10, 2011 (9:10 am)

    has the city nothing better to do?

  • sun*e February 10, 2011 (9:19 am)

    Like my husband always says, “No good deed goes unpunished.”

  • NotMe February 10, 2011 (9:23 am)

    Hey Maude, if you want that kind of property, you have to buy it where the city, municipality, or county codes allow it. Apparently, the City of Seattle codes don’t allow fire trucks to be “parked” on a lawn. Period. It’s basically a law just like any other law. When you buy an over-priced home in the city limits, you get all of the perks – including not having to put up with people collecting garbage no more than 50 feet from where you live. And yes, God Bless America.

  • mnb February 10, 2011 (10:23 am)

    And Maude: I’m sure you wouldn’t mind if your next door neighbor decided to put a cattle feed lot, a copper smelter, and a strip club on their property, since you think they should be able to do and put whatever they want to on their private property. It is a free country after all, right?
    Perhaps instead of thinking that you can’t do whatever you want on your private property, you should consider that you *can* do whatever you want on your private property, *except* for a few very specific things… like collecting junk in your front yard.

  • chris February 10, 2011 (10:48 am)

    One word – furthur. Paint it up and head out on a big road trip. Sign me up for that.

  • maude February 10, 2011 (12:30 pm)

    NotMe, well, it is a law so in that regard I suppose I agree with what you are saying. But I’m saying it might be a stupid law. But then again, I tear at the fabric of society every chance I get. If the posted speed limit is 35 you bet I’m going 36! Take that, law!

    And mnb, no, apparently it isn’t a free country.

  • emcat8 February 10, 2011 (12:35 pm)

    I love the fact that over and over again the city has said they can’t/won’t do anything about the grotesque building, yard, and “art” at the dangerous, vermin-trap house behind the West Seattle Nursery, but they can get uppity about a fire truck parked in the building owner’s front yard. That is just freaking ridiculous.

  • Westside J. February 10, 2011 (12:50 pm)

    Wow.. I can’t believe how worked up some of you are getting over this.. It seem as though you’re one step away from grabbing the torches and pitchforks and forming a mob.

    So far, i dont think any of you, save for one person, has claimed to live near this firetruck.. So guess what?? Don’t worry about it.. If it offends you that much drive down a different street or something..

    Now, if we can get the owner of the mini mart on 35th to take that damn cow off the roof my blood pressure might return to normal! ;)

  • Will February 10, 2011 (1:16 pm)

    Now, if we can get the owner of the mini mart on 35th to take that damn cow off the roof my blood pressure might return to normal!

    Are you kidding me?!? We love the cow!

  • Westside J. February 10, 2011 (1:25 pm)

    Yeah, I’m joking :) everyone loves the cow store!

  • miws February 10, 2011 (3:18 pm)


    (What Would Johnny [Gage] Do?)



  • HC February 10, 2011 (3:20 pm)

    Store it. There is outdoor storage being advertised at Alaska & Fauntleroy. Look for the sign.

  • karen February 10, 2011 (7:21 pm)

    I’d love to hear from the owner.
    I also have a really long driveway and think I’d be the most popular mom in the carpool if I could just borrow it for a few days!

    • WSB February 10, 2011 (7:27 pm)

      The owner is who we heard from originally, or else we wouldn’t have this story. (We asked if we could catch up with him in person, by the truck, but he’s out of town.) We have contacted him for a followup – nothing earthshaking but a few more details – but are still waiting for the city to answer our inquiry so we can get their side of the story … TR

  • Eric February 10, 2011 (7:42 pm)

    Did you know what code was violated? I have seen a lot uglier RVs in yards.

    • WSB February 10, 2011 (7:46 pm)

      That’s what I am asking DPD, among other things – TR

  • Eddie February 10, 2011 (8:29 pm)

    For $20 a day he can park it at my place, off the street and off the lawn.

  • Genessee neighbor February 10, 2011 (9:20 pm)

    What about the insurance broker who parks his Mini-Cooper on the sidewalk everyday. That’s not in violation of some kind of city code? (it’s seen in the background of this picture) Nice he gets free parking all day long.

  • Genessee neighbor February 10, 2011 (9:22 pm)

    Steven Lee Elliott..in reply to your comment – no, the city has nothing better to do. They don’t have ‘real’ work so they make work for job security.

  • Kameron C Cayce II February 11, 2011 (1:08 am)

    Anything decided here yet? Firefighter and W Sea resident here… and would love to see this saved (very similar to my first truck!). Keep me posted and let me know if you are getting rid of it!!

  • roundthesound February 11, 2011 (4:47 am)

    If the picture were taken in the opposite direction, facing north instead, you would see a different mural. “Midnight Call” is the mural about the first volunteer fire company here in West Seattle. This makes it a unique location to have an actual fire truck.

    Also, I live in this building and I like the fire truck parked there. This isn’t a typical residential street it’s parked on, it’s right in the junction surrounded by parking lots and insurance agents.

  • PRICIALLA February 11, 2011 (6:06 am)

    I think there are some strange people here in West Seattle. A firetruck is not a front yard decoration.

  • Fire February 11, 2011 (2:14 pm)

    PRICALLA I hjope you do not live in west Seattle there are to many narrrow minded old ladys there

  • kellym February 11, 2011 (3:16 pm)

    haven’t had such a good laugh at work for a while…good luck gary…maybe your brothers can help you out…

  • Dfy February 11, 2011 (8:28 pm)

    I’m going to move back to rainier valley where neighbors were friendly to each other no matter how many cars/wierd structures/scarecrow art a yard contained. I hope Gatewood folks aren’t as stuffy as y’all or I’m probably the talk of my neighborhood cause I got ladders in my driveway. sheesh

  • S February 12, 2011 (5:57 pm)

    I’m with maplesyrup here…

    “It’s not on my lawn, not blocking a street, not taking up parking, not hurting anyone, not endangering anything, not ruining property values. And it’s kind of cool.

    Why should I care?

    Comment by maplesyrup — February 9, 11 10:28 pm #”

    So many other MORE important things to worry about in life. This is SOOOOO not one of the important ones.

  • grouch February 15, 2011 (4:42 am)


    • WSB February 15, 2011 (7:30 am)

      If so, that’s since yesterday afternoon – we were in The Junction taking a few photos in the mid-afternoon and it was still there. – TR

  • Gary February 15, 2011 (8:25 am)

    The Art Truck is still there, I do not plan to remove it from west seattle untill March. I have a friend who has a property in Kent that could store it. To answer a few ?. I own the Apt building it is in front of. I did not realize it was wrong to park a truck on your own property not taking up a parking spot,I have talked to the tenants about the firetruck and no one objects, the code I am breaking is chapter 23 of the seattle Municipal Code 23.47a.004,23.47a.11 and 23.90.002. (I have not looked up this codes)It is a 1975 Lafrance firetruck with 46,00 miles it runs excellent and has only licenced it with a 3day trip permit, yes I would sell it to get the city off my ass, I would not have parked in a residental neighbor hood this is commercial.Ther is a $177.00 charge for each inspection after the next inspection. The city inspector is Maggie Dang 206 386-1987

    • WSB February 15, 2011 (8:30 am)

      Thanks for the update, we were running over to check on the comment, which we will delete since we don’t take kindly to false reporting. I also am still trying to get the DPD to officially comment for a followup; at this point I’m just going to have to resort to their official media spokesperson – TR

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