Friday, July 24, 2009

Mr. Slummy's Dreams Rise To The Sky (The Horror...The Horror...)


Photo By Jeff Skrenes

Residents of the Hawthorne neighborhood continue to watch in drop-jawed, horrified fascination as "Mr. Slummy" keeps fleshing out his disturbing residential vision at 2515 3rd Street N., a situation this blog has followed since Mr. Slummy's "dig to China" efforts put the neighborhood into an uproar.

Now, Hawthorne Housing Director Jeff Skrenes describes the latest development, in his own words, as follows...

After reading a post on the JNS blog about how the property at 2515 3rd St N is coming along, I went over for a few pictures myself. Now I grew up on a farm, and I know how to recognize a barn being built when I see it. The difference between this and a barn being built on the farm is that we'd involve THE WHOLE COMMUNITY when a farmer put up a barn.

I especially want to draw attention to the picture that shows just the BACK PORTION of this house as it DWARFS 2511 3rd St N. 2511 is no small place either, and just one half of this property makes it look like a cottage house where you keep your mother-in-law when she comes to visit.

REMEMBER, this place is zoned R2-B!!! Only two units allowed!!! If Mr. Slummy wanted to do things the legitimate way, he'd have come to the residents around him and the council and asked for a zoning variance BEFORE he built this monstrosity. Does anybody really believe that this structure, once complete, will have any less than four units?

Hawthorne members, be ready to hold our ground and make sure the city council does NOT grant a variance for more than two units at this site.

Other NoMi folks, come and stand at our side if need be, or Mr. Slummy and his icky friends will think they can get away with this in your neighborhood as well.

(JNS interjects: Oh, god, when the neighborhood leadership starts talking about "holding our ground" and "stand at our side" I just start drooling like a military police K-9 unit. Give me some sacred Hawthorne Neighborhood ground to hold, I say, and I will hold it like it was my very own lover. THIS IS OUR NEIGHBORHOOD! HE CAN'T GET AWAY WITH THIS CRAP!!! ALL WE NEED IS AN OUTRIGHT AND DOCUMENTED VIOLATION TO NAIL HIS SLUMMY ASS!!! LET'S WATCH AND LET'S NAIL HIM!!!)

Of course, there still remains the possibility that we're wrong and he will live in the property as advertised. And if that indeed does happen, I reiterate my commitment to buy him the aforementioned steak.

(JNS says: And, Mr. Hawthorne Housing Director, I *iterate* my offer to virtually and metaphorically bite a hunk out of his slummy ass and serve it to you on this blog, raw, as human steak tartar)

(Actually, that goes for all North Minneapolis slumlords. Send me pictures, send me facts, and this blog will print that stuff along with an open forum for free and fair comment. Down with slumlords, up with NoMi!)

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does the housing code have a height restriction? What was the height of the finished building in his plans?

Anonymous said...

THIS NEEDS TO BE RED TAGGED. IT IS CLEARLY OUT OF HEIGHT CODE FOR THIS 'HOOD. OR WOULD SEEM TO BE?

JNS Reader said...

Has anyone been in touch with Slummy, expressing these concerns? If so, what is his response?

Pond-dragon said...

I agree,
Just need Times and dates!

Ranty said...

Oh Sweet Jesus...

Johnny Northside said...

To answer some of these comments...it's my understanding Mr. Slummy's response, generally, is he can do what the hell he wants. As for the height restriction question...last I heard that question is being raised with the city officials. If there is breaking word, I'll get it out on the blog.

Anonymous said...

Well, presumably the city gave him plan approval... They should have caught this then.

Dyna

Anonymous said...

While you're at it, have the inspector check the orientation of the OSB sheathing. It doesn't look correct in the photograph.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it about time for another "open blog"?

Margaret said...

Now, I am not going to defend this guy, since I have no clue what the plan is here and you guys are right to be suspicious, but as somebody who did build a house in the hood and does live here, I would say that nothing he's done that you've reported says to me that he doesn't intend to live in this house. The one thing he doesn't seem to have done is made an effort to talk to at least the immediate neighbors on a regular basis while the project is going on, which we did. Even then there were some problems with our contractor doing things that were wrong, like dumping dirt or creating inconvenience. We found out by being in touch with the neighbors. (we had the next door guy's phone # and he had ours). We tried to straighten problems out to the neighbors' satisfaction, sometimes at our additional expense. But, he's not required to do this, and it's not against the law to be a dick. If he or his agents are breaking the law, trespassing, stealing or damaging adjacent property, obviously that's a different matter. Building an urban infill house is hard to do without without some inconvenience to nearby properties. And the city wants it to be done. They want the tax revenues on a house, not a vacant lot.

As for the design, my guess is that North has fewer "character preservation" restrictions than South does. Our block is very eclectic with houses from 1900, 1940s, 1930s, 1990s and our from 03. The height restriction went into effect after we built so I don't know what it is but there are laser measurement tools that can be used to see if it doesn't meet it. It might be that the plan calls for a certain height but the excavation (ironically) wasn't as deep as the plan called for. Or if the existing elevation of the property wasn't taken into account, perhaps it's higher. The issue should be raised now though, before the thing gets too far along.

IMHO, the gambrel roof (barn style) is plug ugly but unfortunately it's not exactly a rarity in North Minneapolis. There is at least one on every block.

Anonymous said...

Margaret, if this is going to be a single family home Mr. Slummy has one hell of a big family. I looked at it again now that it's framed out more, and it's a thing of wonder. Looking at the back entry layout, Mr. Slummy has clearly made contingency plans to make this at least a 3 plex if not a 4 plex. And if worse comes to worse, it looks to be designed so it can be subdivided further. Keep in mind that I'm just looking at the new addition- he has to put a firewall between it and the old front of this monstrosity that will clearly be a natural divider between even more units. Will this be a 6 plex or a dozen "efficency" unit building?

It's now obvious that Mr. Slummy has plans for every one of the twenty or so toilets he bought...

Dyna

Johnny Northside said...

Twenty or so toilets you say?!!??!

The horror...the horror...

Anonymous said...

Margaret,

I love my little barn house... there's three in a row on my block and they are adorable!