Thursday, December 24, 2009

2515 3rd St N Flagrantly Open to Trespass!

Guest post and photo by the Hawthorne Hawkman

While I was on the road, leaving "Snowmageddon" to visit family in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (NOT an improvement in the weather department, by the way) I received a message about Mr. Slummy's house in Hawthorne...

This house - and I use that term loosely at this point - has first floor openings that anyone can just waltz right into. Area residents have seen what they describe as "small children enter[ing] the building through the unsecured openings."

The family living next door to 2515 has had numerous concerns regarding this property from the very beginning. An eight-foot hole covering an entire backyard was left with no silt fence and no protective measures to keep kids from falling in. The city did act quickly in this regard, but shouldn't have had to even lift a finger to get Mohammed Amro to apply at least the simplest regard for the lives and safety of children in the neighborhood.

The mounds of dirt ruined the fence separating the two properties, and reportedly Mr. Slummy even tried to bully the family into tearing down the fence entirely (despite the fact that these kind folks are renters and not owners). The dirt excavated from 2515 was mostly spread around on that site, leading to a 2-6 inch difference in the height of his yard in comparison to the neighbors'. They had a garden along the fence and that sudden change in levels, separated only by a chain-link fence, causes the dirt to seep across into the other yard every time it rains.

Furthermore, the family has children who play soccer together with kids who live at a house next to 3020 6th St N. So of course they rightly wonder not if but when 2515 will fall victim to arson if it is left unsecured. Frankly, I look at the amount of money Amro would have had to sink in to building this extension (got to be at LEAST $20,000, probably upwards of $60,000) and I think that a post-arson insurance payout is the most financially viable thing Mr. Slummy can accomplish with this structure. I wonder if it is being left open in a deliberate attempt to increase the chance of a fire. Even if the house must be demolished at this point, that needs to happen so that Mr. Slummy gets slapped with the demo cost as a special assessment, not so that an insurance company picks up the tab.

This blog would like to thank the city of Minneapolis and its departments and employees who have done a tremendous job in response so far. The fact that this abomination of housing was stopped in its tracks is a testament to the progress we're making in NoMi. But when his property is this wide open to trespass, it reminds us we still have work to do.

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