Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More Unwelcome Signs

Guest post and photo by the Hawthorne Hawkman

Last night I dropped John off in Alexandria for one of his trucking gigs, and while we were on our way out of the neighborhood, we saw this for rent sign in a place where it shouldn't be. It was at an address I knew off the top of my head, even though the lot was now vacant. The sign was at none other than...

...the former site of "The Blue Tarp House." (Hawkman note: The JNS post this links to actually gets the address wrong. It's 2957 Lyndale Ave N, not 2955 as John wrote.) This property stood for a long time as a sort of negative gateway to our community as people crossed Lowry on Lyndale. It bothered the heck out of me and so many other residents to see such an eyesore just as one was entering Hawthorne, and we were happy to see it go.

I called 311 and confirmed with them on both the city's website and the county's website that this was still tax-forfeited land. The links show that now, but if ownership does change, the links may bring you to different information. Well, we could have waited for the city to come around and remove the illegally-placed sign, or we could act under the spirit of the "Adopt a vacant property" request that the city has asked residents to follow. As you can see, John opted for the latter.

So today I called the number on the sign, and a machine answered as Kaizen Property Solutions. I informed them that I was the Housing Director of Hawthorne, that a sign with their number appeared to be improperly placed on county land, and it had been removed. If they recently purchased the land and our data wasn't recent, then I'd gladly return their sign upon proof of that. Otherwise, by Friday it will be in the garbage.


Johnny Northside said...

Thanks for catching the "2955" typo. (Actually, that post had "2955" as well as the correct "2957."

I've corrected the old post accordingly.

Low End Leroy said...

I'm sure some folks will read this and probably give you guys a hard time about it. I, for one, will not. Love it! Keep it up.

That's it, you gone and done it! said...

Thanks for taking the sign down.

However, this is not the only issue Hawthorne faces. One of the biggest issues I have noticed in my little area, has been illegally renting out different properties.

Up until about a month, maybe two ago 318 22nd Ave N, was one of those illegally rented out properties. I asked the tenant about it and he said he didn't even sign a lease. I know of several other properties who have illegal renters in, not just in Hawthorne.

I am curious if we were to look into all the properties whom have renters; how many are actually legal?

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

For the record, nobody called me back from Kaizan Properties, so the sign has been disposed of.

In regards to 318 22nd, that's a Paul Bertleson property. He owns a bunch of houses in Hawthorne, Jordan, and McKinley. I did a "photo tour" of his places a while back, but didn't find them in (at least what appeared to me) enough of a state of disrepair that they warranted the same treatment as other slumlords.

I also checked out the properties online and from what I remember, they all had at least provisional rental licenses on them. It's very possible that was not the case until recently, though.

I'd like to make sure our landlords are in compliance, so if people see this sort of thing going on, call it in to 311 right away. THEN if you'd like, let John or me know and we can try to look into the degree to which this is a problem for that particular property owner.

Johnny Northside! said...

Check out how this little story about sign spam pops up in a whole new context.