FOLLOWUP: City ’emergency order’ for West Seattle’s most-visible vacant house

Thanks to the texter who tipped us about this today. The owners of West Seattle’s most-visible vacant house – 3804 23rd SW, along the Delridge onramp to the West Seattle Bridge – are under an “emergency order” to seal it up by tomorrow morning. The texter noted this order tacked up at the property:

It orders the building to be “closed” by 8 am tomorrow. We went by late today and didn’t see any sign of work to do that. We’ve mentioned this house many times over the years, most recently half a year ago, when we discovered a plan to remodel it. That plan does not appear to have advanced past pre-application stage so far. Meantime, the violation that has led to the “emergency order” to seal the house by tomorrow is related to at least four prior violations of the city’s Vacant Building Standards. Here’s the full notice; it says that if the owner doesn’t comply by the deadline, they can be fined up to $1,000 a day, and: “the [Department of Construction and Inspections] Director may take corrective action and recover the costs of that action (and) the City may file a lawsuit against you to collect the penalties and costs.” We’ll watch to see if anything comes of it; the house has been a problem spot for many years, even called out on a community-organized tour of problem properties in 2009, with city councilmembers and department heads in attendance.

38 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: City 'emergency order' for West Seattle's most-visible vacant house"

  • bolo October 15, 2023 (9:28 pm)

    WELL past due!

  • I love beer October 15, 2023 (10:06 pm)

    Where’s the rest of the pages of the city correspondence? Story only posted a picture of the first page

    • WSB October 15, 2023 (10:35 pm)

      It’s linked in the story; I downloaded it from the SDCI website and uploaded it here. See the line “here’s the full notice.”

      • Skipalapondo October 16, 2023 (8:03 pm)

        Thank you, WSB! As a compulsive reader I am personally disturbed any time text cuts off mid-sentence, so I appreciate your anticipating my quirk and including a link to the full document. Not all heroes wear capes!

  • kg October 15, 2023 (10:36 pm)

    The 126 LLC based in Renton shows as administratively dissolved as per WA Secretary of State corporation search.

    • WSB October 16, 2023 (1:21 am)

      The owner has at least nine LLCs with that status. I’ll be asking the city what happens if a property appears to have been abandoned.

      • bill October 16, 2023 (8:27 am)

        That’s a heck of a valuable property to abandon given that Sound Transit will almost certainly buy it for light rail. I figure light rail is why nothing came of recent development plans. In the meantime, fingers crossed the retaining wall does not collapse onto the bike trail and ramp to the high bridge.

        • Chuck Jacobs October 16, 2023 (9:49 am)

          The old retaining wall made of railroad ties was collapsing. Roughly a year ago, a small work crew tore it out and started replacing it with concrete retaining wall blocks. That was until the city posted a stop work order, presumably because they didn’t have a permit. Shortly after that, they put up the fencing seen in the picture. I’ve seen no activity since.

          • bill October 16, 2023 (7:50 pm)

            I complained about the old retaining wall from time to time and perhaps my last complaint triggered the order to fix the wall. Then I reported the slapdash wall — there is no way it is properly engineered — and work stopped. It’s a miracle the slope has not collapsed onto the road.

        • J.H October 17, 2023 (7:58 am)

          After all light rail has been busy shoving businesses out of the way when they see fit . 

    • MB October 18, 2023 (9:51 am)

      2022 and 2023 first half taxes are delinquent, as well.

  • Kevin October 16, 2023 (6:58 am)

    It actually says the 16th by 8am for this notices deadline. There could be are all sorts of reasons this thing has sat vacant and ugly, the permit process in seattle is ridiculous, obviously we just went through a RE turndown so values are in the toilet, possible it’s changed hands several times as someone tries to make the values work, etc.  Been lending investment money to local flippers and builders for a decade, there are lots of moving parts when it comes to these investments that you don’t consider if this isn’t your profession. licensed agent  

  • bc October 16, 2023 (7:23 am)

    Follow the money…

  • Wavy David October 16, 2023 (7:54 am)

    Let me get this straight:The City knows who the owner is; presumably they are alive and paying property tax, since the thing has been eroding for ages; there is a vague plan to remodel it (that’s humorous), but the pre-application sits abandoned; and they are known to have several dissolved LLC’s…Cool mystery! I can think of several fun ideas as to what this all means: whacky character profiles, film plots in several genres, maybe an investigative documentary that turns up outlandish connections.But of course the truth will just be banal. As usual.

  • robby S October 16, 2023 (7:58 am)

    I will offer $1 to purchase this abandoned property and create a park for Seattle residents.

    • Jay October 16, 2023 (4:07 pm)

      The 2022 taxes are unpaid and the 2023 taxes aren’t likely to be paid. You can see if the city will auction the tax lean. If you buy it and they continue to not pay taxes, you can get the city to issue you a deed for the abandoned house and take ownership of it.

  • Marty October 16, 2023 (8:25 am)

    That property has been a nuisance for decades! It looks to be beyond repair and should be demolished.

  • WiseWoman October 16, 2023 (9:08 am)

    Well if they want to give property away I will take it. 

  • Justin Ardoin October 16, 2023 (10:56 am)

    “housing crisis” but vacant properties sit ballooning in price for decades until some idiot pays way more than it’s worth. We *really* need a vacant property fee that compounds. Willing to bet this trash property that would cost tens of thousands just to clear it and hundreds of thousands to make it useful isn’t going for anything less than half a million. Because why would the owner of this crack house care to bargain when they don’t have to? They don’t live in the neighborhood. They don’t care about the problems this brings. Capitalism is working amazingly well here in Seattle lmao

  • KB1000 October 16, 2023 (11:14 am)

    This is the worst of the worst but there are many many vacant or nearly uninhabitable buildings in West Seattle and especially in Highland Park and Delridge. The ones that are practically falling over need to be torn down. But there are several fine homes that are simply sitting vacant. We need to get the owners to rent or sell these homes. It’s pathetic. 

    • J.H October 17, 2023 (8:02 am)

      Problem arises with renting, if you get a Problem renter, they have more rights than the owner. It is almost impossible to get rid of a renter especially in Seattle. 

      • WS Res October 17, 2023 (8:29 am)

        Then people should sell the properties sitting empty, not hoard them. See: the fire from last week at a property that was apparently hoarded and allowed to become derelict by someone who owned multiple empty homes.

  • Jim P. October 16, 2023 (11:39 am)

    Tolerance and due process only go so far that thing has been an eyesore and a nuisance for well over a decade.”Sealing” it will last about three days at most.  Needs demo.

  • rose October 16, 2023 (11:47 am)

    As a neighbor of this property, I am not holding my breath. This property has been a problem for as long as I have lived here…which is a long time!

  • Deanna Hanson October 16, 2023 (12:27 pm)

    Sounds like our slum lord. Way too many name changes and too many LLC’s.

  • juliabliss October 16, 2023 (12:38 pm)

    Whoever owns it — must be just waiting for the Sound Transit money to look good enough to sell. They’ve kept up with property taxes but not bothered living there or maintaining the building, from the looks of it.Would you want to live right next to that onramp? Who would?

    • Jeff October 16, 2023 (3:07 pm)

      For the right price, someone would.

  • skeeter October 16, 2023 (12:42 pm)

    I checked the tax records.  Easy to do and public information.  Property Taxes (  The 2021 property taxes were paid late.  The 2022 taxes are unpaid and delinquent.  The first half 2023 taxes are unpaid and delinquent.   At a certain point of delinquency the county will come in and auction off the property for the past due taxes.

  • Danny boy October 16, 2023 (12:48 pm)

    This is an “emergency order?!?” Many would think the city has way bigger problems to deal with than this bs. Like affordable housing or livable wages, the fentanyl crisis, thousands of homeless people with nowhere to go, burglaries & robberies, public drug use in the West Seattle junction in front of parents & children, but the rich and middle class are complaining about this abandoned house? Get your priorities straight people 🙄

  • Andrew October 16, 2023 (5:20 pm)

    Another West Seattle icon going :(

  • Craig Threlkeld October 16, 2023 (6:35 pm)

    I used to drink Vitamin R across the street from here at a lil ol place called The Delridge Tavern (A LOO-OONG TIME AGO) and I’m pretty sure that house was vacant and abandoned even back then (mid-80’s?).It is long past time to bring in the wrecking-ball.Also, you looking for an antidote to the homeless and drug crisis (around here and across America?) Maybe we should stop giving HUGE tax breaks to billionaires.

  • John A October 16, 2023 (10:10 pm)

    A West Seattle real estate broker had it listed for sale for $170k over 2 1/2 decades ago, same red paint, at which time I previewed it (walked through  just to look.) It was a teardown then. The floors and walls were all uneven. Nobody would touch it. And still, there it sits with everyone still speculating. Why the city hasn’t condemned it and required it to be torn down, I don’t know. The building is a liability worth nothing. 

  • Driver October 17, 2023 (1:12 pm)

    I drove by this am about 9:30 – nothing done to it.

    • B.z October 17, 2023 (4:47 pm)

      Heads up everyone, truth comes out. House is possessed and the property is haunted. Time to call Ed and Lauren warren everyone. 😀 lol. 

  • WSgurl October 17, 2023 (8:27 pm)

    Late 70s early 80s there was a police presence at the house n the tavern across the street. There was some shooting, bullets whizzing everywhere. That was the last it was occupied. Idk the whats or whys, but likely a long prison sentence or shot dead. I believe its banks that have been juggling the house since. I looked at the assessors numbers. Thats a farce. They just seem so random. At any rate, ive wondered about that house since i was a little girl. Its been there since before i was born. 1928. Before that crazy bridge!

  • Tina Bangs October 18, 2023 (9:45 am)

    I remember when the folks who lived there built a life size Tardis in their yard.  It was an icon!

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