Monday, August 02, 2010

915 22nd Ave N: Fence It Off, Fix It Up, or Tear It Down!

Post and photos by Jeff Skrenes, Hawthorne Neighborhood Council Housing Director

Earlier in the summer, Hawthorne residents brought drug use problems at 915 22nd Ave N to my attention. We still have not stopped people from sneaking around to the back of the property, shooting up, lurking, and leaving their drug paraphernalia and other litter behind. Every time I've gone to this property, there have been more needles and litter strewn throughout the yard. What makes this an especially difficult problem to address is that it is quite literally impossible to see what's going on from the street or alley. The house is built in such a way that one can stand on the steps to the back/side door and be completely hidden.

The only way to confirm whether someone is back there is to actually go around the corner and check for oneself. This is not a safe activity for the little old ladies running the nearby community garden to engage in. Heck, even for a strapping, corn-fed farmboy such as myself, checking this place out is pretty risky. As much as we respect the fine work done by the MPD, there's also no real way they can consistently monitor this property. Drug use, loitering, lurking, littering and other activities reportedly happen at all hours of the day.

It should be noted that due to the arson and current condition of the building, as well as its odd layout that blocks alley access for 2128 Dupont, the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council supports demolition of this structure, and a re-platting of the properties to extend 2128 and 2126 Dupont Ave N to the alley.

Either demolition or rehab will certainly take many months to accomplish, and unless action is taken, the illegal activities will continue unabated. Can we get the current owner of the property to fence it off and limit access in the meantime?

No comments: